Just so you know, ‘Chewy’ isn’t short for ‘Chewbacca’ in this recipe. Mind you, I’d love to see a giant chocolate brownie in the shape of Chewbacca, so if anyone fancies giving it a go, do report back.
I’ve got a confession to make. It’s about chocolate, and the fact that I don’t really like most of it. There’s obviously some genetic mishap going on because I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like chocolate, but there you go. I do enjoy a Terry’s Dark Chocolate Orange in my Christmas stocking (but eaten from the fridge or even the freezer, never at room temperature) and I make these brownies and a fancy chocolate and Amaretto torte thing (recipe coming soon) when we have people over for dinner but that’s it. In a restaurant I’d never choose a chocolate-based dessert and the idea of eating, say, chocolate fondant with salted caramel on top actually makes me want to barf through my eyeballs. Sticky toffee pudding? Stick it up your bum, no thanks. These chewy chocolate brownies, however, are an exception, and that’s why I’m sharing my recipe with you having kept it to myself for years. I prefer to use dark chocolate chips for these. Obviously the lighter the chocolate the sweeter they will be, so if you have a real sweet tooth, opt for milk or even white chocolate drops. They turn out lovely and gooey in the middle and if you get to eat the ones at the side of the tin – mmm, cake sides – you’ll get a bit of crunch thrown in. Now, this recipe might seem a bit long on the ingredients front, and it’s true, there are much simpler recipes out there but this is my tried-and-tested winner. It actually came about because I ran out of butter and had to substitute it for sunflower oil, and also because I ran out of flour (I really don’t know why I bother) and had some ground almonds in the cupboard. I’m going to do another pared-down version soon so if they work out, I’ll post that recipe for you, too. OK, here goes:
Preparation Time: 20 minutes (if you’re me, about an hour)
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g cacao powder (not sweetened cocoa powder)
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
70g unsalted butter, softened
50g plain flour, sifted (you can also use self-raising if it’s all you have)
½ teaspoon baking powder
20g ground almonds
¼ teaspoon salt
20g chocolate chips
20g hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans cut roughly in half
METHOD 1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees fan
2. Grease and line a 20cm square tin 3. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to make a mess 4. Whisk the butter and sugar until fluffy
5. Beat the eggs and stir into the mixture
6. Add the vanilla extract
7. Stir in the cacao powder and vegetable oil
8. Fold in the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt
9. Fold in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts
10. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Test with a skewer. If it comes out clean, they’re ready.
This is the hard bit. You’ve got to leave them alone for 15 minutes to cool. Seriously. I know you can’t wait. Be strong.
Turn out of the tin when cool and cut into squares. I often leave them in the fridge overnight so they're extra gooey the next day, but sometimes I demolish three in as many minutes and instantly regret it. What can you do?