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Homemade Brownies are the ultimate treat. They can be brought out at tea or coffee time, and are perfect for dessert with a scoop of ice-cream and hot chocolate sauce. This recipe is easy to put together and uses both cocoa and dark chocolate for a rich, deep taste. Like most chocolate recipes they are at their best made a day or so before serving.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
Put the pieces of butter and chocolate into a small heavy pan. Set over the lowest possible heat and leave to melt gently, stirring frequently, until smooth but not hot. Remove from the heat and leave until needed.
Put the sugar, eggs and vanilla into a mixing bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients. Mix thoroughly with a wire whisk or wooden spoon. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Sift the flour, cocoa and salt into the bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in the nuts then transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and spread evenly. Bang the tin on the worksurface to expel any air bubbles.
Bake in the heated oven for about 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the mixture comes out with moist crumbs – the mixture will continue cooking after it comes out of the oven and it’s vital not to overcook it. Note that the mixture will puff up in the oven but sink on cooling. Stand the tin on a wire cooling rack and leave to cool completely before cutting into squares. Dust with icing sugar just before serving. Store in an airtight container and eat within a week.
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
50g Marriage’s Finest Plain Flour
225g unsalted butter, diced
100g milk or dark chocolate, broken up
200g caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
50g cocoa powder
A good pinch of salt
75g walnut pieces
Icing sugar for dusting
20.5cm square tin, greased and base-lined