When I was working with Weezl on cheap family recipes, she made lovely chocolate brownies for the meal plan. I made them many times, but have since tweaked the recipe, as you do. I am now making them with butter, although, by all means, use vegetable oil, as in the original recipe. I’ve increased the flour a bit, and cut the amount of sugar almost in half.
Butter is particularly expensive at the moment. I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure the spreadable butters would work well and shave a little off the cost, or maybe a margarine. I switched to butter more for the texture than the taste. Oil makes the brownies just a little bit greasy. You can’t really taste that you’ve used butter in them. Margarine would cut the fat element cost in half, reducing the cost of each brownie from 13p to 10p, so worth doing.
Priced at Asda using mySupermarket on 5Apr18
200g butter, smartprice £1.40/250g, £1.12
200g dark chocolate, smartprice, 30p/100g, 60p
100g self raising flour, smartprice 45p/1.5kg, 3p
200g sugar, 64p/kg, 13p
3 eggs, free range, mixed weight, 27p
Generous pinch of salt
Total cost, £2.15, per piece (16) 13p
Total nutrition – 3,390 calories, 263 carbs, 235g fat, 42g protein
Per piece (16) 211 calories, 16g carbs, 15g fat, 3G protein
Preheat the oven to 160c fan, 180c, 350f or gas mark 4
I use a silicone baking pan,
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over some gently simmering water. Add the butter and melt that as well. Set aside to cool
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and sugar.
Once the chocolate mix is tepid, whisk in the eggs. If you try to whisk in the eggs while the chocolate and butter mixture is still hot, the eggs will scramble, ruining your chocolate brownie mixture. The mixture will probably thicken as you mix in the eggs. Now tip in the the flour mixture and gently stir it all together.
Tip your lovely batter (it should look like a thick Yorkshire pudding mix) into your baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Brownies should not be overcooked or you will have chocolate cake rather than brownies. They should be a little springy round the edges like a normal cake, but still gooey in the middle.
Resist the urge to scoff them straight out of the oven and leave to cool, then cut them into whatever size you like. I usually cut them into 16 pieces.
What can I say, I took a batch of these to WI and was asked for the recipe by several ladies, and a couple said that they were the best ones they’d ever had! I was very proud!
Seriously, these are very very good chocolate brownies. Wonderful still warm, or gently warmed, with ice cream, a few berries, a dusting of icing sugar, or just on their own. Irresistible!
I haven’t tried any variations as these are so fabulous just as they are. If I did try something, I would grate some orange zest in or maybe a little orange essence if you have it : stir in a few raspberries and cook them in the batter, or add a handful of roasted hazelnuts or walnuts: add a few glacé cherries or plump raisins. You could add chopped pieces of dark, milk or white chocolate, maybe melting them separately and swirling through the batter once it’s in the tin for a marbled finish.
You could try them with milk chocolate, or white chocolate for a blondie