Sharing a communal kitchen can be quite fun. It's especially cool that I happen to share it with a bunch of people from all nationalities. I learn lots of new tips and tricks and am always picking up new recipe ideas. There are downsides though, like learning to deal with people who don't share the same standards of cleanliness as me. Dirty kitchens just do not inspire me to cook. Luckily we have a good bunch here at the mo, which means I have been able to enjoy my kitchen space again. As a result I have been baking up a storm. Today I'll share the item that seems to be the most popular and most requested. Chocolate brownies.
I first made these for a friend who I knew was a big fan of brownies. I'd never really made brownies before as I'm personally not a big fan of chocolate cakes and the like. But wow these converted me and I can see this becoming a personal favourite.
The reason I usually shy away from chocolate cakes and brownies is that I find they are often dry and not 'chocolatey' enough. But not these brownies, they are moist and rich and hit the spot. They got the thumbs up from my friend and I keep getting more requests from friends to make them. Last time I made them I even had someone thief my last two pieces, which I had accidentally left out on the kitchen bench. Which is another downside of sharing a communal kitchen. That said, this recipe makes a good sized batch, so you can afford to have a few pieces 'go missing'.
200g of good quality dark chocolate (one with at least 70% cocoa solids is best)
250g unsalted butter
80g cocoa powder
65g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
350g caster sugar
4 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a 20 x 30 cm tin with greaseproof paper. A roasting pan is ideal.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl over simmering water. Alternatively you can melt the butter first in a small saucepan and then add the chocolate, it will melt gently enough over a low heat. You could possibly do it in a microwave too, but I have never tried.
Then, in a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients before pouring in the chocolate mix and mixing well.
Now add the eggs, mixing thoroughly. The mixture will turn from being grainy into a nice smooth mix.
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for around 25 minutes at most. Please check it, you don't want to overcook it! It should still be a bit gooey in the middle. Don't be afraid to take them out earlier. If you leave them in the tin to cool completely, then they will set, but won't overcook.
Cut into slices and enjoy!
- Recipe adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe. Good old reliable Jamie.