I wanted to make some chocolate brownies to enter a local horticultural show recently. It focuses mainly on different flower and vegetable categories but also has a few baking categories - last time I entered it only extended as far as Victoria sponge, scones and chocolate brownies, but this time you could also make carrot cake or a vegetarian pie. I entered the carrot cake and chocolate brownie category - and won neither. But obviously someone liked the look of my brownies, as they were stolen! Entrants were allowed to collect their bakes after 4pm on the final day of the show; we each had our own plate clearly labelled. When we went to collect my brownies at 4pm sharp, all the other plates were intact (minus what the judges had tasted)... and mine were completely gone! I think my boyfriend was especially annoyed as he had been looking forward to eating them.
As it was a competition I wanted to find the best brownie recipe I could, and so had high hopes of this Guardian article entitled "How to make perfect brownies". In retrospect mine were fairly gooey which is not a bad thing, but in terms of appearance for the competition, I think they could have looked better.
Here's what I did. You need:
250g plain chocolate
300g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
60g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
60g cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a square 23cm x 23cm tin with baking paper.
Melt the chocolate in a bain marie or microwave.
Cream together the butter and sugar then add the eggs one at a time, beating well.
Gently fold in the melted chocolate followed by the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder.
Spoon into the tin and bake for 30 minutes until a skewer comes out sticky (rather than clean, but also not coated with raw mixture).
I also followed this guidance from the recipe though I'm not sure how much difference it made: fill a roasting tin with cold water, that is large enough to hold the tin you have baked the brownies in. When the brownies are cooked, remove the tin from the oven and place carefully in the cold water bath. Leave to cool for an hour before cutting into squares.
I'd love to know if you have a failsafe chocolate brownie recipe!