nigella’s chocolate brownies

by Sam on October 4, 2010

Nigella’s chocolate brownies

In case you didn’t know I’m on an ongoing baking mission to find what I consider the ‘best of’ in a range of  baked treats. Baked treats that I particularly like.

I have found the best white chocolate cookie with cranberries and a variation of this recipe with macadamia nuts and dried strawberries (better). I think I have found the best chocolate chip cookie, and I am pretty certain this is one of the best chocolate cakes. The River Cafe Chocolate Nemesis has to be the best chocolate mousse cake I have eaten, so now I turn my attention to the brownie.

I found and baked what claims to be the easiest chocolate brownie, and it is pretty good and certainly very easy, but I’m not ready to stick my spatula in the ground over this one.  A few brownie recipes still need to get overturned.

This is Nigella’s chocolate brownie recipe given to me by my fab foodie friend Lori so I am not too sure which book it comes from. It is simple to make and yields a big batch.

This is what you need and how to make:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees c

  • 375gm chocolate (70% couverture is best)
  • 375gm butter

Melt these together in a double boiler

  • 500gms castor sugar
  • 6 eggs (free range large will do)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk these all together and then add the slightly cooled chocolate mixture to this

  • 225gm flour
  • 200gm nuts (optional – I used roasted hazelnuts)

Fold the flour and nuts  into the liquid mixture

Pour into a large lined baking tray or suitable dish (I used a 30cm x 23cm roasting dish)

Bake for 45 mins until firm to the touch

Before I can discuss the verdict, the criteria that make a perfect brownie need to be established. Of course this is completely a matter of opinion.

  1. TASTE – needs to taste fantastic in both chocolate and degree of sweetness
  2. TEXTURE – needs to have some density to it, some moisture but at the same time it must melt in the mouth
  3. APPEARANCE- a brownie needs to have that quintessential flaky ‘skin’

These bownies taste lovely with a perfect balance of chocolate to sugar.  The texture however seemed slightly too dry for me but the mouthfeel wasnt. They melted in the mouth.

I give these the thumbs up apart from the density issue, but perhpas next time I would bake them for a slightly shorter period to deliver a chewier centre. I also think that adding extra chocolate chips and leaving out the nuts could produce a more decadent product.

The search continues.

very easy to make and ‘melt in the mouth’

I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

nina October 4, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Chocolatey, fudgy…..mmm, jus the way I like brownie!!!

Lori October 4, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Glad you made them :) Her original recipe was from ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ and she says only bake it for 35 minutes! Never found this to be enough, so bake for about an hour but constantly check. Think its also about how your oven works with the recipe. YUMMY!

Marisa October 4, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Well they certainly look freakin awesome. Can never get enough of chocolate and especially brownies. Best brownie I ever made? Epicurious’ Jamaican Coffee Brownies. (you can find ‘em on my blog). Mouthwatering I tell ya.

drizzleanddip October 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Marisa, I remember your post on those and will defs check out in my quest for the perfect one. Thanks!

Jill November 29, 2010 at 8:54 pm

I made these brownies this afternoon placing the mixture into a ceramic rectangular dish. Wrong! I had to keep adding time to the baking (I guess because the dish absorbed a lot of the heat before cooking the mixture. Total approximately 45 minutes. Very runny still upon cutting into it. Tasty goo though. In the end I placed the dish back into the microwave and gave it several blasts … approximately 12 minutes in total. Wonderful!
Next time I will make it in a metal dish!

drizzleanddip November 30, 2010 at 7:27 am

Hi Jill, yes, baking in ceramic is not effective and I tend to only do it for hot sponge puddings. It does however seem that it went a little too long, maybe an idea to check your oven temperature calibration via an oven thermometre. Variances in oven temp and performance is a big thing in baking. A friend of mine bakes these all the time, and for longer and gets a much denser brownie.
Thanks for sharing.

Julia Gulia January 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I adore this blog, I stumbed across it the other day and it is soooo good. I know you are on a mission to find a really good brownie recipe and I suggest you try Nigel Slater’s Chocolate Brownie recipe to see if that hits the mark:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2004/jun/13/foodanddrink.shopping2

Personally I love a fudgy brownie and one of my friends baked this recently and they were delicious. Maybe you can do a taste test of your own….

drizzleanddip January 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Hi Julia. Thanks so much for this link. I am a big Nigel Slater fan and will try this recipe next.

Sam

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