Nothing beats the unctuous, chocolatey gooodness of a rich, dark chocolate brownie. There are many pretenders to this title, some of them pathetic imposters using cheap ingredients, mass produced and not remotely in the same league as the really good stuff.

Lately I have found myself spending many a Sunday in the kitchen not just cooking, but baking; Madeleines, loaf cakes, breads and now brownies. I spotted this recipe in a magazine and it boasted pools of gooey dark chocolate, which drew me in, hook, line and sinker. So I made a few tweaks and came up with something really lovely. Now I must tell you that this is not like other brownie mixes; the centre is a lot more sludgey than chewy and when you first remove it from the oven, it does look like it is raw. But the flavour is 100% sinful and utterly scrumptious and for the chocolate lovers among you, this is as close to chocolate Nirvana as you may ever find yourself. The key is to make it the day before you want to consume it, although I confess that I didn’t entirely observe this rule and hacked a generous, oozing square of it a couple of hours after it came out of the oven.

Dark Chocolate Brownies

200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (Tesco 72% is fantastic!)
80g cocoa (I used Green & Blacks cocoa powder)
350g caster sugar
60g plain flour
4 large eggs
1 heaped teaspoon of Porters Vanilla bean paste (or 2 tspn of vanilla extract)
1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder
200g of melted butter (salted of unsalted)
100g of pecan nuts (optional)
Baking/oven paper

21/22cm squared baking tin

Method
Preheat your oven to 160 (or 150 if fan assisted) and line your baking tin with oven paper.

Add your flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, eggs, melted butter and vanilla into a mixing bowl and mix well using a wooden spoon. Then add your chopped chunks of chocolate into the mixture and mix well again. If you want to use pecan nuts, add them now and stir the mix well again, breaking down some of the pecan halves as your stir. Then pour the mixture into the baking tin and bake the brownies for 45-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of hours. If you can wait til the next day, take a scoop/square of the mixture and eat it now… But if you can wait til the next day, a more sophisticated and thickly gooey brownie awaits you.