It’s February. The weather is dismal. My water bottle leaked on my way home from uni and made my bum soggy. What does my mind instantly go to? Mary Berry’s Dark Indulgent Chocolate and Walnut Brownies. They are heavenly and gooey on the inside, with a thin but crispy crust on the outside. Chunks of chocolate mottled throughout and the odd crunch of a nut. There is nothing else I want right now. But unfortunately, I don’t have all the ingredients for the recipe, and there is no way I am venturing outside again.
So, what shall I do? I shall share the recipe with you all.
I originally got this recipe from a book of my mum’s. It’s the old edition of Mary Berry’s cake book. I can’t remember the name right now, but I know, on the front, Mary is sitting at a table with a cake proudly standing before her. This book came out on every special occasion and baking day. We use Mary’s recipes to death in my house because they are quite simply perfect and really easy to do.
Mary Berry’s Brownies have sort of become my Signature Bake (yes, I watch too much Great British Bake Off). I can’t even remember the first time I made them, but now, if I ever want a foolproof recipe that pleases everyone I know where to turn. I’ve made these as a “thank-you-for-letting-me-stay-with-you-for-a-week” present, as camping food (although, FYI, if you keep them in a plastic bag and take them to the beach, they do get a bit sweaty; sweaty beach brownie is now my favourite tame insult) and as general guest pleasers. They are devine. I now use Mary Berry’s Baking Bible. If you call yourself a baker, and you don’t have this book, I shun you. Go out and buy it now! In fact, even if you don’t call yourself a baker, you will after using any of these recipes.
So without further ado, here is the recipe.
350g (12 oz) plain chocolate (39% cocoa solids)
225g (8 oz) butter
2 level teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons hot water
3 large eggs
225g (8 oz) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g (3 oz) self-raising flour
175g (6oz) chopped walnuts (I use pecans because I prefer the taste)
225g (8 oz) plain chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/Fan 170C/Gas 5. Grease a 30 x 23 cm (12 x 9 in) traybake or roasting tin then line and base with baking parchment.
2. Break up the chocolate into pieces (try not to eat any!) and melt slowly with the butter in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring occasionally. Leave to cool. Dissolve the coffee in the hot water.
3. In another bowl, mix together the coffee, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the chocolate mixture. Fold in the flour, walnuts (or pecans) and chocolate chips and then pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 40-45 minutes or until the brownies have a crusty top and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin and then cut into 24 squares. Store in an airtight tin.
Trust me, these are an instant hit, they might not even last long enough to get into an airtight tin! For a photo, just look at the top of the page, behind the name of the blog.