Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world’s perfect food.
~ Michael Levine, nutrition researcher, as quoted in The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars
I am sorry about the terrible quality of this photograph – I should’ve protected your eyes, I know… if it helps, though, I can promise you that you won’t be apologising for bringing this to a party.
This recipe is based largely on Molly Wizenberg’s recipe (which also works like a dream). I decided to try it with kahlua and walnuts just ‘cos I had some on hand.
- Chocolate and walnut (best ever) brownie
Recipe modified from Orangette
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
226g unsalted butter
170g bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups granulated sugar
dribble of kahlua (approximately 1 tbsp), or 1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
170g walnut pieces (optional)
Center a rack in the oven, and preheat the oven to 175°C.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt; set aside. If adding walnut pieces, put them in a separate bowl, add in the approximately ¼ of the flour mixture and give it a quick toss.
- Cut the butter into chunks, and melt the butter and the chocolate together in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring frequently. When the chocolate and butter have melted completely, add 1 cup of the sugar to the mixture, and stir it for 30 seconds; then remove the mixture from the heat, and stir in the kahlua or vanilla extract. Leave in a cool area, or pour it into a clean bowl.
- Put the remaining 1 cup sugar and the eggs into a medium bowl, and whisk by hand to combine. Little by little, pour half of the sugar and eggs into the chocolate mixture, stirring gently but constantly with a rubber spatula so that the eggs don’t scramble from the heat. Beat the remaining sugar and eggs on medium speed until they are thick, pale, and doubled in volume, about 3 minutes. Using the rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped eggs and sugar into the chocolate mixture. When the eggs are almost completely incorporated, gently fold in the flour and salt, then the walnuts and remaining flour.
- Pour and scrape the batter into an unbuttered 8-inch square pan (I used a ceramic tray this time, and it worked fine). Bake the brownie for around 30 minutes. It should have risen a bit, and the top will turn dry and a little crackly. Baking times may vary depending on your oven, so stick a knife or toothpick into the centre after 25 minutes to see how it is progressing. It should be gently set – not too raw, but still deliciously gooey. Cool the brownie in the pan on a rack. When it is cool, cut into rectangular bars to serve.
This brownie is quite rich, as you will gather from the amount of chocolate and butter used – so a small tray goes a long way. It’s very slightly crisp on the outside, soft and gooey and swirly-sweet inside. The walnuts make it a happy brownie too.
My opinion on brownie is that they should be nothing less than decadent and luxurious – and I think this comes pretty close to fulfilling that criterion!