It’s been a long time since I made any brownies but in the last week or so the planets aligned and gave me the opportunity to try out another recipe AND a new dedicated brownie pan.
Normally my brownies are cooked in an old, battered roasting tin lined with baking paper. It’s the perfect size for most recipes and it does a fab job. However, one of my friends has been on at me for quite a while to try out one of the many specialist brownie pans available. The idea with these pans is that they create extra edges so you get more corner pieces (and they, after all, are the best bits).
The one I bought was a cheapie from a chain store and it wasn’t entirely successful (thanks to another friend who very patiently fished out the brownies!) BUT I also didn’t read the instructions and I think there are ways I could improve things. Once I’ve discovered that one way or the other I’ll let you know.
Lorraine Pascale is a British model turned pastry chef (one of the weirder job transitions, I have to say!) and she now hosts tv shows and writes books. I do find her tv programmes a little too lifestyle-like for me (soft music, shots of her working at her computer while something bakes …) but a lot of the recipes have seemed really good and I think her programme is the ONLY time I’ve seen a fougasse cooked on tv.
For these brownies I used Delta Creams, though you could really use any chocolate biscuit you like, or perhaps substitute one of the many biscuit based chocolate bars. Or just leave it out altogether – the brownie mix is perfectly rich and delicious without the addition of biscuits!
- 165g unsalted butter
- 200g dark chocolate
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 165g light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp cocoa
- pinch of salt
- 154g chocolate cream biscuits (this worked out to be 10 Delta Creams) - optional
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan, 180°C convention) and prepare your favourite brownie baking receptacle. You'll need one about 20cm x 20cm.
- Melt the butter and chocolate together in short bursts in the microwave.
- In a stand mixer, whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together until light and frothy. Still whisking, slowly add the the sugar. Note that sometimes light brown sugar goes a little hard and clumpy in the jar/bag - if yours has done this, then make sure you sieve it/break up the lumps before beating into the eggs!
- Once the sugar is well combined, slowly add the chocolate and butter mix, beating all the time.
- Finally beat in the flour, cocoa and salt.
- The mixture will be very light and mousse like.
- If using the biscuits, roughly chop them into quarters and gently stir about a third of them into the brownie mixture.
- Tip the mixture into your prepared pan and smooth out. Scatter the remaining biscuit pieces over the top and lightly press into the mixture.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. The top of the brownies will be set and start to crack and the centre should be cooked through but still moist - a few crumbs will cling to a toothpick.
- Allow to cool and then cut and serve.