Chocolate and Pistachio Brownies

chocolate & pistachio brownies

It’s been a long time between brownie recipes, hasn’t it? I think the most recent effort was back in June with a good but very sweet batch.

This recipe comes originally from The City of London Cook Book (a book that sounds pretty cool to me!) but I actually found it on the UK Marie Claire site.

Before starting on this I was a bit nervous because of the HUGE amount of sugar involved (brace yourselves – it’s in excess of 500g). However, as I was baking these brownies for a BBQ I figured I wasn’t going to have to eat too many of these myself.

Begin my melting 255g of dark chocolate with 255g of unsalted butter (as always, this happened in the microwave). I omitted the vanilla essence – I’ve decided it’s pointless in chocolate brownies.

Add 280g of caster sugar and 280g of soft brown sugar to the chocolate and butter mix and melt again (also in the microwave for me – but now you’ve added the sugar be sure to be extra vigilant!).

After this stage, I transferred the mixture to the KitchenAid and added the 5 eggs, one at a time, beating well between each egg. If your chocolate mixture is quite warm I’d allow it to cool a little before adding the eggs – you don’t want them scrambling!

Once the eggs are well incorporated, add 280g of plain flour, 2 tsp of baking powder and a pinch of salt. Mix well before gently mixing through 80g of (shelled, and NOT salted) pistachios.

Pour the mixture into a base lined tin and baked in an oven preheated to 170°C (conventional, not fan) for 30-45 minutes. The top should be crisp, the cake mixture shouldn’t be wobbly, but a toothpick inserted should come out a bit cakey. You most definitely don’t want dry brownies.

Allow to cool in the tin (they will collapse a little) before cutting and serving.

These were a big hit – and were rated almost as good as the exceedingly popular caramel brownies. By “almost as good” I mean that there was no audible complaining about a different recipe.  I thought these brownies had a much better crust and they were super fudgy – no doubt due to all that sugar.

What’s also great is that even though there’s a relatively small amount of pistachio in this recipe, the flavour really goes through the whole brownie, giving it quite an exotic twist.

This is most definitely a brownie recipe I will revisit – but only when baking for a larger number of people.

Of course – you can check out the full brownie collection if you need more inspiration.

Chocolate Brownie Recipe


Even I’m starting to lose track of which chocolate brownie recipe I’m up to now … but here’s yet another one! I’m slowly making a dent on all those bookmarks …

I’ve also decided that at some point I need to start collating some statistics about the different ratios of ingredients and the outcome in the finished product because then I should be able to give you, the reader, some insight into what type of brownie recipe you need to follow to achieve a certain outcome.

Today’s recipe comes to us from Leite’s Culinaria, where they are grandly titled “Robert’s Absolute Best Brownies”. I am always a little sceptical of “best” or “best ever” because that’s the type of thing that’s in the eye of the beholder. But yes, these were pretty good.

The recipe provides imperial measurements for the chocolate and butter and, as my scales do both, I used imperial rather than converting to metric. I tried converting the cup measures for the dry ingredients to metric (because I think weighing ingredients is the only way to go) but the conversions I found for the sugar seemed way off, so I resorted to cup measures.

The original recipe is very enthusiastic about beating everything by hand, but that doesn’t happen in this household. If you have a stand mixer, grab the flat beater and let’s start!

Preheat the oven to 175°C (not fan) and base line a baking dish (8″x8″ – so slightly smaller than I use for many of my brownie baking adventures).

Melt 8 oz of unsalted butter with 3 oz of dark chocolate. I did this in the microwave but you can always use a bain-marie. Tip the smooth melted mixture into your stand mixer and beat in ¾ cup of caster sugar (Andy felt these brownies were a bit on the sweet side so you may like to reduce that) and 1 tsp of vanilla extract.

I’m not convinced that the vanilla extract adds anything so feel free to leave it out. Personally, I’m heading towards omitting it from chocolate brownie recipes in future – it seems unnecessary, having almost no effect on the finished product and I think it’s detrimental to the taste of the batter pre-cooking.

When the chocolate, butter and sugar mixture is smooth, add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating between each. Then add ¼ cup of plain flour and beat like crazy. The original recipe says to beat vigorously for 1 full minute. I let the KitchenAid do its thing until the mixture was quite pale, light and mousse like.

Finally, take a cup of walnuts (or other nut of choice), roughly chop them and stir them through the batter. You’re best off doing this bit by hand, irrespective of how you’ve got to this point!

Tip the batter into the prepared baking dish and you’re done – into the oven. The recipe states 30 minutes but that was nowhere near long enough for my baking dish/oven. Perhaps my dish was a little smaller so the brownie mix was deeper as I ended up baking them for about 45 minutes. You want the mixture to be cooked but you don’t want it to be dry: there still should be some moisture on the tooth pick.

Allow to cool and then cut, serve with cream and eat!

This brownie had an excellent crust – really crispy (and crumbly – what a mess it made cutting it up) with a lovely squidgy middle. Of course, with so much chocolate and so little flour it was really chocolatey too. I agree with Andy that the sugar could be reduced slightly and I see no reason why the filling would need to be restricted to nuts – I’m a big fan of chopped up chocolates in brownies!

The finished product is very reminiscent of the last lot of brownies, and you can check out the full collection here.

If you’re after something chocolate but NOT a brownie, check out Jamie Oliver’s chocolate pudding recipe.

Chocolate Brownies


It’s been a while since I’ve had an opportunity to try out another brownie recipe, but a family lunch at Easter provided the perfect excuse to tick a recipe off the list. This one comes from Chocablog, which, not surprisingly, is a blog all about chocolate. Although based in the UK, Chocablog has contributors around the world – and the Australian correspondent is based in Adelaide!

This recipe was excellent. The brownie comes out all fudgy and dense (and chocolatey, of course), but the crust is a proper crust – crisp when you bite into it but deliciously chewy. I rate this as a contender for best brownie recipe yet. Note that I say contender only, as I am yet to try it out on the Brownie Approval Panel.

Preheat oven to 160°C (I used it on the fan setting) and line your baking dish (something roughly 18cm square – I found my trusty roasting pan did the trick) with baking paper.

Begin by melting together 140g unsalted butter and 200g good quality dark chocolate. As always, I did this in the microwave, but on the stove in a double boiler will work too (it will just take you longer).

The chocolate and butter goes into the KitchenAid (flat beater attached) and beat in 200g of light brown sugar. Beat this in really well – the mixture should be smooth and glossy, not at all grainy. Add 2tsp of vanilla extract and a generous pinch of salt and then beat in three eggs, one at a time. Finish with 85g of plain flour (not self raising, plain). Beat really well – the mixture eventually will turn into a sort of cross between a butter cream and a chocolate mousse. It’s quite light in colour but don’t let that worry you – the finished product will be appropriately chocolatey.

Resist the temptation to gobble it all down. Although it tastes really good, it’ll probably make you feel a bit ill if you eat it all!

Finish by folding in 75g of roughly chopped walnuts (or other nut of choice … and I’m even tempted to try caramel chocolate), then spoon it into your baking dish and bake for 40 minutes. A toothpick should come out a bit moist and crumbly, but not covered in batter.

When cool, slice and enjoy. Ensure you nab one of the pieces with edges on it because they’re definitely the best bit!

You can find a collection of our chocolate brownie recipes here.