My mum’s one of my food heroes – she’s got
a huge collection of recipes (lots of them just in her head) and is always
coming out with delicious things. She takes a relaxed approach to cooking and
has inspired me to explore & be creative without worrying about getting it
wrong – after all, if it tastes good then it’s a success, no matter what it
looks like or if it’s different to the original plan! A lot of my mum’s recipes
are treasured family favourites and come in old money, so I’ve given the
measurements in ounces as they appear but also given a rough approximation for
them modern measurements.
This is one of her go-to recipes for family
teas – it’s easy and works beautifully, turning out dark, sticky brownies
bursting with chocolatey-ness. I think the real secret to good brownies is
using plenty of melted chocolate as a base for the recipe, so don’t skimp, but
you can buy fairly cheap stuff if you like (I usually go for Sainsburys Basics
chocolate, for cooking).
9.5oz (270g) dark chocolate
14 oz (400g) caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan). Start by melting
together the chocolate & the margarine – you can do this in the microwave,
if you have one, by putting it on for short bursts & stirring in between,
or you can make a bain-marie – find a heat-proof bowl that’s the right size to
sit in the top of a saucepan, so that it’s not touching the bottom, then pop
the ingredients in the bowl and pour some hot water into the saucepan. Heat it
gently and keep stirring – whichever method you use, plenty of stirring is key,
because burnt chocolate is a terrible, tragic waste.
Once the chocolate and margarine is melted
& combined, take off the heat and scrape into a bigger bowl for mixing. Add
the sugar and vanilla essence and stir well, then break the eggs in one at a
time and combine – I just used a wooden spoon but if you’ve got a hand-held
mixer you could use that too. Finally, add the flour and a pinch of salt.
Line a brownie tin (a deep square tin, a
bit like a roasting tin but smaller) with greaseproof paper (use a bit more
margarine to make it stick) and scrape the mixture in. Bake for about 35
minutes, or until the mixture is solid and starting to crack on the outside but still a bit gooey inside
– as the brownies cool this gooey bit will become sticky & squidgy, just like
the inside of a brownie should be. Serve cold with a cuppa, or warm with ice
cream if you’re feeling indulgent!