Chocolate Brownies

These brownies are delicious, and easy to make.  Even better they closely resemble the packet brownies I would make as a kid with my Mum.  I’ve been waiting for a recipe to equal, or better that one – resulting in brownies that are gooey in the middle and somewhere between chewy and crunchy on the top.

Now, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, bless him, begins by melting 170g butter until ‘it turns golden brown and smells slightly sweet and nutty’. I on the other hand take the closest alternative from the fridge (Lidl’s finest margerine) and melt that instead.  The golden hues and nutty smell therefore evade me, however it all seems to work out ok in the end…

Melting butter

Melting 'butter'

That’s the tricky bit over.


Whilst the melted butter ‘cools’ in a sweaty kitchen, mix together flour, cocoa and a pinch salt of one bowl.  In another bowl whisk together the sugars, and eggs using the highest speed setting.  Invoke your inner Mary Berry as you lift the beaters to see a ribbon of batter falling onto the mixture.  Then beat in the butter and vanilla.

Bourneville Cocoa

Birmingham's finest

Flour, cocoa, salt

Bowl 1 - Flour, cocoa, salt

Whisking sugar and eggs

Underwater camera optional

More whisking

You could tie your hair up with these ribbons


Fold the cocoa, flour mixture into the bowl of ribbony goodness, being careful to avoid over zealous mixing… Pour the mixture into a baking tray prepared lovingly with greaseproof paper, and pop it into the oven, pre-heated to gas mark three (not much hotter than holding a match to it).

Bake until ‘done’ (the recipe says 20-25 mins, however less well behaved ovens will take longer – about 40 mins).  You’ll know they are ready when a toothpick comes of of the middle with just a few gooey crumbs on.  Ooo, go on, eat them.

Cooked brownies

That's one huge toothpick

Brownies ready to eat

The packet mix was quicker, but these are just as scoffable


170g butter
200g caster sugar
100g light muscovado sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g cocoa powder
50g plain flour
¼ tsp salt


Heat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Lightly grease a 22cm x 22cm x 5cm brownie tin and line with two strips of baking parchment.

Place the butter/marg/closet alternative (mayo is pushing it) in a medium-size saucepan and melt it over a medium heat. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl beat together the sugars and eggs until very thick and glossy – when you lift up the beaters, a ribbon of batter should stay on the surface of the mixture for several seconds. Beat in the vanilla and the browned butter.

Sift together the cocoa, flour and salt into a separate bowl. Gently fold this into the batter, being careful not to overmix, and scrape into the prepared tin with a spatula.

Bake for about 20-25/35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the middle of the brownies with a few crumbs attached. Place the tin on a rack and let the brownies cool completely. Lift them out of the tin with the parchment and cut into 16 squares.

Put the kettle on.

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