Friday, September 10, 2010

Chunky Brownies & Madness.

I've got a confession to make.

I wasn't studying when I said I was. I wasn't even busy.

The truth is, I've been watching Mad Men. I'm sorry. I just got so tied up watching Joan, Peggy, Betty and all the boys, that I didn't want to be disturbed. Also, I'm a little bit behind the times. Mad Men has been out for ages and I've only just discovered it. (And Brent likes it too! Win).
And I know that the girls of Mad Men wouldn't eat brownies, because they'll make you 'stout', and if you're stout, then you'll never find a man. But honestly, I'm halfway to stout now, and I've already got a man, so I may as well keep eating brownies.

I looked at lots of brownie recipes before I decided on this one. I didn't want a recipe that was too fancy, and I didn't want a recipe that had lots of chocolate in it, because I didn't have very much and I didn't want to stop watching Mad Men to walk to the shop.

The recipe that I decided on, one by Stephanie Alexander, fitted the bill perfectly. I halved the recipe (because I don't want to get too stout), and I made the whole thing in one bowl. Or rather, one saucepan.
First you melt the butter, and then you mix all the other ingredients in, one by one. These brownies are fudgy and richly decadent (the photo doesn't really do them justice). You can use all plain flour, or all whole wheat flour, or half and half. I've made them all and they are all delicious. If you make the full recipe and bake it in a small tin, you get big fat squares of brownie that are hard to fit in your mouth, but taste extra fudgy (If you do this, you'll have to bake the brownies for an extra 5-10 mins. Remember: the smaller the tin, the longer the baking time.) But if you bake the brownies in a bigger tin, you get good, regular sized brownies, they just don't seem to be quite so fudgy. Whatever you choose, be sure to be richly rewarded for such little work.

This recipe reminds me of one that I used to make with my best friend in high school, Courtney. Courtney lived up the road from me, and we used to make brownies at one of our houses, leave all the mess, then walk to the other person's house to watch movies and eat brownies (Usually we'd watch the movie Camp. Did you ever see that? It's pretty good).

So go on, eat some brownies, watch some Mad Men, and think about high school a little bit (but not too much).

Adapted from Stephanie Alexander's 'The Cooks Companion'.
Here is the full recipe, but halve it, like I did, if you like.
Oven - 160C

180g butter
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
4 eggs
100g plain flour or whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup choc chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts)
pinch of salt

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, sugar and vanilla and stir. Then add the eggs.
Add everything else, stir, and pour into a lined baking tin.
(Remember, the smaller the tin, the longer the cooking time).
Bake 20-25 mins, until cooked but still a bit gooey.
If you can, wait until the brownies are cooled before cutting them.


  1. mmmmmmm your brownies look delicious! so fudgy and gooey!

  2. Thank you Leslie! That's definately the way I like my brownies.