Friday, 12 April 2013

Recipe: Super Simple 3-Step Chocolate Brownies

I love brownies, but most of the time I am too lazy to make them. I know I'm the type of person who will happily make time for a 6 hour soup recipe (along with my father I once went through the two day process of making crispy aromatic duck with everything down to the pancakes made from scratch) but in my mind, something as simple as a brownie should not involve such an effort as melting the chocolate and carefully extracting them from the pan, not to mention the exact science of getting them perfectly cooked so they are not raw, but they are still gooey inside. No wonder Rose's infamous 'Slutty Brownies' are so popular; they not only contain so may things that are supposed to be terrible and calorific for you, but they are just so simple.
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When I originally came across this recipe for chocolate brownies made with just cocoa powder, not the usual obligatory melted solid chocolate on Food 52 I honestly did not think that it would work, or that it would simply not taste as good as your classic brownie. I don't actually have a go to brownie in my repertoire  so while I hoped these would work, I did not hold out much hope. Cocoa brownies, as my Twitter followers agreed with me when I voiced what I was trying on the afternoon of baking, tend to come out more like cake than brownie. However, as you have probably guessed by the fact I am now sharing this brownie recipe with you, they came out better than any brownie I had ever made before; dark, rich and crisp but slightly chewy on the outside, and gloriously gooey on the inside. The recipe is also deliciously low fuss. 
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As these brownies are rather rich and indulgent, while I did enjoy one after cutting and photographing while reading The Sunday Times on my iPad and drinking a tall glass of iced tea, I would recommend serving them with fresh berries and some creme fraiche as a decadent dessert. I think I'm also going to try baking the next time with fresh raspberries in the batter.



  • 150g (10 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter
  • 300g (1 1/4 cups) Caster Sugar (Granulated if you are in the USA)
  • 110g (3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp) Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs, straight from the fridge
  • 120g (1/2 cup) Plain (All Purpose) Flour


Step 1: Heat your oven to 160 degrees (325 Ferinheight). Place the butter, sugar, salt and cocoa powder in a medium to large heatproof bowl. A big pyrex mixing bowl is perfect for this; I am rather lost at the moment without the one in my mothers kitchen. They also cost about £6, and last literally forever unless you drop it. Place the bowl over a saucepan of hot water, simmering but not boiling so the bottom of the bowl is not sitting in water. Gradually stir every few minutes until the butter has melted and everything is combined. The mixture should be smooth, but slightly gritty. Set aside, off the water to cool.

Step 2: Line a 8 inch square tin with foil or good quality baking parchment while the mixture cools a little. Alternatively  you can buy a disposable foil brownie tray. Beat in the vanilla extract with a balloon whisk followed by the eggs one at a time until the mixture is smooth.

Step 3: Beat in the flour until the mixture is smooth and slightly glossy. Pour into the tin and bake on the bottom half of the oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and remove the foil and slice the brownies into 16 squares once completely cool.


Do you have a go to brownie recipe, or are you still looking out for one?

*Edit: I've created an updated version of this brownie recipe with a super gooey chocolate ganache filling here.*

30 comments:

  1. That looks so yummy!

    http://talisatalksbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/charles-worthington-salon-at-home.html

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  2. Hello, I live in the UK but I'd just like to say that I appreciate that you listed the ingredients in both grams and cups. I bake from a lot of American recipes and its a pain converting every ingredient into grams before I can start. The brownies look lovely and thanks for a fab post!

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  3. Oh wow, these look like heaven on a plate! Shamefully I usually resort to packet mix if I want my brownie fix, but I may have to try this recipe just to test the difference...

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  4. Brownies aren't really my go-to baked good, but I rarely bother with recipes that call for melted chocolate! It's just too much effort, haha.

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  5. these look delicious!


    I love your blog!

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  6. http://the-anonymous-foodie.blogspot.co.uk/

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  7. This sounds like a great recipe!

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  8. Oooh I'm always on the hunt for the perfect brownie - it's like the perfect pair of jeans, I always find a very close match but never the perfect one. Although this mix of recipes by Olivia is pretty damn good http://oliviaraejames.com/fail-proof-caramel-salted-brownies/ (actually that salted caramel on top of yours would be amazing.. right?!) xo

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  9. Tell me about it! Since moving out to America working conversions has been a total nightmare! I've also gained quite a few American cookbooks while I have been out here. Do you have an iPhone, iPod touch or an iPad because there is a great app called cooks companion that does all the weight and termprature conversions for you on a sliding scale - it has made my life so much easier over the past few months!

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  10. Let me know what you think - I promise homemade beats the packet anytime!

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  11. Ahh Tania thanks for sending me that link! The original Smitten Kitchen Salted Caramel Brownie recipe I actually in my Evernote binder to try at some star, but now thanks to you after I have tested my brownies with raspberries in, I am going to have to make another batch o test with that caramel on top..!

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  12. Sweet and simple, this is exactly how I like my recipes!

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  13. You're very welcome!! Oooh raspberry brownie sounds amazing! never tried that before! Let me know what it's like with the salted caramel on top! (I might have to try them again with your recipe!) x

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  14. Thx u jus completely saved my ass Rachel Phipps

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  15. I can almost taste the sweetness looking at the photos. www.waldosbarbeque.com

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  16. HI Rachel this is a really delicious recipe using white and milk chocolate buttons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC-Vg0mmh-o

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  17. Why granulated only for the usa?

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  18. Caster Sugar is better, but I found when I was living in Los Angeles it was either impossible to buy, or very expensive, and granulated sugar also works, just not as well.

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  19. Just tried a very 'special' version of these and they turned out great. Would recommend this recipe be placed High on your list of priorities ;)

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  20. This is the simplest and best brownie recipe I have ever come across! Thanks so much Rachel!!!

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  21. I'm so glad you like them! x

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  22. Fab recipe so say thank you Rachel *****

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  23. Made these but with gluten free flour for my grandma's birthday, they were brilliant :) thank you!

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  24. I'm glad that they were enjoyed, and it is good to know that they work gluten free!

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  25. Tried this with only 80g of cocoa, still massively chocolatey and a real hit at a dinner party with creme fraiche and fresh Scottish raspberries. Abs yummy and we only had a tiny piece each and lots left for puds in the week.....

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  26. I've totally wacked these out at a dinner party to a great reception, too. They're usually what I make as a second, alternative dessert in case people don't like/ want my centrepiece pudding, unless I've gone down the chocolate route for the main event.


    I'm interested that you used less cocoa, thanks for the measurement as a few people have told me they've used it with less to good effect. It is something I want to look into when I re-visit the recipe for one of my November columns.


    I'm so glad you enjoyed them x

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  27. I am fifteen, and from Pakistan, and dear Lord, have you not helped me? I love to cook, but unfortunately my brownie recipes were always a disaster, but since I saw this one, believe me I've made it several times and they are a triumph! I've even took it to school and it was AMAZING. Jbtw, I served it last time with whipped cream and they were just too good to be true. Love you <3

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  28. Hi Amna, I'm so glad this recipe was so helpful and you enjoyed them so much. Your comment really made my day! x

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  29. This will be my go to recipe

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