In the beginning…there were brownies

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Hellooo…writing this feels somewhat akin to shouting into the ether – only to hear my own, mocking echo reverberating around my ears. Notwithstanding factors such as having a miniscule readership and being about half a decade too late, I have, after years, many years, of saying I’m going to start a blog finally taken the plunge.

Feeling slightly daunted, I will mainly be writing about the food I prepare for Mr Jolly Good Egg and the Hatchlings. I’ll be including both the successes and the failures and highlighting suspected reasons for the particularly outstanding flops (i.e. my own folly – or an inherent flaw in the recipe), plus suggestions for improvements and tweaks.

And now for the brownies, because they’re always welcome, right?

This is my go-to brownie recipe; undemanding and handy for when you only have a few basic ingredients in the cupboard, but still fancy something warm and chocolately in a hurry. It’s also effortlessly adaptable – you can, and I frequently do, add chopped walnuts, mini marshmallows, swirl peanut butter into the mix – the list goes on. You can also omit the coffee, but I rather love the smoky depth it lends to what is, essentially, an uber simple, basic brownie batter.

Ingredients

150g butter

250g caster sugar

150g brown sugar (dark or light depending on preference – or what you happen to have)

2 eggs

50g cocoa powder

250g plain flour

2 scant teaspoons baking powder

1 heaped teaspoon instant coffee dissolved in a splash of hot water (or, even better, the equivalent of freshly brewed coffee)

150-200g chopped chocolate

Method

Preheat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4/350F

Grease and line the tin with baking parchment – or use one of those teflon sheets. Don’t omit this step or your brownies will, frustratingly, be stuck in the pan.

In a saucepan, gradually heat the butter and the sugars until dissolved – add the coffee. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Add the eggs and mix in the flour, baking powder and cocoa. Add the chopped chocolate; stir briskly and pour batter into the awaiting tin. Bake for around 40 minutes (I say around 40 mins because it’ll vary quite a bit depending upon your own oven’s idiosyncrasies, etc. What you’re looking for is a crispy, crackly top that’s moist and fudgy beneath. Test by inserting a cocktail stick, skewer, etc into the brownie – you want to see slightly damp batter clinging to your implement of choice. Don’t take it out of the oven whilst it’s still a chocolate puddle, but do bear in mind that it will continue to cook as it cools).

Particularly nice eaten whilst it still has the lingering memory of the oven’s warmth, but they’re still lovely when cool.

This recipe also halves perfectly if your family is less gannet-like than mine.

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