Brownie Recipes From Scratch
Cooking and Yield
- 20 minutes
- 30-35 minutes (plus cooling time)
- 12 generously sized brownie squares.
Chocolate brownies are my favourite accompaniment to a cup of tea in the afternoon. I am also quite partial to a brownie, ice-cream and double cream combo for dessert! Brownie's for breakfast is pushing it but I have had them for elevenses many times before! I tend to make them in their naughtiest form although as I write this I am intermittently munching on a beetroot brownie, topped with cream and fresh raspberries feeling slightly smug that I am adding to my 5 a day whilst eating chocolaty scruminess! Yes it comes with a shed load of sugar but if you are going to sit and eat biscuits and cakes all day anyway it's a good place to whack in a bit of fruit and veg, especially if it enhances the flavour and fresh raspberries really do that. I highly recommend adding them to your brownies!
In this hub I divulge to you my ultimate chocolate brownie recipe (the naughty) vs a beetroot brownie recipe (the nice) and a super simple brownie recipe thrown in for good measure as well as some substitution suggestions.
Ultimate Chocolate Brownie Recipe
- 175g (0.75 cups) unsalted butter, chopped. Plus a little for greasing.
- 100g (0.6 cups) 70% cocoa, dark chocolate
- 50g (0.3 cups) milk chocolate (I use Cadbury's)
- 3 medium eggs
- 300g caster sugar/1.5 cups of superfine sugar
- 75g (0.75 cups) plain flour
- 25g (0.25 cups) cocoa, 15g (0.15 cups) drinking chocolate (I use Cadbury's Hot Chocolate and Green and Black's Cocoa)
- Icing sugar
If you want to simplify the recipe or don't have milk chocolate and/or hot chocolate available use 250g dark chocolate and 40g cocoa.
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 180 C (160 for fan oven).
- Lightly line and grease an 8 inch square tin (or similar).
- Melt the butter and chocolate together using a heat proof bowl resting in a saucepan of simmering water. Ensure that the bowl does not quite touch the water.
- When you are certain all that remains is a smooth, chocolaty liquid take the bowl off the saucepan and leave it to cool for about 20 minutes.
- Beat the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl using an electric whisk. This should take about 5 or so minutes. The mixture should be thick and mousse like.
- Add the cooled, melted chocolate to the mousse-like mixture, folding it all together using a large metal spoon.
- Sift in the flour, cocoa, hot chocolate powder and a pinch of sea salt and fold together until all the powder has been completely absorbed.
- Depending on your oven you may want to put a bit of lining paper over the brownies halfway through cooking to avoid burning the top. I use dried pasta to weigh it down.
- Pour the mixture into the tin, scraping out the dregs. Level out with a spatula or similar so that the brownie cooks evenly and doesn’t end up wonky around the edges.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes. Check that there is very little wobble when you shake the tin, if there is a lot of movement put back in for a few more minutes.
- Cool completely in the tin before taking out.
- Dust with icing sugar if desired.
- Scatter fresh raspberries over for presentation and add more to serve.
- Note that you can push raspberries into the mixture before baking the brownies if preferred. Personally I like them cool and fresh.
|Serving size: 2 x 3 inch|
|Calories from Fat||162|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 18 g||28%|
|Carbohydrates 34 g||11%|
|Sugar 28 g|
|Protein 4 g||8%|
|Sodium 68 mg||3%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
- It is better to undercook than overcook the brownies, they are meant to be slightly moist and can be ruined by just a few seconds too many in the oven. Sometimes I have been overcautious and underdone them slightly too much but if you keep them in an airtight container for a while they do tend to firm up, keeping that gorgeous gooey centre and are absolutely delicious.
- Personally I prefer them without but if you like that sort of thing feel free to stir in a handful of chocolate chips before cooking.
- Note that the nutrition information is purely for the brownie and doesn't include any extras like icing sugar, raspberries, cream etc!
Cooking and Yield
- 20 minutes
- 25-30 minutes (plus cooling time)
- 12 generously sized brownie squares.
- Using wholewheat flour makes for a denser brownie but the extra moisture from the beetroot helps retain the moistness of the brownies.
- Avoid over mixing especially when using wholewheat flour as too much mixing will cause the flour to form gluten.
- Sea salt compliments the chocolate and really brings out the flavour to get your taste buds going.
These beetroot brownies taste great, to taste them you wouldn't know they were made with beetroot. In fact even when you're eating them you have to really look to see the bits of beetroot which is surprising as it looks like loads is going in when you add the beets to the mixture. Interesting to note that in terms of calories and fat they are about the same (slightly higher) than the ultimate brownies but they do have the added bonus that they are bursting with beetroot goodness.
- 200g (0.85 cups) unsalted butter, chopped
- 200g (1.15 cups) 70% cocoa, dark chocolate
- 3 medium eggs
- 200g caster sugar/1 cup superfine sugar
- Pinch of sea salt (optional)
- 125g (1.25 cups) self-raising flour (wholemeal or else white)
- 200g (1.5 cups) cooked and grated beetroot
- Boil 2-3 medium sized beetroots, let them cool then peel and grate them.
- Top, tail and peel 2-3 beetroots. Half or quarter them so they cook more quickly, put them in a bowl with a splash of water, cover and cook in the microwave on a high heat for about 5-8 minutes or until tender. Cool. Grate.
- Buy ready cooked ones. If you buy them ready to grate then make sure nothing has been added.
In brief as the bulk of the process is identical to the ultimate brownies.
- Line and grease an 8 inch baking tin.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C (160 for fan).
- Melt the butter and the chocolate in a bowl of a pan of barely boiling water. Let it cool.
- Whisk the egg and sugar together for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the melted chocolate to the mixture, stirring until combined completely.
- Add the salt to the flour and sieve in, folding together delicately using a metal spoon.
- Add the grated beetroot.
- Do not over mix!
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
- Bake for approximately 25 minutes.
- Skewer the centre to check it has been cooked sufficiently.
- Beware of over cooking!
- Leave in the tin to cool before serving.
- Agave Nectar is a sweetener made from several species of agave plant. Note as an aside that the agave plant is used to make tequila. Agave nectar is a bit like maple syrup but not quite as runny.
- Wholewheat or white wholewheat flour for white flour. You can use 3/4 of the amount of butter if you use wholewheat flour. See flour note below for further details.
- Use the egg whites only if you are watching your cholesterol. 1 egg = 2 egg whites. The resultant brownie will be less tender and drier. As a compromise you could try replacing 2 eggs with whites and keep one whole egg in the recipe.
- Agave nectar instead of sugar. Use about 3/4 of the amount. Agave Nectar is now a popular substitute for sugar but before you decide to use it perhaps read this article: www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401166/Whats-Wrong-with-Agave-Nectar.html
Try This Super Fast Brownie in a Mug
These are ridiculously fast to make. They aren't quite up to the standard of a full blown brownie but if you are suddenly overcome by an unshakable brownie craving or are hit with a dessert emergency then this is the way to go!
You may want to adjust and experiment with quantities depending on your mug size. I initially had a weenie brownie that didn't quite fill the mug followed by one that spilled over the edge!
- 6 tablespoons hot chocolate mix
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Add the hot chocolate powder and flour to a mug and mix together.
- Stir in the melted butter, water and vanilla until all the ingredients are combined.
- Microwave on high for 60 seconds and assess the situation. The middle should still be gooey and wet and the edge cooked. If it isn't quite there cook for another 10 seconds and check again. Repeat if necessary.
- Let the mug of brownie cool for a good few minutes as it will be burning hot!
Fat and Calorie Comparison
Ultimate Indulgent Brownie
Brownie in a Cup
A Note About Flour
- Wholemeal flour is better for you as it contains more fibre this is because it is made from grains that have not undergone heavy processing and refinement. More details about flour differences can be found here: healthyeating.sfgate.com/healthy-wholewheat-flour-vs-white-3305.html
- Wholemeal (whole wheat) flour will make your brownie denser and heavier than plain flour. You should use about 3/4 of the amount and add slightly less butter (about 15-25% less). This applies to cookies and brownies. For your information for cakes you should add a touch more liquid, a tablespoon or so should do it.
- Sift the whole wheat flour at least a couple of times to incorporate more air and make the end result slightly less dense.
- Avoid over mixing as too much stirring will cause the flour to form glutens which results in a tougher, chewier end product.
- You could try substituting only part of the flour for wholewheat to get a lighter, less dense brownie.
- An interesting article on wholewheat/white wholewheat: www.thekitchn.com/good-question-substituting-whi-85111
Brownies are a very adaptable, absolutely delectable dish that I thoroughly enjoy making, sharing and consuming. I hope you too get some pleasure out of these recipes!