300g good quality chocolate (I use a milk chocolate with about 35% cocoa solids such as Whitaker’s or Green & Blacks)
50g cocoa powder (sifted)
200g caster sugar
100g chopped pecans (or walnuts)
Icing sugar (for dusting)
A brownie tin, approx 20.5 x 25.5cm greased and base lined
1) Preheat oven to 180C (350F) Gas 4. Break up the chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl with the butter. Set the bowl over a pot of boiling water and melt gently, stirring frequently. (If you don’t have a heatproof bowl, use 2 pots which sit on top of each other – smaller pot underneath). Remove the bowl from the pot and stir in the cocoa. Set aside until needed.
2) Break eggs into a mixing bowl and beat well with a whisk or an electric mixer. Add the sugar and whisk thoroughly until light and frothy.
3) Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold in the chocolate mixture followed by the nuts. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin.
4)Bake in preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes until the top of the brownie is just firm to the touch but the center is still soft. Note that slightly under cooking is vital to avoid a crumbly texture.
5) Leave to cool for 10 minutes before carefully removing from the tin. Dust with icing sugar before cutting into 12 pieces.
Serve warm or at room temperature with a generous spoonful of vanilla ice cream, cream or cream fraiche. They are also delicious with ice cream or cream and some berry coulee. Once cool, store in an airtight container and eat within 4 days (if they last that long!)
– Nicola Croft