Simply The Best Chocolate Brownie

Simply The Best Chocolate Brownie

Serves 12

2 ounces (56 g.) plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 ounces (42 g.) plus 1 teaspoon plain flour
1 ounce (28 g.) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 salt
3 ounces (85 g.) unsweetened chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce (14 g.) pieces
2 ounces (56 g.) plain chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce (14 g.) pieces
3 eggs
8 ounces (227 g.) caster sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
2 ounces (56 g.) sour cream


Simply The Best Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chunk Brownie:
8 ounces (227 g.) plain chocolate, chopped into 1/4-inch chunks
8 ounces (227 g.) raw, unsalted macadamia nuts

Simply The Best Peanut Raisin Chocolate Brownie:
9 ounces (225 g.) raisins
7 ounces (200 g.) unsalted, shelled, toasted Virginia peanuts


Equipment:
Measuring spoons, 9- by 9- by 2-inch square cake tin, sieve, greaseproof paper, double boiler, cling film, whisk, electric mixer with balloon whisk, rubber spatula, serrated slicer.


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (170 degrees C/Gas 3).

Lightly coat a 9- by 9- by 2-inch square cake tin with 1 teaspoon of butter, then flour the tin with 1 teaspoon flour, shaking out the excess.

Sift together the remaining 1 1/2 ounces (42 g.) flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt onto the greaseproof paper. Set aside.

Heat 1 inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium-high heat. Place the 3 (85 g.) ounces unsweetened chocolate, remaining 2 ounces (56 g.) of butter, and 2 ounces (56 g.) plain chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with cling film. Heat for 4 1/2 to 5 minutes, remove from the heat, and stir until smooth.

Place the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whisk. Mix on high until slightly thickened, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and mix on medium for 30 seconds. Add the sifted ingredients, mix on low for 10 seconds, then on medium for 10 seconds. Add the sour cream and mix on medium for 5 seconds.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to combine thoroughly (also add and combine 4 ounces (113 g.) of chocolate chunks if making the Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chunk Brownie, or the raisins if making the Peanut Raisin Chocolate Brownie).

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin, spreading evenly, including the corners. (If making the Macadamia Nut Chocolate Brownie, sprinkle the macadamia nuts and the remaining chocolate chunks evenly over the batter, or if making the Peanut Raisin Chocolate Brownie, sprinkle the peanuts evenly over the batter.) Bake in the preheated oven until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 40 minutes (bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer if making either one of the brownie varieties).

Remove the brownies from the oven and allow to cool in the tin at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. Use a serrated slicer to cut into 12 portions.


Note:
Because of the chocolate chunks, a toothpick inserted in the centre of the Simply The Best Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chunk Brownies will probably not come out clean no matter how long you bake the brownies. Pull them out of the oven after 50 minutes baking time.

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