Dark, Dark Chocolate Brownies

Up until recently I never used to like brownies-mainly because the ones I had encountered were always cakey. Why not just have cake?! The perfect brownie to me has to be dense, gooey, chewy and preferably with a lovely crisp crackly top. None of this cakey milark. So now, I'm a bit of a brownie snob. I find myself pressing my face against the glass at shops/cafes scrutinising the look and texture of the chocolate brownies. There's nothing worse than buying one with your coffee and being disappointed- buying a brownie takes some serious contemplation, guys. If I'm going to sacrifice my diet for a brownie, it better be worth it!

The origin to my obsession began in my final year at uni when me and my friend were both showcasing our design work at the Free Range exhibition at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane in London. During lunch we took a trip to Old Spitalfields Market next door and for some reason I decided to buy a chocolate brownie- the life changing brownie. It was chewy and gooey, rich and oh so delicious. Each time I happen to pass Old Spitalfields when I visit London I'd always make sure I'd pay this stall a visit.

Having said that I have this quite specific taste for chewy brownies, I'm occasionally partial to a fudgy one. And this one definitely ticks the box. This is loosely based on a recipe I'd come up with after numerous experiments, but using melted Willie's Venezuelan Black Caranero Superior 100%. As the chocolate lacks the usual sugary sweetness you'd find in normal chocolate, I have increased the brown sugar slightly, and added a teaspoon of coffee granules in to enhance the cocoa flavour. Usually I'm a bit of a coffee snob when it comes to drinking coffee (instant=blergh!!) but surprisingly I much prefer to use instant/freeze dried coffee in baking. A chocolate brownie to me has to have actual melted chocolate in- the ones with just cocoa powder in just doesn't quite cut it for me and lacks depth in flavour. In addiction to the melted chocolate, I have also put in a couple of tablespoons of Cacoa Barry Extra Brute Cocoa Powder- this stuff is amazing, and totally unlike any of the products you find in the supermarket. The colour is dark, the flavour rich and intense. Buy some, you won't regret it! The overall result is a dense, fudgy brownie, rich but not sickly.

Yields 12 bars


100g butter
175g Willie's Venezuelan Black Caranero Superior 100% (or any other good quality high cocoa content chocolate)
145g brown sugar
70g caster sugar
100g plain flour
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder (I used Cacao Barry Extra Brute)


  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper (I used a 9 x 7" pan)
  3. Sift flour and salt together into a bowl and set aside
  4. In a heat proof bowl, melt butter and chocolate over a pan of simmering water. (Ensure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water)
  5. Once everything has been melted, take off the heat and mix in the vanilla extract, coffee granules and sugar until incorporated. Add eggs and egg yolk in one at a time, beating well in between each addition
  6. Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients and pour into your prepared baking tray.
  7. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middles comes out with a few crumbs. Do not overbake!
  8. Let the brownies cool thoroughly before cutting into bars. 
  9. Dust each bar with icing sugar, if you wish. Store brownies in an airtight container.

-These chocolate brownies are not as sweet as the conventional brownies you'd find in shops. If you find they need an extra bit of sweetness, you could always drizzle the top with regular chocolate, or frost with your favourite chocolate frosting


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Interior designer & part time baker. Lover of architecture, design and all things cute.