Brownies to die for

I won’t say that these brownies are the best ever. I would never say that anyone’s brownies are the best ever. I think that the world has room enough for a truckload of spectacular brownies, and I’m writing as one who has tried a comprehensive range; nutty, chewy, studded with white chocolate, or milk chocolate, or both; my love of brownies encompasses them all.  I will say though, that these brownies meet all my criteria for what makes this chocolate dessert truly divine. Intense and dark, gooey and oozy in the middle, and with chunks of liquid chocolate as a surprise in almost every mouthful. They are best eaten when still warm, with a spoonful of thick cream and an espresso on the side. Do not let a single guilty thought enter your mind. Just enjoy the moment and hit the gym tomorrow.

Makes 16 brownies

200g butter
160g brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
3 eggs
300g best quality dark chocolate – 200g melted and 100g chopped into bite-sized pieces
150g self-raising flour
1 tablespoon cocoa

Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin. Preheat the oven to 150 C. Cream the butter, brown sugar, vanilla and a pinch of sea salt, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Stir in the melted chocolate and then the flour and cocoa. Pour the mixture into the tin and then stud evenly with the pieces of chocolate, pushing them almost all the way into the mixture. Place in the oven and bake for around 25 minutes, when the brownies will be just cooked in the middle. Resist the temptation to leave them in the oven longer. They will set a little more as they cool and the best brownies are gooey brownies. Cool slightly in the tin before cutting into 16 slices.