I’ve yet to meet anyone who likes being ‘basic’, but these brownies are pretty ‘basic’ as far as brownies go and I’m thankful every day for their glorious existence.
Perhaps we shouldn’t call these brownies ‘basic’. I reckon they’re more ‘foundation’ brownies, in that once you’ve mastered how to make an excellent batch of brownies, you can have confidence that they’re going to taste good regardless of how you want to experiment with them afterwards. The original recipe was to make a chocolate brownie fudge cake. Yes, a cake. A definite crowd pleaser. But sometimes brownies in bite sized portions are a little more manageable, on the waistline and for non-sharing purposes (the paradox is not lost on me!).
I’ve tried quite a few different brownie recipes and the results have varied. Some recipes have yielded great results, but I thought took too long to make. Some were easy, but often saw the brownie turn out more cake-like than fudgy, even though the flavour was pleasing. I feel however, that perhaps my quest for a go-to ‘basic brownie’ recipe is now coming to a close thanks to this recipe.
My baking pan dimensions were approximately 16cm x 25cm (6 x 9 inches) and I had these brownies in the oven for about 35 minutes. I encourage people to check their brownies 5 minutes before the total baking time is up with a toothpick into the centre and observing if a few moist crumbs pulled away with the toothpick. If that happens, then your brownies are most likely done! It’s important not to overcook the brownie mixture unless you like brownies dry and cakey, which I don’t suppose most people would like.
What I’ve found when it comes to making good tasting fudgy brownies is to use actual chocolate, and good quality chocolate at that. There is no amount of sugar or cheap alternatives that can really act as a substitute for brownies that are primarily meant to be chocolate/cocoa flavoured.
This recipe requires no electric mixers of any kind, but it does require you prepare a bain-marie (or something like it) to melt the butter and chocolate together. All brownie recipes I’ve come across also require the brownies to be left alone to cool to room temperature so then the brownie doesn’t come apart, so try to exercise some patience as that happens! I’ve also followed suggestions put forward by bakers and put cooled brownies into the refrigerator overnight before taking them out the next day and cutting them into slices. Overall it means I bite into a much denser brownie.
Basic Chocolate Fudge Brownies
Adapted from taste.com.au
125g butter, chopped
300g good quality dark chocolate
3/4 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup plain flour, sifted
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
Cocoa powder, to dust (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 170°C/ 150°C fan forced (338°F/302°F fan forced). Line a 16x 25cm (6×9 inch) baking tray* with parchment paper, leaving enough paper over the sides for easy lifting when the brownies are done.
2. Place butter and chocolate into a large heatproof bowl. Fill a saucepan 1/3 of the way with water, bringing to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and place heatproof bowl over the saucepan, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Using a spoon, constantly stir butter and chocolate until smooth and combined. Take off heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. Combine/whisk together sugar, flour and cocoa together in a large bowl. Lightly whisk eggs together before adding to the dry mixture in 3 additions, mixing until just combined after each addition.
4. Add in chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Pour mixture into prepared pan, smoothing the surface with the back of a spoon or spatula. Bake until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with a few crumbs clinging*. Cool completely in pan. For a more dense brownie, place cooled and uncut brownies in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before cutting and serving the next day. Dust with cocoa powder should you wish!
*Baking times will vary depending on the size of the tray.
Here are some suggested baking times for different baking pans:
–20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch): 30-35 minutes.
–16x 25cm (6 x 9 inch): 30-35 minutes
–25cm x 33cm (9 x 13 inch): 35-45 minutes
If you have any questions regarding anything I’ve posted, then please feel free to leave a comment below or contact me! 🙂