This recipe was a true invention on the spot for when me and my flatmates were all craving brownies one night. I just needed something sweet and chocolaty and rich and sticky and brownies were the only solution. In the end, I came up with my Double Chocolate Chunk Brownies.
I looked in my recipe books and online and for some reason, I just wasn’t feeling the recipes I was looking at. They all used lots of cocoa powder which I didn’t have much of and I wanted to use melted chocolate. This recipe was the result of a brownie craving and how fruitful that craving turned out to be.
Brownie purists may say that you should use brown sugar as the depth of flavour and moisture from brown sugar makes brownies extra rich, moist and soft. However I find that my recipe gives brownies that are perfectly moist with that signature crackly meringue crust (which comes from beating the mixture well after adding the eggs), contrasting with the gooey chewy centre with just normal granulated sugar.
I also use milk chocolate in this recipe. A purist would probably say that you have to use dark chocolate but I actually prefer the sweetness that milk chocolate provides here. Dark chocolate definitely has its place in certain recipes but here I want it to be sweet and not bitter. I add extra sweetness in the form of milk and white chocolate chunks (not chips, chunks are bigger than a chip and hold their structure unlike a chip that melts).
Nuts add an extra depth of flavour as well as some texture to a brownie. Walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts are common additions in brownie recipes. You can add chopped nuts into the brownie mixture along with the chocolate chunks or top the brownies with the nuts for an attractive decorative finish.
A fun way to customise brownies is to top the brownies in 4 different ways, for example placing salted peanuts, Smarties and Oreos in 3 of the 4 quarters to allow people the choice of which topping they want when serving.
150g margarine, plus extra for greasing
160g granulated sugar
100g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 small eggs
75g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
200g milk and white chocolate, chopped into chunks
1 tbsp roasted cacao nibs, optional
2 tbsp chopped toasted hazelnuts, optional
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 20cm square tin with a sheet of baking parchment, making sure it comes up at least one inch above the rim of the tin.
Place the margarine and granulated sugar into a large saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Once melted, add in the milk chocolate pieces, removing from the heat just before all the chocolate has melted. Stir to combine and set aside to cool slightly.
Once cooled, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition until even. When all 3 eggs have been added, add in the vanilla extract and beat for 45 seconds well.
Sift in the dry ingredients and fold through until incorporated. Add in the chopped chocolate chunks and the cacao nibs and any other optional extras you want. Fold through until well mixed and pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin. The batter will level itself out.
Bake the brownies for around 25 minutes until the surface is set, cracked and the brownies have risen slightly. An inserted skewer into the centre will come out almost clean. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin for 10 – 15 minutes before lifting out onto a wire rack to cool fully before slicing up into 16 squares.
Serve the brownies either on their own or with some whipped cream or ice cream for a luxurious dessert.