The dirtiest page in my cookbook. Brownies are so delicious, just ignore the fact that they are nearly half sugar. They will saturate your house with their caramelly, chocolatey smell. You can never be sure of the end result: will you need to scoop them out of the tin with a spoon, will they cut into neat pieces, or will the edges be hard and crunchy? Add nuts if you must – walnuts would make them slightly more grown up.
100 gr butter
75 gr plain chocolate with 70 percent cocoa solids
40 gr cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
225 gr soft brown sugar
50 gr self/raising flour
Grease a 17.5 cm square tin and put a piece of greaseproof paper in the bottom.
Cut the chocolate into hazlenut-sized chunks. Reserve 25 gr of it. Heat the remaining chocolate with the butter until just melted. (You can do this in a bowl in the microwave – check it every 30 seconds – or in a saucepan over a very low heat.) Stir in the cocoa powder.
Whisk the eggs, sugar and salt until very pale. This will take about 10 minutes.
Fold in the melted chocolate mixture with a large spoon.
Fold in the flour and chocolate pieces.
Bake at 180 degrees C for 30 – 40 minutes. The longer you leave them in the oven, the firmer they will get. Eventually, they can get bricklike. If you need to cut the brownies into neat pieces, let them get fairly firm and leave to cool completely. If looks are not an issue, eat them as squishy and hot as you like.
Serve with crème fraiche, cream or ice cream.