Sophie Grigson's chocolate and pecan brownies
Skill level: Easy peasy
Served hot out of the oven, these chocolate and pecan brownies are a real treat. Serve with raspberry sauce for a simple dessert.
- 110g (4oz) plain chocolate, broken into squares
- 110g (4oz) unsalted butter
- 125g (4oz) caster sugar
- 175g (6oz) light muscovado sugar
- 150g (5oz) plain flour
- Generous pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 110g (4oz) chopped pecans
One of the most important principle of brownie-making (apart from using tip-top quality chocolate) is this; unlike cake, it must never be cooked until a skewer comes out totally clean! Over-cooking produces an over-chewy brownie instead of an immorally fudgy one.
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC (325ºF, gas mark 3) and base-line a 20cm (8") square shallow baking tin.
- Put the chocolate and the butter into a bowl and melt gently over a pan of barely simmering water.
- Next, stir in the two sugars and the vanilla extract. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then mix in the flour, salt and the pecans. Don't overdo the mixing - a brownie batter is better if it's a little unevenly mixed. Remember, you don't want to get too much air into the mixture - think fudgy all the way.
- Scrape into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 25-35 mins until set but not solid. Cool in the tin, then cut into squares. If there are any squares that are not gobbled up within the next hour, store those in an airtight tin.
Serving suggestion: To turn your latest batch of brownies into a highly fashionable and wicked pudding, pile a couple of still warm squares of brownie onto each person's plate or into bowls. Top with a scoop of ice cream, and spoon over some freshly made raspberry sauce (rub fresh or thawed frozen raspberries through a sieve, stir in a good squeeze of lemon juice and sifted icing sugar to taste). Top with a few whole raspberries and hand round.
The UK's leading home baking company Dr. Oetker is supporting Breast Cancer Care's Strawberry Tea event through its exciting new initiative, Bakemap.co.uk. The interactive microsite will invite the nation to upload their much-loved recipes and create a virtual cake map of the UK and Ireland, as well as encouraging visitors to use their baking skills and create fantastic dishes for their Strawberry Tea event.