Monday, December 3, 2012

The best brownie in the world?

Sin - that would be gluttony - never tasted so good

The best brownie in the world? 

Sometime earlier this year - I don't remember when, it's been a busy year - I needed to make something for a dinner party or a birthday, and came across a recipe in my recipe volumes I hadn't made before: twice cooked chocolate brownies.

Fudgy brownie goodness
The recipe came from an old issue of delicious. - November 2009, to be exact - from chef Ben O'Donoghue (you can also find the recipe here). It looked relatively easy, so thought I'd give it a try.

They're pretty easy to make - melt chocolate and butter; beat eggs, sugar and vanilla in Betty; pour in chocolate mixture; gently fold in flour and nuts; pour batter in to tin; bake until nearly cooked.

My goodness, they were good. Everyone else thought so, too. Ever since, these brownies have become legendary. I've made them a few times now - either for dinner parties or work colleagues - and the reactions I get each time range from ecstasy-inducing mumbles, to exclamations of how good they are. I like making people happy.

I made them for my friend Katy's dinner party recently and realised I had never blogged about them, but didn't want to until I had good photos. Then, last week, Katy had a busy week at work and I was cajoled (not that I needed much convincing) into making them again to cheer her up.

The result of taking them to work
I took them into work and this time I brought the camera with me. I should've taken photos of my colleagues' reactions when they realised what I'd brought in - some grinned and did little claps, others squealed with delight. But I stuck to photos of the brownies.

And, I seriously have to admit, they must be some of the best brownies I've ever made. They're rich, fudgy, with a hint of saltiness from a pinch of salt, and crunchy from the macadamias. Oh, and chocolatey. Very chocolatey. Lots of butter, lots of sugar and lots of chocolate. No-one ever said that something this sinfully good was good for you.

They're called twice cooked for a reason. While they're perfect as they are, you can take it to the next level by steaming them for dessert. I did this for the first time last night. I probably didn't steam them long enough to make them truly warm and fudgy, but no matter - with some vanilla icecream, it goes down really well as dessert.
Steamed up with icecream for dessert

Back to sharing them at work, and most people took seconds. I made the mistake of having two, one straight after the other. They're delicious, but spacing them out is recommended. While polishing off the first one, it prompted me to ask my colleague Alex - an American, and therefore perhaps considered an authority on the subject of brownies - whether she thought these were the best brownies in the world. She considered for a moment, before replying that she's had lots of different types of brownies, so it was hard to judge, but that these were pretty damn good.

From an American, that's good enough for me.

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