Updated: Jun 3
Naughty, fudgy brownies.
Dark chocolate and Dutch Cocoa give these brownies extra rich chocolate flavour. Beating eggs with sugar and then adding chocolate and melted butter create beautiful fudgy texture. Brown butter, wholemeal spelt and pecans contribute to the extra nutty flavour. Unsifted wholemeal spelt and ground pecans add some extra texture to these brownies.
All in all - decadent, fudgy brownies with great texture and deep chocolate flavour.
For a good bake:
Good quality chocolate - use good quality chocolate with high Cocoa content (>70%).
Dutch Cocoa - alkalised cocoa - why it’s worth to use it in your brownies? In Dutch Cocoa the beans have been washed in alkaline solution which makes them less acidic, mellow in flavour, darker. Dutch Cocoa will also dissolve easier into liquid. All these qualities help to bake fudgy/dark/rich brownies. If you want to read more on the science behind it - here is a great article on Serious Eats.
Wholemeal spelt - don’t sift wholemeal bits (use it all) and go for medium wholemeal spelt (usually shop-bought spelt flour will have exactly that - medium, wholemeal texture). If you happen to have coarse wholemeal spelt - sift it before baking.
Caster sugar - it's white sugar which has been processed to achieve finer texture. If you don't have access to caster sugar - simply process white sugar in a grinder or food processor (one or two pulses is all that is needed here to achieve finer texture). Finer texture in caster sugar aerates eggs better to achieve fluffy brownie base.
Beating eggs with sugar - don’t take shortcuts and spend 5 minutes completing this step. Add sugar in small portions. Fluffy eggs will give you sound base for light and truly fudgy texture in your brownies (rather than pasty or sugary).
Brown butter - will add nutty flavour and extra shine to your brownies. Cooking butter for 8-9 minutes will give you the desired colour. For more flavour we are using golden fat speckles too (no need to strain browned butter - use it all, scrape the bottom of the pan to mix it in with melted butter). Watch not to burn the butter when browning.
Olive oil - using olive oil will add softness to your brownies. Also, will make cooled chocolate solids softer (brownie will be more enjoyable).
Touch of baking soda - added here for extra softness and airy texture. There is a tiny amount of soda added here (1/4 tsp). Depending on the type of chocolate you are using it may also knock back some acidity.
Baking tin - we are using square 20cmx20cm form for this bake. You can opt to use 22cmx32cm for thinner brownies (cut baking time to 28-30 minutes).
Baking temperature and time - knowing your oven’s actual working temperature is a key to any good chocolate bake. Baking temp here is 180C (and 160C for fan forced ovens). These brownies will bake into fudge goodness in 32-34 minutes. If you have kitchen thermometer - you know that these brownies are ready when your kitchen thermometer reads between 95-98C (inserted in the middle, not touching the bottom). If you like fudge middle you may opt to cool down brownies straight after baking - place hot tin for 3-5 minutes into a large tray filled with ice-cold water.
Storage - store in cool place for up to 7 days, covered loosely in cling film. Freeze: these brownies freeze well for up to 8 weeks. Double wrap cooled and set brownies in cling film, place in a freezer bag, date. When needed, thaw in the fridge overnight. You may opt to heat up your brownies for 3-4 minutes (180C/160C fan).
Yield: 16 brownies
Time: 25 min prep + 30-34 min baking
Tin: 20cm x 20cm
250g unsalted butter
300g dark chocolate (>70% Cocoa)
30ml light olive oil
80g wholemeal spelt flour
80g Dutch Cocoa
1/4 tsp (1g) baking soda
5 large eggs
250g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
1 and 1/4 tsp (6g) coarse sea salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced). Line baking tray with two criss-crossed pieces of parchment paper.
Brown butter. In a medium pot over medium heat brown butter: cook butter for 8-10 minutes. It will be ‘noisy’ at first and after some 6-7 minutes the butter will become ‘silent’, that’s how you will know that butter fat starts cooking. Cook for another 2-3 min until golden brown (little fat speckles will set at the bottom of the pot and brown - that’s your nutty flavour; watch not to burn but don’t stir excessively). When ready, scrape the golden bits from the bottom of the pot and mix with the rest of butter (you don’t need to strain - use everything). Set aside to cool.
Melt chocolate, set aside to cool. You will use at room temperature.
Mix flour with baking soda, Dutch Cocoa and sift (add wholemeal bits at the end if there are any leftover on the sifter). Grind pecans/walnuts and mix in with flour.
Prepare fluffy brownie base: Beat eggs for 1 minute until fluffy (whisk attachment or handheld mixer). Mix two sugars and start adding in portions. Beat eggs on high speed until sugar is fully incorporated - it will take about 5 minutes. At the end, add coarse salt and vanilla bean paste (or extract) and mix for few more seconds.
Combine: Mix melted chocolate with brown butter and olive oil and in a steady stream add to fluffy eggs mixing on high speed (whisk attachment or handheld mixer). This will take some 1-2 minutes to incorporate fully. As a last step add flour/Dutch Cocoa/pecans and gently mix only until combined (few swift moves, or use paddle attachment/handheld mixer, lowest speed). Pour batter into the tin - it will be fairly thick - spread evenly in the tin but don’t over-mix.
Bake at 180C (160C fan forced) for 30-34 minutes. If you are baking in 22x32cm tin - cut baking time to 28-30 minutes. When baked, wait for 10-15 minutes for brownies to set then remove from the tin and place on the cooling rack.