Easter is a fairly horrendous time of year for anyone trying to lose a few pounds. For a nation struggling with an obesity problem, I find it somewhat ironic that you can’t move for chocolate at this time of year. Every shop is laden. And not just the supermarkets. Clothes shops. Chemists. Even home improvement shops. The Malteaster Bunnies were throwing themselves into my basket in Homebase. Honestly. There’s no escape.
Facebook and Pinterest are awash with Easter treats you can make at home. I can’t log in to Facebook without seeing some ridiculously luscious looking baked creation, dripping in chocolate and Easter eggs. This is doing my battle with the bulge no good at all. So bollocks to it. If you can’t beat them, join them.
This brownie is very rich and chocolatey. If you’re more a ‘lightweight’ brownie kind of person, these may not be for you. But they’re gooey. And fudgy. And very very chocolatey. So if that’s how you like your brownies, you should give these a whirl. And I’ve chucked some mini chocolate Easter eggs in to make them seasonal.
200g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa)
250g unsalted butter
300g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
65g plain flour
65g cocoa, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
about 16 mini chocolate eggs
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan) / 350°F / Gas 4.
2. Line and grease a 9″ square tin (or equivalent) – I used my silicon tin so I didn’t have to line it, just grease it (with groundnut oil, but butter is good too). By ‘line it’, just plonk a piece of greaseproof paper in the tray. Don’t bother cutting anything.
3. Melt the dark chocolate either in the microwave (in 30 second bursts, stirring in between) or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (bain marie).
4. Beat the butter with the sugar until pale and creamy – I used my hand mixer for this.
5. Crack in the eggs and beat again to combine.
6. Gently fold into this the melted chocolate plus the vanilla extract.
7. Fold in the flour, cocoa and baking powder.
This is a really thick mixture. It isn’t a runny brownie mix at all. It’s also extremely chocolatey.
8. Spoon half of the mixture into your prepared tin. I’ll not lie, this isn’t the easiest job. The mixture is very thick, and doesn’t really want to be spread out.
9. Remove the foil from all of your mini eggs (sorry if this seems obvious, but just in case, you never know…) and arrange them over the brownie layer in the tin. I used 16 and arranged them fairly regularly. You can arrange them however you like. I used the mixed bags of Cadbury eggs, but use whatever you fancy.
Then dot the remainder of the brownie mix over the mini eggs and smooth it out so the eggs are covered. It’ll look a bit bumpy, but that’s ok.
10. Pop the brownie into your preheated oven for 30 minutes (no more, no less – there’s no checking for done-ness here, simply remove it after exactly 30 minutes). Take it out of the oven and let it cool completely, in the tin.
Once it has cooled, pop it into the fridge for at least an hour – it needs this time in the fridge to bring it together so you can then cut it into squares.
11. Remove the brownie from the tin and cut into squares.
I make these brownies for the Husband who has a real soft spot for them. I’ll then find brownie crumbs all over the house every time he’s been into the box. He’s hardly subtle.
You can use this brownie recipe and chuck anything in to it. The rest of the year I add 100g chopped milk chocolate, and 100g chopped white chocolate. I love it with huge chunks of chocolate throughout. I hope you like it too.