First things first. If you’re on any sort of health kick/ sugar free diet/ trying to be good, then sorry but it might just be best to back away from the screen slowly and forget you ever saw these brownies. Because yes, they taste UNBELIEVABLY good, but also yes, there is no part of them that is anything other than UNBELIEVABLY indulgent.
You know those brownie recipes that feature dark chocolate and sea salt and somehow proceed to tell you they are sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, everything free, and can even count as one of your five a day? Yeah, this isn’t one of those recipes. These do contain dark chocolate and sea salt, but they also contain pretty much everything else that is deemed bad for you and are no doubt calorific as hell (I’m sure as hell not going to find out, are you?). I very nearly had a heart attack (Er… before I’d even eaten one) when I finally did the math and managed to convert the butter and sugar quantities into grams, to find that yes, they did in fact require an ENTIRE block of butter and a whole bag of sugar.
BUT, and it’s a big but, damn they’re good. Like so, so, SO good. So rich, and sticky and – blow your head off – sugar high, that really one tiny square is enough. So make a batch, and then deal them out between everyone you know unless you want to find yourself in a state of chocolate brownie hangover one afternoon and barely unable to move from the sofa (I’m guessing of course, this definitely didn’t happen to me ;-))
Anyway as you can probably guess, these brownies have been adapted from an American recipe (this one from Broma Bakery, if you’d like to follow the original version – I love everything she does!), although it took me three attempts to get them just right (I’m guessing to do with quantity conversions not matching up, the fact our oven gets super hot super quickly and my desire to use up some dark chocolate which had been in my baking cupboard too long) and in doing so, I’ve changed them up a fair bit to suit my own tastes. This is my favourite type of baking to be honest. I’m not enough of a culinary expert to develop recipes entirely without direction (unless it’s something I’ve baked a good few times before) so I usually start by finding a recipe I like the look of (and have the ingredients for) and then work from there, improvising as I go.
Although the original recipe for these looked UH-MAY-ZING, I found myself deviating from it a fair bit for a few reasons;
1. Because I really, really couldn’t bring myself to use an entire block of butter and a whole 500g bag of sugar in ONE batch of brownies (especially when I made them three times!). I remember following a Martha Stewart recipe online for a cake once before and getting myself in a right state because I was convinced that the sugar quantities must be wrong. But nope, just a really sugary cake, so I think this is just the fact that it’s an American recipe and they take brownie making pretty seriously.
2. Because the recipe I followed uses cups, and if there’s one thing I really can’t be doing with when following a recipe, it’s attempting to put my Standard Grade Maths head back on to convert things. I can’t be the only one? I’m always so disappointed when I find a recipe I really want to try and realise everything is measured in cups – I’m never convinced the conversions are quite right and the finished result is always a but hit and miss as a result. A cup of butter? How does that even make sense?? PLEASE U.S bakers, do us a huge favour and give your UK readers a grams/ounzes conversion???
3. Because my oven is a disaster and the first batch burnt to a blackened crisp, the second batch were about 5 minutes away from perfect and finally with my third batch, I got my gooey centre.
Yeah, so with my unintentional improvisation/third time lucky approach, I think I’ve kind of ended up with a pretty tasty brownie recipe, and thought I’d share with you all…
Here goes (enjoy your trip down a gooey chocolate brownie filled rabbit hole, my friends…)
Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Fudge Brownies (adapted from Broma Bakery)
What you’ll need
125g of salted butter
275g of light brown sugar
3 large eggs
110g cocoa (I used rich dark cocoa but adapt to suit your taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
small sprinkling of sea salt (I just sprinkled on top but feel free to do within mixture too depending on how salty you like them)
250g dark chocolate cut into chunks
How it’s done
- 1. Preheat your oven to 200C and line a deep dish square tin with greaseproof paper
2. Begin by making the fudge base (this is what should make the brownies super sticky and gooey). Beat the sugar and butter together in a microwavable bowl until blended then microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and whisk until it comes together into a sauce then repeat the process twice more. After the third microwave and whisk you should have what resembles a toffee sauce.
3. Allow to cool slightly before adding the eggs one by one, and whisking each time. I found three eggs to be best to avoid the mix becoming too dry once the cocoa and chocolate were added but if you have especially big eggs then two might be enough.
4. Add the cocoa, vanilla essence and salt if required and fold together.
5. Cut your dark chocolate into chunks and fold evenly into the mixture.
6. Pour the mixture into your baking tin, sprinkling some sea salt chunks and more chocolate over the top before placing into the middle shelf of your oven.
7. Bake for ten minutes (ok so the original recipe said 40, mine took less than ten so this really will depend on your oven – I suggest watching them like a hawk and removing once springy, slightly crispy on the top and still ever so slightly gooey in the middle when you stick a fork in. They will harden and dry a little more once out of the oven so I suggest better to err on the gooey side rather than waiting until your fork is fully clean but of course again this depends on your own brownie preferences).
8. Slice into small squares and dive straight in while still hot for that gooey, melted chocolate indulgence!
I’d love to hear how you get on if you try these (or if you manage to perfect the recipe any more than I have)! I’m banning myself from making another batch for at least a month, because I fear I might just sit and demolish the whole lot the minute they emerge from the oven.
P.S don’t forget that you can also join my baking club if you love a foodie challenge – we’re getting started again this month and the newsletter will be in your inboxes by Wednesday of this week so stay tuned!