Faithful brownies


These are my fail-safe emergency brownies.  If I’m having company or have been asked to prepare something for guests at the last minute, this is usually my go to recipe.  It never, ever lets me down, is blissfully simple to prepare and the result is that perfect chewy, fudgy consistency inside and the mere hint of a crispy top.  I use one of those smart little tray bake tins (that allow you to separate the brownies into 12 little squares in the tin) but it works just as well in a single 9 x13-inch cake tin, lined with greaseproof paper.  If you use a tray bake tin you can reduce the cooking time by two or three minutes.

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  • 7½ ounces / 200g of 70% dark chocolate
  • 6 ounces / 175g unsalted butter
  • 11½ ounces / 325g caster sugar
  • 4½ ounces / 130g plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • icing sugar to dust over tops


Pre-heat the oven to 170°C / 325°F / gas mark 3.

Grate the chocolate.

Place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water but make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.

In the bowl, melt the chocolate and the butter together until smooth.

Take the bowl off the heat and add the sugar, stirring in well.

Add the flour and stir that in well.

Add the eggs and stir the whole mixture until it is thick and smooth.

Spoon the mixture into the tray.

Bake in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes so that it becomes flaked on top but still soft underneath.

Once out of the oven, allow the brownies to cool completely.

Finish off by dusting them with icing sugar.


Be careful not to overcook this. If overcooked, the edges become hard and crunchy.


The first ever published recipe for brownies appeared in the 1896 edition of the Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. These were made with molasses rather than chocolate, but the 1905 revised edition did include a chocolate brownie. In the USA, 8th December is National Brownie Day.

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The Naughty Cook is a digital cookery magazine packed with both healthy and indulgent recipes and is owned by Senlac Hill Publishing, UK.

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