So, I thought I'd share my favourite Chocolate Brownie recipe. I think we got this recipe out of a Beaver (in England, they're young Scouts) annual, about 15 years ago, and my Mum and I have been making it frequently ever since. It's really chocolatey and gorgeously gooey, while still retaining a good cakey-ness. It's also so easy and, as I mentioned above, pretty foolproof.
The name 'Cheer Us Up Brownies' was coined by a friend of mine, when he added the recipe to the book my friends and family gave me for my 18th birthday. Judging how much they managed to cheer up a couple of very wet and bedraggled English teachers last night after they'd walked home in the storm, I'd say it's a pretty accurate name. Who can be sad when there's a chocolately mess to be devoured?!
If you want to make it into more of a dessert, serve them warm with cream or ice cream and some sort of berries (raspberries are best if you can get your hands on them). John and I just usually munch them as they are straight out of the
oven rice cooker. Don't expect them to last long.
(If you're using an oven, I suggest doubling the amount below. If you're using a rice cooker, this amount should be about right, but maybe cook in 2 batches if you have a really small one)
50g margarine or butter
50g dark chocolate (if you live in Japan, the best is to be bought at Daiso, 2 50g bars for your ¥100)
50g self raising flour OR 50g plain flour plus 1/2tsp baking powder
100g castor sugar
If you like your brownie really REALLY chocolately and gooey, add a tablespoon of cocoa powder and a splash of water.
If you want to be super indulgent, you can add 50g chocolate chips/chunks.
Some crazy people like walnuts in their brownie. They suggest 50g is a good amount. I suggest 0g is better.
Melt the chocolate and marg/butter together. Microwave fine, just use a low/medium heat and stir frequently.
Stir in all the other ingredients, plus any/all of the optional extras you fancy.
For those lucky enough to have an oven:
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4/350°F
Grease or line a baking tray, either about 7"x7" (15cm square) for the amount above or about 7"x11" (15cm x 22cm) if you followed my advice and doubled it.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife stuck into it comes out almost clean.
For those of us with rice cookers/bread makers:
Lightly grease the cooking tin. Pour the mixture in and cook until a knife stuck in comes out almost clean. On my machine, I set it going on rice cook, leave it through the cook and steam phase, then repeat. After 2 cycles it's perfect. I guess it'll vary with different machines though.
It might not win and beauty contests, especially when you have to kind of pour it out of the rice cooker bowl, but it tastes damn good.