Cocoa brownies

Good cocoa powder, browned butter and muscovado sugar give these rather grown-up brownies an intensely chocolate-y depth of flavour. Add walnuts or chocolate chunks to the batter at the end if you like, or leave them in their pure state – both taste delicious. Makes 16.
  1. 170g butter
  2. 200g caster sugar
  3. 100g light muscovado sugar
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 100g cocoa powder
  7. 50g plain flour
  8. ¼ tsp salt
  9. 100g walnut halves or chopped chocolate (optional)

Heat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Lightly grease a 22cm x 22cm x 5cm brownie tin and line with two strips of baking parchment. Let the strips hang over the sides of the tin by about 8cm – this'll make the brownies easier to remove when they're cooked.

Place the butter in a medium-size saucepan and melt it over a medium heat until it turns golden brown and smells slightly sweet and nutty. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, and using an electric hand mixer, beat together the sugars and eggs until very thick and glossy – when you lift up the beaters, a ribbon of batter should stay on the surface of the mixture for several seconds. Beat in the vanilla and the browned butter.

Sift together the cocoa, flour and salt into a separate bowl. Gently fold this into the batter with a spatula, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the walnuts or chocolate chunks, if using, and scrape into the prepared tin with a spatula.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the middle of the brownies with a few moist crumbs attached. Place the tin on a rack and let the brownies cool completely. Lift them out of the tin with the parchment and cut into 16 squares.

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