The brownie is one of those personal things, each of us enjoys something very particular about the perfect brownie & if it doesn’t have that one thing, well, then it’s not quite right.`
This one meets my version of the perfect brownie. Crackled top, fudgey middle, rich and decadent. It’s a beautiful treat & would make a wonderful dinner party dessert too. I like this recipe because it doesn’t have a ridiculously high amount of butter in it. I tend not to go for recipes with almost equal quantities of butter, sugar and chocolate as the base, they lack appeal. Maybe because they’re ‘too’ unhealthy? Who knows.
This recipe, I like! First things first, get your ingredients ready.
You start with butter, chocolate and vanilla, melted so it’s beautiful and glossy
Add your dark brown sugar
Prep everything else while the melted mix cools a little
Then add your eggs
Sifted flour, baking powder and salt, plus almond meal, if you like.
Now it’s time to add the good stuff, chopped, roasted almonds and dried cranberries.
Mix until combined
Then spoon into a tray and sprinkle with flake salt
Bake and see how long you can’t wait before trying some.
Slice & devour
Salted Dark Chocolate, Roasted Almond & Cranberry Brownies
Adapted slightly from Matt Preston’s Classic Chocolate Brownie
Makes 12 brownies
- 200g dark chocolate, I recommend Plaistowe 70%
- 120 butter
- 1 t vanilla essence
- 180g dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 150g plain flour
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 50g almond meal (optional)
- 60g roasted almonds
- 40g cranberries
- flake salt
- Preheat your oven to 170C or 150C fan forced.
- Grease and line a 9in x 12in baking tray with paper extending the long sides to assist with lifting it out once it’s baked.
- In a medium, microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate, butter and vanilla. Cook for 20-30 seconds on high, stirring and then cooking again until the chocolate has melted and you have a dark, glossy mixture.
- Stir in the dark brown sugar and mix well to dissolve. Set aside and chop your almonds.
- Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Once the chocolate mix has cooled to room temperature, add one egg and mix well before adding the other and mixing it in thoroughly.
- Sift the flour mixture into the chocolate mix and add the almond meal if you’re using it.
- Stir until just combined then add your chopped, roasted almonds and cranberries and mix gently.
- Spoon the brownie batter into the prepared tray and spread out evenly. Sprinkle lightly with flaked salt and pop it in the oven.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, checking after 20 minutes. When a skewer comes out a little sticky & fudgey, it’s done. If it’s still wet, give it a couple more minutes.
I saw a good tip once upon a time. Brownies can be tested by the resistance test you do on cakes, but instead of checking the middle of the brownie, you check about half way in from the side. If that has a little resistance, then you should be good to take it out of the oven. Remember – the best part of a brownie is that it’s slightly soft and chewy, you don’t want a sheet cake.
Note: Please use good, flake salt to sprinkle on top, you want a delicate salted flavour, not the harsh table salt flavour.