The beloved brownie. Much coveted. Much practiced. Much failed, at times. Nothing disastrous…just not. quite. right. You know? I had long admired my friend Sandra’s efforts (well, all her baking efforts really, the woman is a machine) but knew that I had to perfect my own brownie skills to call myself any sort of home baker/farmers wife/feeder of shearers/slice maker for the local hall events.
So, after much experimentation, trial, error and tweaking…I think I’ve got it! I’ve been cranking out these brownies for awhile now for Matt’s lunchbox and to feed hungry shearers and shed staff. As our harvester driver Des says: “Did Emma make the brownies?!” I’ve had lots of requests for the brownie recipe, and I’m not that into keeping my recipes ‘secret’, more about passing on the love and paying it forward. So, here ’tis…
My Death By Brownies
125g butter, melted
300g brown sugar (it’s a lot)
45g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon hazelnut essence (I found mine at Aldi during a baking special sale)
140g self-raising flour
150g choc chips (I use white)
100g hazelnuts, roasted and roughly chopped
In a bowl combine the melted butter and brown sugar. Yes, it’s a lot of sugar – eep! Add in the cocoa, vanilla and hazelnut essence, eggs and flour. Mix either by hand vigorously or with an electric mixer/beaters until well combined. The mixture is very sticky and thick and can be difficult to work with due to all that brown sugar. Stir through the choc chips and chopped hazelnuts. Spread into a slice tin lined with baking paper, again difficult to work with but try and show it who’s boss! Bake at 160 degrees for 25-30 mins until top is beautifully cracked and delicious looking.
Let the brownie cool entirely before trying to slice, it’s very sticky and gooey, but that’s the idea. If it’s still too mixture-like and gooey, refrigerate for awhile. A small piece goes a long way! I dust mine with icing sugar too, because: more sugar. Eep again! The chunky hazelnuts and choc chips combined with the fudgey texture is my idea of the perfect brownie, not too cakey or floury, not too hedgehog-esque. This week I made a double batch of these for hungry shearers (although ironically they’ve now been rained off in our dryer-than-dry Summer?!) and I often am requested to make these for local hall events. A winner every time.