The subject of this month's Sweet and Simple Bakes challenge is the much-loved chocolate brownie and the recipe we have used is Nigella Lawson's Snow-Flecked Brownies, as seen in Feast.
The chocolate brownie must be one of my top five all-time favourite cakes. It's a classic and surely epitomises everything the perfect cake should be - simple but indulgent, a rich combination of cakeiness and fudginess that is as at home on a dinner party table as it is served up for afternoon tea.
I've come across a number of brownie recipes in my time, some of which are merely slightly embellished chocolate cake recipes. Don't be fooled - a brownie recipe should contain substantially more eggs and chocolate (dark, 70% of course) than your average cake otherwise you are not going to get that dark squidgy centre.
So does this recipe beat my previous favourite? Nigel Slater's brownie recipe, from his Kitchen Diaries, has been my first choice for some time now and I have to say it stills just wins the day by a small margin. The recipes aren't dissimilar however Nigel cuts back on the proportion of eggs and flour and adds a bit of cocoa so you end up with a more chocolatey brownie. Don't get me wrong though, these brownies more than satisfied my need for something indulgent and I do like the aesthetically pleasing addition of icing sugar, especially at this time of year, when anything even faintly festive rings my bell.
The recipe can be found here. You should note that this makes a LOT of brownies. I halved the quantity and ended up with 14 perfectly sized squares. Oh, and if you want your pieces of white chocolate to maintain their shape and not melt into slushy streaks then you might want to leave the mix to cool a while before mixing it in.