Chocolate, walnut and fudge brownies

It would be hard to say no to one of Sophie Grigsons brownies at any time, but they are an especially good dessert
By Sophie Grigson
Chocolate, walnut and fudge brownies
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 16-20
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the malted layer

  • 85 g unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Ovaltine
  • 75 g light muscovado sugar
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 75 g plain flour
  • 60 g walnuts

For the chocolate layer

  • 60 g good-quality dark chocolate, (at least 70% cocoa solids)
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 75 g plain flour
  • 60 g chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Line the base and sides of a 21-23 cm square cake tin with non-stick baking parchment, or butter and flour generously.

2. For the malted layer: melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, stir in the Ovaltine and muscovado sugar, then beat in the egg.

3. Sift over the flour, with a pinch of salt, and add the walnuts. Mix together quickly but not too efficiently! (You positively dont want to incorporate loads of air into the mixture, because youre making gooey brownies, not light-as-a-cloud cake.)

4. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and smooth down the top.

5. For the chocolate layer: melt the chocolate with the butter in a double boiler or bowl set over a pan of hot water (or you can use a microwave), taking care not to overheat.

6. Stir in the caster sugar, beat in the egg, then sift over the flour and a pinch of salt, and add the walnuts. Stir until just combined, without over-mixing the mixture.

7. Spoon dollops of the mixture on top of the malted layer, covering it as well as you can (but dont worry about the odd bit showing through here and there and around the edges), then smooth down.

8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until just barely set in the middle. Insert a skewer into the centre it should emerge with a few damp crumbs clinging to it (again, this isnt a cake as we know it). Don't cook for too long (that is the ruination of the divine brownie). Leave to cool in the pan (unless you are serving them warm, of course), then cut into squares and devour.

9. Those that dont get consumed instantly with unabashed gluttony will keep well in an airtight container.

Cooks note:
Sophie says: Serve the brownies as a pudding, still warm from the oven, with a big spoonful of crème fraiche, and sliced peaches marinated with a little sugar, lemon zest and a dash of lemon, or strawberries or raspberries.

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