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30 mins to 1 hour
10 to 30 mins
When I was eight, chocolate brownies were my life. I scoured the local shops on my bike, looking for gainful employment to support my chocolate brownie habit. The ironmonger’s wife took pity on me and offered me a job paying £1 an hour to iron their smalls and sheets. After two hours I had enough cash to buy a couple of brownies, plus change for some sherbet lemons on the way home. It was worth every crease!
Equipment and preparation: You will need a 20cm/8in square baking tin.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a 20cm/8in square baking tin with butter, then line with baking paper with the paper overlapping the sides a little.
Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the grated (or chopped) chocolate. Leave to stand for a few minutes, or until the chocolate melts, and then stir together. Alternatively, you can put the chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt in the microwave in 25-second blasts, stirring well each time.
Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together in a large bowl until the eggs begin to get light and fluffy. Add the sugar in two additions, whisking between each. Pour it around the side of the egg mix so as not to knock out the air that has been whisked in. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes stiffer. Once the egg mixture is ready, pour the chocolate into it - again around the sides so as not to knock the air out.
Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt and a third of the biscuits and stir until fully combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Scatter the remaining biscuits over the top, pressing them in slightly. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25–30 minutes. The middle should be very so slightly gooey. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin - the top will sink and crack a little.
Pull the brownies out using the overlapping paper and cut into squares. Dust with icing sugar.
Alternatively substitute the biscuits with toasted walnuts or pecans, or sprinkle the brownies with honeycomb.