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Dessert for a crowd – fudgy chocolate brownies

February 21, 2019

Chocolate brownies and two cups of tea

We’re still talking about the other night, when we had thirteen friends for supper round our table in the garden, as it was quite controversial. A few years ago we thought it would be fun to a ‘Desert Island Discs‘ style evening where guests choose the eight records, a book and a luxury item that they’d take with them if stranded forever. After a few of these, KP decided to change it up a bit so we had a ‘choose five singalong songs’ evening. This ended up with dancing to ‘You to me are everything’ by The Real Thing – you get the picture. We also had ‘songs that make you happy’; very revealing but each to their own! But the latest one which completely divided opinion was ‘cover versions that are better than the originals’. We had to vote whether this was actually the case and, especially with some rhubarb vodka shots forfeits thrown in, sometimes we got into some friendly but vociferous debates.  The playlist is on Spotify if you want to pitch in.

So what did we eat? During the late afternoon we had Bloody Marys at our house (recipe to follow soon) then strolled down to the beach for a friendly boules challenge. Well, the girl’s team was friendly. As this took me away from the kitchen, on our return we dipped crudites into hummous (from Mama’esh) then had Ravis, a Dubai Pakistani curry institution, deliver the main course. To round off we had these fudgy chocolate brownies, squared on a long plate surrounded with raspberries and blueberries, served with ice-cream. The soft, moreish, slightly gooey centres mean they are dessert-like rather than cakey, if you get my drift. Peace was resumed.

Three plates of fudgy chocolate brownies and two cups of herbal tea

I always manage to just keep my eyes open for clearing up at the end of a big dinner by thinking how nice a clean kitchen is in the morning. These brownies are perfect for a big crowd as they can be made in advance and served on side plates which take up much less space than bowls in the dishwasher.  I sang along to my own playlist of covers as I stacked them in and wondered what our next theme would be. Any suggestions?

Fudgy chocolate brownies

  • Difficulty: easy
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These fudgy brownies are made with melted chocolate so are as good for dessert with some cream or ice cream as they are with a cup of tea. You can make half this quantity (but you may regret it!)

Makes 18 – 24 large squares depending on how you cut them.

Ingredients

  • 280g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 400g plain chocolate broken into squares
  • 350g caster sugar
  • large pinch of sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 4 large eggs
  • 170g plain flour

Directions

  1. Grease and line a 33cm x 23cm tin* with baking parchment.
  2. Put the chocolate and butter into a large bowl and heat gently to just melt the contents. I do this in a microwave – my setting is medium power for 4 minutes, stirring halfway through but each oven is different. Alternatively suspend the bowl over a pan of simmering water that is not touching the base of it. Once you can only see the outline of a few of the chocolate squares it is done. Stir together to make sure it’s all melted and combined. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk the sugar, salt and vanilla into the butter and chocolate – it will be a little grainy at this point.
  4. Whisk in the whole eggs and the egg yolks one at a time, stirring after each one until blended. And the flour and stir as vigorously as you can until the mixture is smooth, thick, blended and glossy.
  5. Use a spatula to transfer the mixture into the tin and level until roughly even. Cook in an oven preheated to 180C (fan 160C) for 40-50 minutes. Do not over cook so start to check at 30 minutes. They are done when you insert a cocktail stick or wooden skewer and it comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it. If there are smudges of wet batter then it needs a few more minutes in the oven. If the stick comes out completely clean the brownies are overdone. If in doubt, take them out as they are better slightly underdone than over cooked.
  6. Leave to cool completely then lift the whole sheet of paper with brownies onto a board and cut into squares with a sharp knife (18 large)
  7. Store in an airtight tin or container for 2-3 days – they sometimes taste better the next day. They freeze well. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed in the microwave (with ice cream).

*If halving the quantity, bake in an 18cm square lined tin. You can use a greased pyrex dish instead but it may need slightly longer in the oven.

What’s your biggest challenge when you have a crowd round for supper? (or do you avoid them like the plague?).

a tray of fudgy chocolate brownies and two cups of tea

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2019 3:20 pm

    mmmm they look super fudgy and delicious!

  2. Zoya permalink
    February 21, 2019 8:52 pm

    You’re making me crave brownies now!

  3. February 22, 2019 12:40 am

    Can never resist a great brownie recipe!! they look delicious!

  4. February 22, 2019 8:31 am

    They look great! And perfect for using up eggs from my chickens (I get two per day so am always looking for new egg recipes!). My favourite cover is probably stereophonics’s “Handbags and Gladrags”, which I prefervtobthe original. In terms of my favourite cover where I also adore the original I in currently in love with Disturbed’s version of “The sound of Silence”.

  5. crasterkipper permalink
    February 23, 2019 1:30 pm

    You know what my spelling’s like… I thought it was a pun on ‘dessert island discs’ 😉
    The brownies look great… I must have a go. As usual, you don’t forget to mention a cup of tea 😀 I wish I could have a brownie & a cuppa with you on your Birthday today 😘

  6. February 24, 2019 4:10 am

    These look great! I wish my daughter could eat eggs! 😦

  7. March 1, 2019 8:41 pm

    The chocolate to flour ratio looks so good in this one! Fudgy brownies are the only way to go 🙂

  8. March 2, 2019 9:19 pm

    What a great idea for a dinner party, sounds like a lot of fun and I’ll check out the spotify link. Also, this looks DIVINE!

  9. March 2, 2019 9:30 pm

    I love the look of these and I love brownies. That sounds like a recipe waiting to be cooked doesn’t it? Do they freeze well? My personal technique for not ending up like a beached whale from eating too many bakes is to freeze individual portions and reheat from frozen in the microwave. It sort of works!

  10. March 3, 2019 11:27 pm

    OMG I love the sound of the fudgy brownies… and I love your dinner part ideas! Have you had mosuc from the movies as a theme yet?

  11. March 7, 2019 10:59 pm

    Love the dusted hearts! Brownies for a crowd – I’m sure I could polish them off myself 😂😂

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  1. Fudgy Chocolate Brownies – hiraphotography

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