No American child would believe it’s dessert time without brownies on the menu. There are many recipes to choose from but for me the simple ones are always the best. I am a firm believer in adding oil to the mix, and making sure the brownies are a little bit cakey and a whole lot fudgy. In the restaurant, whenever a customer is unsure which dessert to order, I always suggest the brownies because I know they never let me down.
MAKES 12 BROWNIES
100g butter 350g granulated sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 150g self-raising flour, sifted 100g cocoa powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 100ml vegetable oil 100g chocolate chips 100g walnuts, chopped (optional) vanilla ice cream, to serve chocolate sauce, to serve
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and salt and fold in thoroughly. Add the oil and chocolate chips and blend well. Stir in the walnuts, if using. I tend to leave the nuts out, as there are so many people with nut allergies now and I want to make sure everyone can enjoy these goodies.
Spread the mixture evenly in a greased 23cm square tin. Bake in an oven preheated to 180C/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes or until done – a skewer or knife inserted in the centre should come out almost clean, with just a couple of crumbs clinging to it. Cool in the tin on a wire rack, then cut into squares and serve. They are great served warm with ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.