Weekend Wonderings

This week, I was told I can come off my medication, and that was the best news I’d had all year.  No more rat poison!  And news like that deserves the world’s best brownies.

These are the brownies I turn to in times of crisis, triumph, love and loss.  They are a comfort and a joy.  They remind me of why eating is good, of why sometimes, excess is the right thing to do.

They are so good.  I have won over sworn enemies with these brownies.  They are my secret.  Until now.

Happy weekend, readers.

Recipe (and image) from BBC Good Food, I’ve adapted it slightly through years of practice….


185g unsalted butter
185g best dark chocolate (70%,folks)
85g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
100g  good-quality white chocolate (again, don’t skimp)
3 large eggs
275g golden caster sugar

In the original  recipe, the instructions are much, much more detailed.  If you’re new to brownies, follow them.  If you’re an old hand, follow my steps:

Melt together butter and best dark chocolate in a medium bowl.  Leave the melted mixture to cool to room temperature.  Try not to eat it – it will put you in a diabetic coma.

While you wait for the chocolate to cool, position a shelf in the middle of your oven and turn the oven on to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4. Line a shallow 20cm square tin with baking parchment.

Sieve plain flour and cocoa powder over a medium bowl.

Chop the white chocolate into small pieces on a board.

Mix eggs and golden caster sugar together with an electric mixer on maximum speed, until the mixture looks thick and creamy, like a milk shake. This can take 3-8 minutes, depending on how powerful your mixer is, so don’t lose heart.

Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, then gently fold together with a rubber spatula. Do this slowly so you don’t knock out the air.

Hold the sieve over the bowl of eggy chocolate mixture and re-sift the cocoa and flour mixture. Gently fold in this powder. The mixture will look dry and dusty at first, and then become gungy and fudgy.  Finally, stir in the white and milk chocolate chunks until they’re dotted throughout.

Spend five minutes licking the beater.  This is a key step.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, ease the mixture into the corners of the tin and paddle the spatula from side to side across the top to level it.

Bake for 25 minutes.  When the buzzer goes, open the oven, pull the shelf out a bit and gently shake the tin. If the brownie wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done, so slide it back in and bake for another 5 minutes until the top has a shiny, papery crust and the sides are just beginning to come away from the tin. Take out of the oven.


Leave the whole thing in the tin until completely cold.  You will not want to, but you must because otherwise it will fall apart, like mine did here. Slide out.  Cut into quarters, then cut each quarter into four squares and finally into triangles. They do (allegedly) keep in an airtight container for a good two weeks and in the freezer for up to a month, but if you can do that, we can never be friends.

Categories: Food, Weekend Wonderings, Written By Anna
21 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted February 25, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Anna, congratulations on the medication news! You must be so happy and relieved. Love the idea of celebration brownies, I reckon you need a few sparklers in them to make them fully celebratory! xxx Amy

  2. Carly
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    These are the same brownies that I make! I've made them for birthdays, funerals, to say I love you, to say sorry and tomorrow they're getting their first outing at a baby shower!

  3. Becca
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Oh Anna Anna Anna. Whilst warmest and gooiest congratulations on the medication (we can drink now yes?) I'm afraid to tell you that you are a brownie AMATEUR. You missed the MOST crucial stage which is to lick the bowl. with your face. You can ascertain whether this is done correctly by the amount of brownie mix in your hair (thank you for brunette shinyness-blondes beware).

    In other news guess where I'm going today? The National Wedding Show!! I'm going to learn ALL about the pretty. I'm going to play spot the vinatage suitcases. I'll send you a photo. Incidentally I'm wearing my Anna K t-shirt. So I'm easily identifiable. I'll send a picture of that for us all to laugh at.

    Actually, I'll be the one that is escorted from the premises for screaming 'it's about MORE THAN PRETTY' at the top of my lungs. Just shoot me now.

  4. mahj
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Im still laughing at Becca's comment! Anna K, muchos congrats on being off the rat poison. And as for those brownies, im still in bed, contemplating getting up and wondering whether brownies would make an acceptable breakfast?


  5. Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Becca, will you still sport the shirt when you know I'm a brownie beginner for not using my face as a scraping tool?

    Mahj, do it, they take moments to make and bring so much joy!

    Amy, and flags! And bunting! Carly, love that you have verified how good they are!

  6. Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Congrats on the medication! and yes, brownies are the best way to celebrate wonderful news like that.

    I love the BBC recipe, but I was given my grandmothers recipe book when she passed away, and I'm afraid hers surpass the BBC recipe. The recipe goes something along the lines of 1 lorry-full of butter, 1 lorry-full of sugar, a hen coop's worth of eggs, a bucket of chocolate & a tsp of flour. Old school baking at it's best.

    So glad you're doing better!

  7. Posted February 25, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    just realised my previous comment sounds like "my brownies are better than yours"… er… that wasn't the intent!

    Mainly because that would be really weird.

  8. Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Haha Fiona, yes I'm very insulted, there is only one way to win back my honour…


  9. Becca
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Ladies I'm here (Anna-with Sev) and I've not seen theyoft-shirt fame. When I do I'll not be able to stop smirking. I will give myself away. Someone did ask if I'd seen X supplier on a certain blog and I sniffed 'not likely…hurumph'. I am going to get kicked out aren't I?

    Anna-I'll wear the t-shirt every day until I die. And definitely to your party.

    Not LOADS of vintage suitcases but there are lots of sparkly butterflies and the glitter fairy has definitely visited.

  10. Esme
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I would have to add *my* brownies to that brownie off, as well I'm afraid. I'm a dedicated Nigel Slater fan when it comes to brownies. I've never had them beaten… yet…

    Ha Becca, your comment had me spurting my coffee over the keyboard! If it's broken then I'll tell Tom it was your fault. Have fun!


  11. Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    A brownie-off it is!

    (yes, I did come back to see whether I'd offended… I really need to do something with my Saturday!)

    I'm sorely tempted to start daring Becca to do things at the fair… wedding-word-bingo perhaps? 20 points for "vintage", 25 for "vintage-inspired" etc

  12. Becca
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I wish you were all here. I need to know there are people who are concerned about more than glitter and fluff. Comment of the day:

    Photographer: so what are you most looking forward to? Do you have a theme?
    Me: the vows and yes….glittery butterflies and vintage suitcases
    Photographer: ahhhh, no one else ever says that, most say the dress. Vintage is really popular isn't it?
    Me: it's because they are blinded by the wedding industry.


    Tip of the day-Austin Reed for suits

  13. Mahj
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Becca, I'm actually gasping for breath! Your running commentary is making my afternoon.



  14. Posted February 26, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Becca, I just choked on my porridge reading your comments. In future can we set you up with a film crew?! Amaze.

    My future hubby once answered the question "are you having a theme?" with the answer "aren't all wedding themes the same? Get married and get pissed" …the photographer lady looked terribly disappointed in us.

    Ladies, i would like to offer my services as brownie-off judge. No, honestly, I know it's a tough job but i feel I have all the right qualifications for the job and someone has to do it.

    K x

    Ps: my sister makes the best brownies on the planet. I'll invite her :-p

  15. Becca
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Katielase, that's a fab comment. I'll save that one in the comment bank. It was funny how many men had been dragged along and clearly wanted the ground to open up and swallow them whole. Why why WHY would any man agree to be subjected to it?

    We saw one of the 'fashion shows'. None of the dresses fit the models (if you are going to use shop samples, use brides bigger than a size 8). The best bit was the male model dresses like a nyhmph with trousers which are too big and some horns on his head. Ummmm……..

    As fairs go, it's big and it was good to find some suppliers like Austin Reed (you could really tell the difference between that and 'other groomswear suppliers available on the high street'). Ellie Sanderson was swamped but the girls were fantastic. They had a 10% offer for the show. Personally I'd rather have paid an extra 10% and had a nicer experience.

    I wouldn't recommend for anyone that preserves their sanity and/or an aversion to glitter.

    Mahj, did I see on FF that we might be seeing your real brides report this week? If Rebecca's reading this, I hope it's Monday….

  16. Posted February 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Thrilled to hear you are not having to take rat poison any more. Way to go Anna!

    Thanks for the recipe too.


  17. Posted March 12, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I am making these this week when my friends come to dinner, they are going to LOVE them! Thanks for sharing x

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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