Chocolate-pecan brownie

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Appears in

The Café Paradiso Cookbook

The Café Paradiso Cookbook

By Denis Cotter

Published 1999

  • About

If ‘brownie’ sounds like something innocuous you might have a couple of with your afternoon tea, try eating two of these. Rich and intensely chocolatey, they are as suitable for impressing at dinner as they are for a late-morning splurge, here is an awful lot of chocolate in the recipe and this makes the quality of the chocolate vital to the type of brownie you’ll turn out. Chocolate with at least 55 per cent cocoa solids is needed, though the ideal here is 70 per cent. Half of the chocolate in the recipe is chopped into small pieces which will then melt into the cake as it bakes. We use small chocolate drops which are an ideal size for this, about the size of a fat pea, to give you a rough idea, but don’t fret about it - any size will melt during a half hour’s baking. We bake the brownies in a tin 12 inches by 8 and ½ inches deep. A 10-inch square tin is similar. If you use a much smaller or bigger tin you will need to adjust the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 450 g dark chocolate
  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tblspns strong coffee
  • 75 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 150 g pecans, sliced
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

BUTTER A 10-INCH SQUARE TIN or similar and line the base of it with baking parchment or greaseproof paper. Take half the chocolate, roughly chop it and melt it with the butter over hot water. Allow this to cool a little. Chop the rest of the chocolate into small pieces. Beat together the sugar, eggs and coffee briefly, then add the melted chocolate and butter, and beat it again. Combine the remaining ingredients, including the chocolate pieces, and fold them into the sugar-egg mix. Pour this into the prepared tin and bake it at 375°F (Gas Mark 5) for 30-40 minutes.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin for at least an hour, then cut it into squares and turn it out. It is at its best eaten warm with vanilla ice cream, but is still good at room temperature. Stored in an airtight container, it will keep for a week.