I can remember exactly when and where I tasted my first brownie! Obviously it was love at first sight and you don’t forget that easily. Back in the 90’s we lived in Auckland, New Zealand. We were leading a very busy life. I was a self employed designer and I had no time to bake chocolate cakes and all those wonderful cakes I grew up with. Nevertheless, I missed them very much.
One summer a good friend came for a visit, all the way from the homeland. You should know that New Zealand’s nature is absolutely unique in its beauty – everyone should have a chance to be indulged by it. We were completely charmed and we saw only a small part of this beautiful country. I remember how wonderful it was to share all this with a friend, who I grew up with, in the beautiful city of Belgrade amongst the old buildings full of charm and history but completely different to Auckland.
After we had visited all the beaches, one yacht cruise included (which I didn’t handle well at all and ended up being sea sick for the entire cruise), the country-side and many other outdoor experiences, we both realised that we are missing the city vibe! So one day we decided to spend the whole day just cruising through the streets of Auckland. We had fun and a wonderful time but at the end of the day, feeling quite exhausted we were both looking forward to going back home to a nice glass of vino – just to realise that I locked my car keys in.
What we did then, is something that young and restless souls would do. I called my husband to rescue us, with the spare key because I learned through an experience that is more efficient to call the husband than to wait for the paid service, and we waited on the cool stone stairs of Auckland University, surrounded by all the old architecture we needed. Then something unexpected happened; My friend pulled out the bag full of brownies that I didn’t even realise she had bought earlier. First, we laughed at the idea, but I guess that made it even more tempting. Two girls, very young in their hearts, although years after they had finished their educational journey, sitting on the University stairs, enjoying the sweets and laughing excessively, without an obvious reason. Why not!
So we sat there and shared the brownies, the late afternoon summer sun, the laughter and most importantly we shared the moment – a moment that is still so vivid to me, after so many years.
I can still remember how they tasted… My first Brownies. And the laughter.
These Brownies will bring a smile to your face too, I can promise you that.
Strangely it took me some time to bake them myself. Why? I don’t know really, but what I do remember is the choice I made when it came to the recipe. I decided to go with one of Jamie Oliver’s brownie recipes and we all loved them the first time we tasted them and we still love them now and I am sure we will continue to love them in the future.
As I have baked these brownies so many times, I am typing this recipe without checking my recipe book. Naturally, it’s just living in my head.
250 gr butter
200 gr dark chocolate
50 gr chopped walnuts
65 gr plain flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
360 gr sugar ( I used raw sugar )
4 free range eggs
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 20 – 24cm square baking tin with a baking paper.
Melt the butter in the pot, over simmering water along with the chocolate, add chopped walnuts and leave aside to cool down. Mix all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
In another bowl whisk the eggs. I use a hand whisker to do that because I don’t want them to be too fluffy.
Mix all ingredients together until you get a silky consistency and pour your brownie mix into a baking tin.
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes.
Allow to cool before slicing and dusting with powdered sugar.