Next-level brownie happiness
250 g butter, at room temperature
280 g good-quality dark chocolate, cut into chunks
1 cup castor sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup good-quality, smooth peanut butter
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup plain flour
Reese’s Pieces or peanut butter M&Ms, to decorate (optional)
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease a cake tin (I use a rectangular-shaped one, as you can tell from the pic) and cover it completely with foil, ensuring you push the foil right into the corners. Line it with baking paper. I tend to give this a light coating of butter or cooking spray, for good measure.
Step 2: Add the butter and about 200 g of the chocolate to a medium-sized saucepan over very low heat, gently stirring until they have completely melted. Set the pan aside and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
Step 3: Once cooled, add the sugar and vanilla to the mixture and use a balloon whisk to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one has been added.
Step 4: Add the peanut butter and salt. You may need a wooden spoon to mix at this point, as the mixture will become quite thick. Taste and add more peanut butter if you wish. If you do, I would also add a little more salt.
Step 5: Add the flour and stir gently to combine, being careful not to overmix. Tip the chocolate mixture into the prepared tray and give it a bit of a shake to even out the mixture. Top with Reese’s Pieces, M&Ms or any other chocolatey bits you might have in your cupboard or leftover from Easter. Place in the oven and cook for about 40–45 minutes.
Step 6: Judging the readiness of brownies is a fine art, I have learnt. I check by using a skewer at around the 35–40 minute mark. For brownies, the skewer shouldn’t come out clean. This would mean it’s overcooked. and you really want that nice fudgy centre to them. It also shouldn’t be completely set if you give the tray a shake. A little wobble is perfect. I like to see fudgy crumbs, but not wet batter, which would mean it needs more time.
It will be hard, but do give this amazingness a chance to cool before cutting and serving. I find it lasts a few days, even a week, if stored in the fridge in a sealed container.