Author Notes: I love the almost childlike innocence that comes alive in the presence of freshly-baked goods. As though the smell of warmed butter, eggs and flour awakens us from this adult life and we are once again young and carefree, kicking our legs happily beneath the table with a glass of milk in one hand and something sweet in the other.
Everything in moderation is the key, and though my glass domed cake stand sits forlornly empty most days, I find myself happy when I see it full, as though its populated state makes my house a cozy home.
It rained over the weekend and the weather cooled for the first time in weeks. Curled up on the couch, wrapped in a warm grey blanket, I craved to turn the dial of my oven and hear the whirr of my stand mixer. As with most dishes I cook, this came under the umbrella of using whatever I had in the house. Foraging through the cupboards I pulled together some blocks of dark chocolate and a lone honeycomb chocolate bar, sitting like a golden ticket in my pantry. Brownies seemed like the obvious answer.
Brownies are one of my favourites. What other cake is almost born to be eaten by hand, happily and unjudged? I also love that its chewy moistness seems to satisfy the spoon-licker in all of us.
I think there's something truly magical about the mix of chocolate and sea-salt. It makes cocoa seem richer, sweeter and opens your eyes further to the possibilities of seasoning your desserts. My brownies just couldn't be without a cheeky sprinkling of salt.
Fresh out of the oven, I burnt my fingers slightly in my rush to taste. The brownie crumbled elegantly in my mouth as flecks of sea-salt tickled my tongue. The rain hit the window behind me and there was honestly no place I would rather have been but all alone in my kitchen licking chocolate off my fingers. —Chryssie Lamb
grams unsalted butter, chopped
grams dark chocolate (I used half 70% and half 85%), broken into pieces
grams brown sugar
teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
cup cocoa powder
grams plain flour
grams honeycomb chocolate bar
pinch sea-salt flakes
- Grease and line a 30cm x 20cm tin with baking paper and preheat oven to 160°C.
- Melt your butter in the pan and then add the chocolate. Heat low and slow, stirring as it melts until there are only just a few blobs of chocolate in the mix. Turn off the heat and continue gently stirring as the residual heat finishes the melting and you’re left with a lovely and luscious pot of silky chocolate. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
- Pour mixture into the prepared tin.
- Take your honeycomb chocolate bar, still in the wrapped, and bash it a few times with a rolling pin to crush the contents.
- Sprinkle the honeycomb crumble like gold-dust over the brownie mix. Take a knife and marble the honeycomb into the brownie batter so some bits are in the middle of the mix but you still have a lovely dusting over the top.
- Sprinkle with a good pinch of sea-salt flakes and pop in the oven. Check if it’s ready at 30 mins and then in 5 minute intervals after that by sticking a knife into the centre of the pan (you want the gooey chocolate inside to still cling to your knife so there are some streaks of batter on the blade, revealing a soft centre).
- Leave to rest to allow the mix to come together as it cools, leaving you with a chewy and decadently moist centre that makes a truly great brownie.
- Cut into 16 pieces and serve with a cup of tea.