In the past year I have purchased or been given almost all of Bill Granger’s cookbooks. I know he’s been around for a while, and I’m late to catch on, but ALL his recipes are good and work. It’s amazing. My Mum has had a copy of his ‘Feed Me Now’ book for a while, and for some reason I always ignored it. I had no idea what I was missing out on. I was steered in the right direction, in an odd and rather sad way by my Grandma.
When she died we had to go through some of her things. In the sitting room, there was a lounge chair with a bookcase next to it. The bookcase was like a picture back in time. It had been left untouched since she had last used it almost a year previously. Even a couple of Christmas related magazines were on it, left from the last Christmas she spent at home. It was quite eery going through her things. I kept feeling like she was going to walk through the door and tell us to put her stuff away because she was still using it. On her bookshelf, were novels she had been reading and a small collection of books she had used or won at school in the 1940s. There was also a copy of Bill Granger’s book ‘Everyday’. On the inside cover was a message from one of my Grandma’s friends who had given it to her for Christmas a few years earlier. There were some pages marked, and the dust cover was slightly faded like it had been sitting in the sun for a while.
I kept the book and when I looked through it, I noticed how many recipes looked good, and that I wanted to try. I have made Bill’s Portuguese Tarts many times and tried the Lamingtons for Australia Day this year. Every recipe works so well. And tastes so good! Even though they way I came across this book was sad, it was nice to know that even after death my Grandma could still influence the way I cook. It’s also comforting to have nice reminders of her, especially in the kitchen. I now have many more of Bill’s titles, all of which are great. So great, I don’t know how I coped in the kitchen without them. For Christmas a friend gave me ‘Bill’s Basics’, which is where this recipe comes from. Bill doesn’t call them ‘Mad’ chocolate brownies. This is my addition because when I made them for my brothers birthday and took them interstate to visit him, that was the word he used to describe them.
The original recipe says to use all dark chocolate. I have used half dark chocolate and half milk chocolate because I dislike that bitter taste dark chocolate can have. I don’t think it would matter what proportions of which chocolate you use, the brownies will still be great!
350g caster sugar
80g cocoa powder
60g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs, lightly beaten
200g melted unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
100g dark chocolate
100g milk chocolate
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a square 22cm baking tin. Chop chocolate roughly and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir the sugar, cocoa, flour and baking powder together. Add the eggs, melted butter and vanilla and mix until combined. Then mix in the chopped chocolate.
Pour batter into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes.
Cool slightly in the tin before turning on to a wire rack. Cut into squares or small cubes.
Yield of this recipe will depend on how you cut the brownie slab up. However, it should give at least 12 portions when cutting the brownie into squares.
Original recipe from 'Bill's Basics' by Bill Granger (2010, HarperCollins), p. 42.
Originally Posted March 30, 2014.