Prep 10 mins
Cook 45 mins
Christine McFadden adds spice to these dark, dense and luxurious brownies – the pepper helps to balance their richness. For extra texture, stir in 100g chopped walnuts into the brownie mixture. The brownies will keep for 4-5 days if you wrap them in foil.
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 7 ounces dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 large eggs
- 9 ounces sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, freshly ground
- 5 1⁄4 ounces all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350F, moving the rack to just below the middle of the oven.
- Grease and line a 10in square baking tin with baking parchment, using enough to hang over the sides.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and put it in a heatproof bowl with the butter.
- Place the bowl over a pan of steaming, but not quite simmering, water (make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the surface of the water) and stir until the chocolate and butter are melted and well combined. Gradually sprinkle in the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
- Beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, salt and ground pepper until well mixed.
- Gradually beat in the still-warm chocolate mixture, then stir in the flour, mixing well.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out very slightly sticky – brownies are meant to be gooey in the middle.
- Leave the brownies in the tin until completely cool. Lift from the tin using the overhanging baking parchment. Slice into squares and serve.