Fool-proof chocolate brownies
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
150g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
150g golden caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
75g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
100g dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease an 18cm square shallow baking tin and line the base with baking paper.
Melt the chopped chocolate, butter and vanilla together in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the bowl.
Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, then set aside for a few minutes.
Beat in the eggs, then sift in the flour, cocoa and salt and fold in until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the top starts to crack but the centre remains gooey.
Turn off the oven and leave the brownies inside for a further 5 minutes. Remove and leave to cool in the tin.
Cut the brownies into 16 squares and remove from the tin. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Tip: To turn the brownie into a celebration cake, fill it with a rich chocolate buttercream and coat it with a glossy ganache. Decorate it with berries or dried fruits and nuts for added decadence.