These brownies are really lovely, smooth with an almost crispy crust. They are inspired by this wonderful recipe. Best of all, they are a great way to use up egg whites hanging around the freezer. Who likes meringue that much? If you’re going to use whole eggs, I think the yolks would add richness and you don’t need to alter the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2tsps butter and 1tbsp plain flour to coat the baking tray
  • 3/4cup unsalted butter (or use salted and halve the additional salt)
  • 175g 70% cocoa chocolate
  • 50g additional chocolate, roughly chopped (optional but delicious)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional but delicious)
  • 2tsps vanilla extract
  • 1tsp espresso powder/instant coffee
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1 1/2cups caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 cup plain flour

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C
  2. Lightly butter a 20x20cm (8x8inch) baking tray, ideally loose-bottomed. Sprinkle with the flour and shake to coat evenly.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat
  4. Remove from heat, stir in chopped chocolate until melted, then add vanilla, coffee and salt
  5. Cool until lukewarm
  6. Meanwhile, mix the sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Add the egg whites and mix with a hand blender for around 4-5 minutes until the mixture is somewhat thickened. I found this quite hard to judge, but think the time was about right.
  7. Add the lukewarm buttery, chocolatey goo and incorporate.Image
  8. Add the flour and mix for another minute, until incorporated. Because there isn’t much flour in this batter, it’s important to beat the flour for this amount of time to activate the gluten and give the cake its structure.
  9. Don’t worry if the mixture seems incredibly thick, it’ll turn out okay.
  10. Stir through your additional chocolate and/or nuts if using.
  11. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.Image
  12. Turn the oven down to 170 and bake for 25-40 minutes (the low end only if your oven is nuclear powered like mine. Mine were in for 30mins and were a little overdone).
  13. Your brownies are done if….

…the top is shiny and cracked (it will rise up, but sink down again as it cools)

…the edges are cracking and may be beginning to pull away from the edges of the pan

…there is no jiggle in the centre if you shake the pan (but this should take place about 10mins before the brownies are fully cooked

…a skewer shows moist crumbs

13. Cool to room temperature, then cut into 16 delicious squares.

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