Put brownies on any restaurant menu and people will order dessert. They simply cannot help themselves; confronted by the prospect of this all-American delight, the human soul crumbles into fudgey defeat, and a million eyes widen into heart-shaped pools of chocolate goo.
150g unsalted butter
90g unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
60g all-purpose flour
100g walnut pieces
small cup of expresso coffee for extra taste
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a metal bowl on top of a pot of simmering water. Stir into a paste, remove the bowl from the pot and allow it to cool a bit.
With a wooden spoon, stir in the vanilla and add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. Add the flour and stir until it disappears, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with a wooden spoon. Stir in the nuts and add some coffee if you want. Spread evenly in a 20cm pan lined with parchment paper. You can also sprinkle Maldon sea salt flakes on top.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes
When cool, cut the brownies into large squares.