I am sure that anyone who hears about my endeavours in the kitchen would assume that I have one heck of a sweet tooth. And, really, I would be hard pressed to provide evidence to the contrary.

However, what one may not realize is that rarely do I truly overindulge in the confections that I so frequently describe; those are most often destined for family and friends, celebrations and gifts.

Of course I nibble here and there, but those who know me best know that my true achilles heel is ice cream; not surprisingly, my predilection of choice is most often in the form of chocolate.

Last evening I was looking for frozen creamy goodness - but sadly, my freezer was unexpectedly bare. Though my dear Sean would have been willing to retrieve my treat, it was a chilly night and I could not bear ask him to leave the warmth of our home (or namely, the comfort of the couch). I could have gone, but when faced with the option of going out in the cold, dark night or staying in my slippers and pottering about the kitchen, there is no contest.

With the Mixer out of commission, and me lacking the drive to do much more than stir, I had only one option: brownies. Fudgy and dense, satisfyingly decadent but uncommonly simple to make.

As luck would have it, I recently stumbled upon Jamie Oliver’s brownie recipe. The photo depicted what was surely the solution to my Monday doldrums. Nothing looked airy and light about these squares - they looked meltingly decadent, just the way I prefer a brownie.

After a modest amount of effort, we were rewarded with the smell of chocolate warming in the oven. Even my dear Sean, from the depths of the couch, was pressed to inquire "when will those be ready?" Gooey from the oven, these brownies made for stickey fingers and ebony-stained grins. The doldrums were a distant memory.

While not a pint of Häagen Dazs, sometimes a brownie will more than suffice.

Jamie Oliver’s bloomin’ brilliant brownies
Unctuous chocolate, tenuously bound by flour; they are more truffle than cake, bordering on a confection. This recipe is featured in Jamie's Little Book of Big Treats in support of Comic Relief.

Recipe

Notes:
• I opted to omit any add-ins (dried cherries, nuts). While I am sure that they would be delicious, I wanted nothing more than uniterrupted cocoa.
• I cannot bake anything with chocolate without a dash of vanilla extract and a bit of espresso powder. To my palate, they add a depth of flavour and make the chocolate more chocolatey. I added these, along with a pinch of salt, to the melted chocolate and butter mixture.
• When making brownies, the key to fudgy perfection is stirring the batter as little as possible once the flour has been added. With this in mind, I opted to add the eggs to the chocolate mixture first, rather than following the flour as indicated in the recipe.
• I only had a 9”x9” pan, rather than the 10” (25 cm) called for. The cooking time was increased to about 35 minutes (a 10 minute increase), but keep an eye on them after 25 minutes.

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