Mrs Cook's Kitchen - Brownies Recipe

Who could have foreseen just three short weeks ago as I was preparing to become Mrs Cook that the world would suddenly become such a crazy place - half of us frustrated at being stuck indoors and a bit short of toilet roll, eggs and flour; the rest of the world striving to get us back to normality, risking their lives on a daily basis to bring us our freedom.

As always, times like this bring out both the worst and the very best in us. I have been utterly privileged to marry my lovely husband at long last and spend the best day ever with (most of) our loved ones. And as a daily keyboard jockey, been lucky enough able to stay in the safety of my home with hubby and my lovely daughter and stay in touch with family and friends as we ride this crisis out. I love that the street we live in (along with many others) have created a support network that we could call on if we needed - and have joined in the #clapforcarers on a Thursday night.

I won't dwell on the human behaviours that have upset me. Suffice to say it has made me reflect on the person I am and the company I keep. And how life will change in the future.

But for now, we are lucky enough to continue to have many pleasures in life. The fact that as a family we've never spent so much time together - normally we're dashing off to work or clubs or to visit family in two separate counties. I can count the number of times the three of us have spent a whole weekend at home over the last year on one hand. This time together is a blessing for us. I'm lucky enough to have had time to watch the primroses unfurl in the grass outside the dining room window as I juggle video conference after video conference. And to take pleasure of the tiny birds that have sought refuge to grow their new family in our super-urban garden.

But mostly for someone who loves her food, I've had lots of kitchen time - albeit with a slightly depleted pantry. Cooking is one of life's simple pleasures for me and whether it's cooking for one or for a small family, it can be a joy to create something. Of course it needs to be balanced with exercise, particularly if the cooking is cake related!

Anyhoo, I could rattle on for ages. But I'm guessing you just want me to cut to the chase and give you the recipe. Before I do, here are a few tips:

Dark chocolate - ideally 60% cocoa or higher, but the cheap supermarket plain chocolate works just fine

Butter - unsalted is preferable; if you can't get it then something like Stork can be used (other baking margarines are available) but not spreadable butter as the water content is too high

Sugar - caster is best. Alternatively light brown sugar or 50/50 caster and dark brown sugar works - your brownies will be fudgy with a caramelly taste

Tin - if you don't have an 20cm square tin, you can use a 9" round tin, a small lined baking tray or even a small foil roasting tray. Just adjust the cooking time slightly - start checking after 20 mins. The smaller your tin, the deeper the brownies so the longer the cooking time.

Storage - keep in an airtight box for up to a week. If you need to freeze, wrap well in clingfilm and then in a ziplock bag or airtight box and freeze for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature for six hours before eating.

  • 185g Dark Chocolate

  • 185g unsalted butter

  • 40g cocoa

  • 85g plain flour

  • 275g caster sugar

  • 3 large eggs (at room temperature)

  • 100g chocolate chunks - optional - you could use nuts or dried fruit if you'd rather