One of my favourite things to do on the weekend is host a dinner party for friends. We go all-out: beautiful table setting, mood music, carefully selected wine and the promise of a long, relaxing evening. We either serve our tried-and-tested dishes or experiment with new recipes. These chocolate nut brownies are a recent addition to my recipe box, but they’ve proved to be a crowd pleaser. I love that they’re easy to make, you can tweak the flavour depending on the type of chocolate and nuts you use, and most of the ingredients are usually stocked in my pantry and fridge. A perfect end to an evening of stimulating conversation and good company.
250 g good quality dark chocolate (I use 150 g of Nestle Club dark chocolate and 100 g of Lindt milk chocolate)
250 g unsalted butter
350 g caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla essence
200 g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
100 g nuts (I like walnuts or hazelnuts)
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Line a brownie tin with baking paper.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a double saucepan. Set aside to cool.
- Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence with an electric mixer for about 10 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the cooled chocolate and butter mixture, sift in the flour and salt, and stir until well combined.
- Lightly crush the nuts. Stir through the batter.
- Pour into the prepared brownie tin and bake for 30–35 minutes. The skewer should come out with some mixture on it.
- Serve with fresh strawberries and fresh whipped cream.