Everyone with a brownie recipe thinks theirs is the best, but there’s a big difference between undercooked brown cake and a dense, dark, and fudgy chocolate brownie. Nevertheless, these Ex-Boyfriend Brownies are incredible!
This recipe was originally published on 26 April 2020 and has been edited and updated to reflect that I’m no longer dating the person who gave it to me. Ex-Boyfriend Brownies are the brownies that my ex-boyfriend baked, and the first time these were made for me I knew I’d found a keeper. Our relationship didn’t last but this recipe thankfully has.
26 April 2020: In the middle of a global pandemic, when everyone had baked at least two loaves of banana bread and then moved on to claiming their brownie recipe was the best.
Over the last week, my Instagram feed has gone from a shade of Banana Bread to Brownie, so I thought this was the perfect time to bake a batch and publish this winning recipe.
Dare I say, these are the best brownies I’ve ever tasted (or made). I’ve made allowances since trying these for the first time and taste-tested others for the sake of gathering conclusive evidence which backs up this statement. Safe to say, I confidently continue to stand by this.
I’m a huge fan of dark chocolate – the darker the better. My go-to is Lindt 70%, although I’m partial to going right up to 99%. Some people play chicken with chilies, I do the same with dark chocolate. In fact, I love dark chocolate so much that I have a physical reaction to it – it makes me sneeze. It’s not unpleasant, not like a sneezing fit or allergic reaction where I need to take an antihistamine, just one satisfactory sneeze when I have my first bite.
This reaction is known as a “photic sneeze reflex”, it’s hereditary and affects 18%-35% of the population. I first learned this was a “thing” when I did my 23andMe test a few years ago, and one of the +400 questions I had to answer (along with spitting into a tube) included asking if I sneezed when I ate dark chocolate. Ha!
These have been adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe and must not be baked longer than 25-30 minutes. You’ll know they’re close to needing to come out of the oven when you’re suddenly overwhelmed by the smell of chocolate. The ratio of ingredients below produces a fudge-like texture which is what you’re looking for. Remember, this isn’t cake – they’re brownies. You can add nuts if you like – pecans, macadamias, and hazelnuts are probably your best bet. Adding orange or grapefruit zest will also satisfy anyone who’s a fan of citrusy chocolate.
- 200g dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70%)
- 250g butter
- 80g nuts, roughly chopped (I used pecans)
- 1 cup cocoa
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 3/4 cups castor sugar
- 4 extra-large eggs
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, and line a square baking tin or oven-proof dish (around 24cm x 24cm) with baking paper.
- Smash or roughly chop the chocolate and place it in a large bowl along with the butter.
- Place the bowl over a medium pot of simmering water and melt, mixing every now and then to combine.
- While the chocolate and butter are melting, combine the cocoa, flour, baking powder, and castor sugar in a bowl and whisk to remove any lumps.
- Add the chopped nuts to the chocolate mixture and mix well to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate and nut mixture, along with the 4 eggs, and mix until you have a silky smooth and fudgy mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the baking tin or dish, and bake for around 25 minutes. Remember you don’t want to overcook these, they need to still be gooey and if you test them with a skewer it won’t come out clean.
- Allow to cool and cut into large squares, bars, or bites.