"Did you go to school with someone called, Julie Thompson? Because she remembers you and sends her regards.”
In an instant I was thrown back to being fourteen years old, wearing hair too big for my head, a thin layer of pretend moustache forming on my top lip, skinny legs accentuated by my skinny trousers. Listening to Run DMC on my brick sized Sony Walkman, reminiscing over fond times I found myself rummaging around the shelves of my memory at a time when life was much simpler, discovering new music to boast about to your friends, moaning about the waning fortunes of Leeds United, concealing crushes on girls and desperately wanting to be older, the aspiration of every teenager. Enjoyable times parked in the recesses of my mind, like a recipe lurking in the forgotten reaches of my mental kitchen cupboard. Like this recipe for cardamom and date chocolate brownies. A union of rich eastern flavours lobbying gooey chocolate for their rightful place to excite and entertain.
These chocolate brownies aren’t the usual run of the mill versions plagiarised by supermarkets. They’re constructed to deliver an emphatic ooooohhhh. Slightly gooey and chewy they’re perfect when eaten with company or enjoyed solo with a mug of tea, leaving you to reminisce over bygone times.
How To Make Chocolate Brownies
Makes up to 20 squares
- 250g unsalted butter plus a bit more for greasing
- 250g smashed chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 6 eggs
- 350g caster sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 20 -25 chopped dried dates
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 150g plain flour, sifted
- dash of salt
To make this chocolate brownie recipe preheat the oven to 180oC/Gas Mark 4, grease a baking tin (20x28cm) and line it with parchment paper. Creating a bain marie pop the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over a snug fitting saucepan of simmering water and heat until the ingredients have melted and fold into each other. Remove and leave to cool for a bit.
Take another bowl and lash the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract until the mix is starting to froth not too fluffy or white. Tip in the chocolate, fold in the flour, salt, cardamom and dates and mix thoroughly. Decant the contents into the lined tray and bake for 20 minutes (dependent on how quickly your oven cooks). You want the chocolate brownies to be a bit gooey in the centre, so when you’ve removed the tin from the oven place it in a larger baking tin with about an inch of cold water, this helps the brownie cake from cooking further keeping it chewy.
When cool, cut the brownie into slices and devour.