Digital Life


I’ve been off the radar so far as the internet and social media goes for a few days which was a wrench at first and then transitioned into a great relief. It has been quite bizarre to pop the radio on for the news and not have a clue what the lead story would be (I’m normally glued to BBC rolling news one way or another). Thankfully all this wasn’t due to any great technical disaster or mis-hap, I just happened to have lots on non-computery things to do. I’ve been itching to get back though, so ta-da! Here I am!

One of those things to do was to bake a mega-batch of chocolate brownies which, even if I do say so myself, turned out super-fantastically-awesome and were a big hit at my Mum’s birthday bash. In a bid to actually use my camera after dark and practice with my flash-gun I photographed the process (there’s only a little bit of chocolate on my camera now).


As well as tasting fabulous this I love this recipe as it does not involve any of the three steps in baking that I loathe, namely; creaming butter and sugar, sifting or getting the food-processor out of the cupboard.

Presenting: My Recipe for Awesome Chocolate Brownies

(Based on St. Nigella’s ‘Snow-Flecked Brownies’ from her ‘Feast’ recipe book)

Makes 32 brownies (feel free to halve this recipe, but you WILL regret it)!

chop chocolate


  • 375g unsalted butter (US =  3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 375g Dark Chocolate (US = 13oz)
  • 6 eggs
  • 350g Caster Sugar (2 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 225g Plain Flour (1.5 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour)
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 250g White Chocolate Buttons (US = 9oz)
  • 2 Tsp icing sugar (US = confectioners sugar) for dusting

1} Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).

2} Line the sides and base of two small or one large baking tins with baking parchment (I have two square tins that are 25x25cm each – they doesn’t need to be exact though, or even square).

baking parchment

3} Melt the butter and dark chocolate together in a large heavy-based pan over low heat. You can do this directly in the pan – no need for a double-boiler – use a biggish pan, there’s more going in later.


4} In a bowl, beat the eggs together with the sugar and vanilla extract. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool a little, then add the egg and sugar mixture and beat well.


5} Fold in the flour and salt. Then stir in the chunks of milk chocolate. Beat to combine then scrape and pour the brownie mixture into the prepared baking tins.

6} Pop tins into the oven. Over all baking  time will probably be about 25 minutes, but start checking after 15 minutes. You can tell when the brownies are ready because the top will start drying and look a paler brown and cracked, while the middle remains dark, dense and gooey.


7} To serve, cut into squares while still warm and pile up on a large plate, sprinkling with icing sugar pushed through a small sieve.

finished brownies

8} Eat.

PS – as a side-note: the chocolatey mix of butter and sugar you end up with in step 3 is exactly what I wish they’d used as the chocolate river in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – that was the only bit of that film that disappointed me (the proper version with Gene Wilder).

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  • Reply
    15 December 2011 at 09:45

    I’d never have guessed you used flash on these, so I suppose that means your experimentation has been successful! Lovely shots of lovely grub.
    I have to disagree about Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory though, the biggest disappointment for me in that film is that Charlie broke the rules too and still came out the winner (but the chocolate river is a bit, well, runny).

  • Reply
    15 December 2011 at 11:11

    Why?! Why do you have to do this to me? It’s tantamount to torture. Here I am, at my desk, not only with no brownies but also with no brownie-making ability, and yet you make me look at these (yes, you MADE me. Don’t argue). Cruel. Very very cruel.

    • Reply
      21 December 2011 at 13:12

      😀 <– me, doing an evil cackle

  • Reply
    15 December 2011 at 11:17

    Also, they look utterly delicious. Thank you for the recipe. As to C&tCF, I think I do remember the river being more brown water than melted chocolate. It was not, however, the worst thing about that film. My recollection of it includes a bizarre scene in which Gene and the kids are walking down a dark corridor and, projected onto the walls of the corridor are film clips, one of which is of chickens being killed. Now, either something horrible happened in my childhood and I’ve got my memories mixed up (no-one else ever remembers this bit but I’m convinced I saw it) or the producers really tapped a bit too much into the Dahlian dark side. Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy of the film, so I’ve never been able to double-check.

    • Reply
      21 December 2011 at 13:11

      Wow, chickens being killed – I am definitely going to watch out for that one when it’s on over xmas – are you sure you didn’t imagine that Cass? Been on the Bailey’s? 😉

  • Reply
    27 December 2011 at 18:17

    Well, I do like Bailey’s so it’s a definite possibility. Ha! Anyway: I copied you again ( – brownie cooking pictures). I have some time off work and have been trying to go all domestic goddess on my poor family :) Hope you’re having a lovely relaxing festive season x

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