These are called ‘Robert’s Absolute Best Brownies’ and are described by David Lebovitz in his excellent book ‘Ready for Dessert’ as the best brownies. He’s right. And David Lebovitz himself admits a reluctance to stand on a soap box to say anything is the best. As with most of his recipes, it’s hard to get these wrong and that’s why I enjoy his recipes so much. These brownies are so decadent and chocolaty rich, studded with chunks of toasted walnuts. Best of all, they are a one-pot preparation and you really can whip up a batch in under an hour. I’ve added dates here to make them extra moist – though they really don’t need it.
I find freezing these work really well to stop me eating the entire tray in one sitting. Served warmed up with cream or vanilla ice cream is the best of the best.
Modified from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz
Brownies by David Lebovitz with bonus dates
- 85 g unsalted butter
- 225 g dark chocolate (at least 45% cocoa solids)
- 150 g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 35 g plain flour
- 100 g dates, pitted and softened in 100 ml just-boiled water with ½ teaspoon bicarb, then roughly chopped
- 135 g walnuts (any nut will work, but I think walnuts or pecans are best), lightly toasted and roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 175°C (155°C fan forced) and lightly grease and line a 23 cm square baking tin with baking paper or foil (ensuring some comes up the side to help with removing the brownies after they have cooked).
- In a large pot, gently melt the butter and chocolate, stirring until smooth.
- Remove from heat and stir through the sugar and vanilla, then beat through the eggs, one at time until fully combined.
- Add the flour and beat until the batter is smooth and glossy (it will come away from the side of the pot).
- Stir through the chopped nuts and dates.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and bake for 30 minutes until just set.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the tray and cutting up.
- Try stopping at one.