Chestnut Brownies

Brownies are unashamedly indulgent, these chestnut ones are no exception. You’ve just gotta lean into it all – transform your horror into astonishment when you read the ingredient list.

Ingredients

200 g unsalted butter, plus melted butter for greasing
300 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
280 g plain flour – gluten-free flour would work too
½ tsp salt
2 free-range eggs
220 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
25og fresh chestnuts or 200g cooked, peeled chestnuts – if chestnuts are out of season add roasted macadamias or almonds or white choc chips!

Method

Brownies are unashamedly indulgent, these chestnut ones are no exception. You’ve just gotta lean into it all – transform your horror into astonishment when you read the ingredient list. Chestnuts can be a bit baffling, but you learn a basic way of cooking them in this recipe. Once their hard skins are removed, you can add them to all sorts of meals – we love blitzing them into pumpkin soup. Here, they add a mild, sweet reprieve from the onslaught of fudgy goodness. Fire up the coffee pot!

 

Chestnut Brownies:

Start by cooking the brownies. Score each chestnut along one side and place in a pot of boiling water. Boil for about 20 minutes then drain, and when cool enough to touch, peel both hard outer skin and thinner inner skin so that you’re left with the pale nut. Chop chestnuts roughly, or blitz if you prefer less prominent texture. Set aside.

When you are ready to make the brownies, brush a 22 cm square baking tin with melted butter and line with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the base of the bowl. Leave to melt, stirring occasionally from time to time. As soon as the butter and chocolate have melted, remove the bowl from above the water. This is important! You need to avoid getting the mix very hot.

In a large bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Work them just until combined, a few seconds only, as there is no need to incorporate any air into the eggs. Fold in the melted chocolate mixture. Sift the flour and salt into the bowl and fold to combine. Finally, add the chopped chestnuts and mix.

Spoon the mix onto the lined tin.

Place on the centre shelf of the oven and bake for roughly 25 minutes. When you stick a skewer inside your brownie, it must come out covered with lots of gooey crumbs, not with dry crumbs, but it must not be the type of wet mix you started off with. Once out, allow to cool completely before removing from the tin – in winter we put ours outside to speed up the process. Cut into any shape you want and keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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