Judy Quick's brownies

4 oz butter
2 oz dark chocolate, 70% cocoa
8 oz soft dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
2 large eggs
3 oz flour
1 pinch salt
2 oz finely chopped nuts

Quaker business meetings are often accompanied by some sort of refreshments. When Gloucester & Nailsworth Monthly Meeting is held at Stroud, our Friend Judy Quick is usually among those providing the delicious food. From time to time she has delighted us with these brownies. She also made a much bigger batch for WGM (Western General Meeting, or perhaps Wonderful Gooey Mix). They taste best when made with fair-trade, organic, free-range ingredients.

Set oven to 350°F, 180°C, gas mark 4. Break up chocolate, cut up butter into large heavy base pan. Melt gently, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool for about 3 minutes. Stir in sugar & vanilla. Add eggs and beat in, one at a time. Add flour and salt. Mix until smooth. Add nuts, if used. Put into prepared tin. Smooth over top. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. 20 minutes leaves them slightly gooey.

Brownies should be slightly soft to the touch on the outside and softer still inside. The stiff and fossilised shrink-wrapped items sometimes offered in cafes are quite wrong - a brownie should not go "clonk" if you drop it on the plate! Too-hard brownies can result from too long a cooking time, or from using too large a tin so that the mixture is spread too thinly. Conversely, it shouldn't be too deep as the middle won't cook enough. I usually use double the quantities given above to give the right thickness of around an inch when cooked in a tin about 7" by 11".

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