Basic Brownies



I love brownies. For years, I’ve made Nigella’s Chocolate brownies from How to be a Domestic Goddess. But in these austere times, I’ve found the quantities and ingredients rather lavish, and, needless to say, expensive. 375g of best-quality chocolate could easily cost over £7.00, and that’s more than I really want to spend on home-made brownies.

So I’ve done a little bit of tweaking – well, quite a lot actually. So much so that the recipe below bears little resemblance to the original, except in the basic ingredients used. I’ve substituted cheaper alternatives, like margarine, but feel free to use butter. I now don’t feel quite so extravagant in making these. However, they are still expensive in terms of calories, so I probably shouldn’t make them that often.


  • 200g margarine
  • 100g dark chocolate (cooking quality is fine)
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • Any additions – I added 100g of mini eggs for Easter.


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C and line a brownie pan – mine is 20cm x 30cm.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt together the margarine and chocolate. When it is melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and mix in the sugar and vanilla extract.
  4. Beat the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and mix well.
  5. Stir through any additions you want to add.
  6. Pour into the brownie pan and bake for 18 minutes.
  7. Leave in the tin to cool for at least 15 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before cutting into small squares. I made 28 brownies from this mixture.

By Naomi

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