Chocolate Brownies

Yesterday was always going to be a day for Chocolate.

It all started a couple of days. I’ve been off work on sick leave recently, and I was talking to a very good friend of mine who advised me that if I wanted to make a rapid recovery I should eat more chocolate (I did say she is a Very Good Friend).

Who am I to argue?

But before I could put this plan into action I came across this fascinating article at the Guardian.

Apparently sounds can affect our sense of taste.
Crisps taste fresher if they ‘crunch’ loudly (article here).
Loud background noises can suppress our overall enjoyment of food (Is that why airline food is not often described as ‘delicious’?).

But the part that caught my attention, is that the pitch of sounds may affect the taste of chocolate – high sounds make the taste sweeter, whilst low sounds bring out the bitter tastes (- how does that work?).

Doesn’t that sound like a bit of a challenge to you? Somewhat of a throwing down of the gauntlet? There is even a web-site where you can try this out.

But there was a problem.
I’m one of those people who doesn’t really like plain chocolate on it’s own so didn’t really want to just break out the chocolate bar and get munching. But if you turn said bar into Chocolate Brownies (all in the name of science of course) that’s a completely different matter!


So it seemed like a good day to make Mary Berry’s Chocolate Brownies – for either scientific or medicinal reasons – I was happy with either.

I met another small hitch in that I didn’t have all the ingredients – not enough cocoa – and so had to improvise. I have given you the recipe as I varied it a certain amount. If you enjoy them (as we did) then give Mary Berry the credit. If you don’t like them then blame me!

Probably because of the change in chocolate : cocoa ratio they do make deliciously squidgy brownies. If you prefer yours a bit lighter then go back to the original recipe (which is here).

Chocolate Brownies

(Makes 24-ish)


  • 135g plain chocolate
  • 275g margarine, softened
  • 375g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 teasp baking powder

This is how I made them

  1. Butter and line a rectangular baking tray (approx 30cm x 22cm) with baking paper. Put the oven on at 180°C.
  2. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a metal bowl sat above a saucepan of boiling water (make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl, stir as little as possible and take the chocolate off the heat as soon as it’s hot enough to melt and let it cool for a few minutes)
  3. Put the butter in a mixing bowl with all the other ingredients (except the melted chocolate) and beat together with an electric whisk. Pour in the chocolate and mix again.
  4. Pour the mixture into the baking tray and level out the top. Cook for about 45 minutes.
  5. When cool, dust with icing sugar and cut into pieces. They are truly delicious whilst still warm from the oven, but were also pretty good the next day!
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