By Talitha Fraser
We live in times where the focus is on those things that divide rather than connect us but as Chappo (Peter Chapman) says “You should share communion together, it has a unique power to unite beyond words.”
Sometimes community is a few households sharing life together. This brownie recipe feels symbolic of that as the plate I regularly bring to share at special occasions – birthdays, Christmas, dedications… When I was interning with Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries (BCM) in 2012, my community back in Melbourne sent me their smiling, summer faces into my crisply cold California day so that I might feel ‘at the table’. I made brownies for the Institute that year and we started up an Institute cookbook and I like to think they’re still being made. Taking our recipes with us means we can feel at home wherever we are and share that hospitality with others. Rather than one community here and another there… there’s just one big community. Please join us. Make brownies.
400g dark chocolate (50%+ dark/bittersweet is good)
4 cups sugar
2 ½ tsp vanilla essence
3 cups gf plain flour (normal flour works, but GF makes fudgier brownies)
1 cup cocoa
2 cups nuts (optional, but you might like to add walnuts or macadamias)
Icing sugar to dust
Melt butter, chocolate and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
[Egg pro tips: if you don’t let the chocolate cool enough there’s a risk of scrambling egg in your brownie mix. I recommend breaking the eggs into a cup and adding them one at a time to the mixture – this way if there’s anything wrong with that egg or some shell falls in it’s not affecting your whole mixture. Put the empty half egg shells inside each other so you don’t get confused about how many you’ve added!]
Mix the eggs in one at a time beating well between each addition.
Sieve the flour and cocoa into a separate bowl. Fold these into the chocolate mixture and finally add the vanilla.
Pour into a baking-paper lined roasting pan.
Bake in a moderate oven at 180C/350F for 35 minutes.
Sieve icing sugar over once cool then cut.