I never get tired of trialling new ways to jazz up the faithful brownie, and this devilish little recipe is no exception. Using my favourite soft and fudgey brownie recipe, I’ve swirled slatherings of salty and crunchy peanut butter through the batter; the result is a bloody irresistible black and gold masterpiece.
Peanut butter holds a pivotal part of my soul. I smear it on carrots and celery, dollop it on weetbix and spread it on warm toast with honey. But it has certainly found its place nestled in the dark billowy folds of a warm brownie. While we’re on the subject of peanut butter, let me follow a thought here. There are several things in this world that make no sense to me, like coffee shops that close at 5, bras that cost more than $20 and the priorities of the Australian government. Near the top of my list is smooth peanut butter. Why take something as legendary as the crunchy peanut, and pulverise the life out of it until nothing of the original beauty remains? Leave the peanut with a little of its dignity, and never serve me smooth peanut butter. Also, please don’t buy those unmentionable brands that slip all sorts of fillers in their jars. You only need one ingredient to make a good peanut butter! Get in the kitchen and whip up these bad boys, you can thank me later.
Peanut Butter Brownies
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 240 g good quality dark chocolate
- 170 g unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
- 3 large eggs, plus one extra yolk
- 200 g caster sugar
- 60 g dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 120 g wholemeal plain flour (gluten free plain flour works just as well)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 300 g good quality crunchy peanut butter
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F fan-forced. Grease and line a (roughly) 28 cm x 15 cm slice tin.
- On a lined baking tray, spread out the hazelnuts and roast for 8 minutes until aromatic and slightly browned. Allow the hazelnuts to cool slightly before rubbing them between your hands to remove any loose skins. Roughly chop or food process for a few seconds.
- In a medium heatproof bowl, stir the chocolate and butter over a pot of simmering water until almost melted. Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder until the mixture is smooth and all of the chocolate and butter has melted. Allow to cool until lukewarm.
- Meanwhile, beat the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl on high speed for 5 minutes until light and creamy. Add the vanilla and beat for another 30 seconds.
- Gently stir the cooled chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar with a rubber spatula. Sift the flour, almond meal and salt over the mixture, and carefully fold through along with the nuts until everything is just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin, and bang on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Warm the peanut butter in a saucepan over low heat for 2 minutes, or for 30 seconds in the microwave. Spoon it in little blobs throughout the brownie batter, and then use the handle of a teaspoon to drag lines through the batter and gently marble the peanut butter. Bake on the oven’s central rack for 30-35 minutes until a metal skewer comes out clean but moist. Take care not to overcook the brownies, from the 30 minute mark they will quickly change from ‘fudgey’ to ‘cakey’.
- Allow the brownie slab to cool slightly before lifting it from the tin, then cut into squares with a sharp knife. Best served warm!
Store brownies covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days, but warm just before serving.