This brownie makes me happy. Here’s the deal – about this time last year, Simon and I went on an amazing five week adventure around Europe. While there, I fell in love with the Chocolate Brownie at Pret A Manger, a chain of food stores in London that we used to stop at for food and to use the free Wi-Fi. Their brownie is my favourite. We tried lots of new foods while on our trip (French Macarons, Frog’s legs, Gyros, Fresh Italian pasta and traditional pizza, copious amounts of Gelato, Milka Chocolate…) but Pret Brownie was the one thing that I knew I was going to miss once back in New Zealand. I used to sit there and try work out how they had made it.
Now we are back home and having to save for a wedding and then we will be doing a lot more saving for a house, so I was getting pretty upset the other day while looking through our travel photos, knowing that we wouldn’t be going on any exciting overseas adventures anytime soon. Then I came across my instagram pic of my last Pret Brownie. Oh the Memories. (And yes I instagram food pics. So what.) I decided to Google and see if I could find if anyone had tried recreating their brownie. What I didn’t expect to find was that Pret themselves had posted the recipe up on their facebook page! Their packaging says the recipe has been developed and tweaked over the years so I thought it would be a closely kept secret, like sauce at KFC. This was a very EXCITING discovery.
I’ve given the recipe a go and it is perfect – simple ingredients and very quick to make. The brownie is an indulgent, fudgy, chocolate treat. It has a flaky top, but the rest of the brownie is thick and gooey. I tweaked the recipe a smidge to suit the chocolate that I like to bake with and thought would make the brownie close to what I remember it being like, but you can find the original recipe here. This will be my go to brownie recipe from now on. I may not be going on any international travel soon, but as I said, this brownie makes me happy.
225g unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate (I used Whittakers 50% Dark Choc)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
275g caster sugar
135g plain flour
¼ teaspoon salt
100g dark chocolate chips (I used Nestle Choc Drops)
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 23cm square baking tin.
Melt the butter and the 200g of dark chocolate in a double boiler. Once all the butter and chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla and sugar together. If the chocolate mix is cool enough (if you can dip your finger into it without gasping at all it should be okay) add it to the eggs and sugar and mix well.
Add the flour and salt into the mixture and until combined. Mix through the chocolate chips.
Pour the mixture into the prepared. Bake for 20 minutes - the mixture should be set and firm on top but not completely cooked. They will continue to cook when out of the oven because of the stored heat in the mixture (err on the side of too little cooking rather than the opposite; if they are completely soggy you might just have to serve them with cream or ice cream in a bowl with a spoon).
Allow the brownie to cool a little before cutting into shapes with a sharp knife and don’t remove them from the tray until completely cold.
The last Pret brownie I had in London and the Instagram pic which led me to making this recipe. The Pret Pomegranate juice is pretty good too!