Three brownie recipes from The Exploding Bakery

Tom Oxford and Oliver Coysh
·5-min read

Marmalade on toast brownies

Repurposing that forgotten sourdough loaf is a fun way to reduce wastage and add crunchy texture to a fudgey brownie. Making the mix with a low-gluten wheat flour from a local miller can also add some maltiness, but it’s OK to use normal white cake flour, too.

Prep 30 min
Cook 45 min
Makes 1 large tray (15-20 slices)

2 big slices sourdough, crusts removed
300g
good-quality dark chocolate
250g
unsalted butter
300g
caster sugar
5
eggs
200g
plain flour
1 tsp
sea salt
50g
candied orange peel (optional)
100g
marmalade

Cut the bread into large crouton-sized chunks. Put on a baking tray and bake at 120C (100C fan)/250F/gas ½ until they’re really crunchy and brittle, and have lost their chewiness (don’t worry if there’s a little colour on the bread; some toasty flavour is a good thing).

Melt the chocolate and butter in a large bowl set over simmering water or in a heavy-based pan on a very low heat. Add the sugar and mix until it starts to dissolve.

Once the chocolate has cooled down a little, add the eggs and beat in until glossy. Sift in the flour and salt, lightly fold until combined, then chuck in the candied orange, if using.

Scrape the mix into a roughly 23cm x 33cm baking tin lined with greaseproof paper. Scatter the sourdough croutons on top, then press down into the brownie mix. Spoon teaspoon-sized dollops of marmalade on top and bake at 170C (150C fan)/325F/gas 3 for 25-30 minutes – you want a bit of a wobble in the middle of the tray to get that fudgy texture. Serve warm with ice-cream, or leave to cool, store in an airtight container and eat over the coming days with a cup of tea.

Fruit and nut vegan brownie

There’s something remarkably similar about this to the experience of eating a Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut bar, as the hazelnuts crunch between your teeth and the raisins get all up in your gums. The only difference is the chocolate flavour is in your face with a big smile, waving at you and saying hello. You’ll probably say hello back.

Prep 30 min
Cook 1 hr
Makes 1 large tray (15-20 slices)

1 earl grey tea bag
125g raisins
185ml
boiling water
20g cornflour mixed with 35ml cold water, to form a paste
360g
good-quality dark chocolate
140g
rapeseed oil
285g
caster sugar
150g
ground almonds
100g
gluten-free oat flour
40g cocoa powder
50g
pistachios
1 tsp fine sea salt

For the candied nuts
100g hazelnuts
100g
flaked almonds
20g
golden syrup

Heat the oven to 170C (150C fan)/325F/gas 3. Put the hazelnuts and almonds on a tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with the golden syrup and bake for 10-15 minutes, until toasty and glistening: check after 10 minutes to see how they’re getting on, and turn them over with a spatula. Remove and leave to cool.

Put the tea bag and raisins in a large bowl, add the boiling water and leave to infuse for a few minutes. Remove the bag and add the cornflour paste (you may need to microwave the cornflour mix to help thicken it).

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water, then add the oil and leave to warm and merge evenly. Pour into a bowl, add the sugar, combine on a medium speed, then add the raisin mixture and mix on a high speed until glossy and fully emulsified. Add the ground almonds, oat flour, cocoa powder, pistachios and salt, and mix to combine.

Pour the mix into a roughly 23cm x 33cm baking tin lined with greaseproof paper and sprinkle the candied nuts on top. Bake at 170C (150C fan)/325F/gas 3 for 35-40 minutes. The brownies will keep for a few weeks in an airtight container.

Salted rye brownie

This recipe uses rye flour (we like Gilchesters Organics) because we love the nutty flavour it brings, but other heritage grains, such as emmer or einkorn, can also be used here. A high-quality chocolate with a decent level of acidity and bitterness will give the cake an almost savoury edge. Cacao nibs bring a crunch to the party, but you can always use nuts instead, if you prefer. To really dive in at the deep end of the flavour pool, try these with some smoked sea salt sprinkled on top.

Prep 25 min
Cook 30 min
Makes 1 large tray (15-20 slices)

550g good-quality dark chocolate
200g
butter
6
eggs
350g
soft light brown sugar
200g
rye flour
4g
baking powder
2g
fine sea salt
40g
raw cacao nibs
5g
sea salt flakes (smoked is a fun addition)

Heat the oven to 170C (150C fan)/325F/gas 3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, then leave to cool a little.

Beat the eggs with an electric whisk for about six minutes, adding the sugar a little at a time, until frothy.

Slowly stir in the melted chocolate so the mix becomes emulsified, then add the rye flour, baking powder and fine sea salt and mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into a roughly 23cm x 33cm baking tin lined with greaseproof paper, sprinkle with the cocoa nibs and bake for 30 minutes, until puffed up but still wobbly. Leave to cool, then sprinkle with flaked sea salt. The brownies will keep for a few weeks in an airtight container.