Brownies with flaky salt and white chocolate chunks 

The world is divided between those who like their brownies cakey and those who like them chewy. Mine are in the latter camp, dense and chocolatey, and while you can eat them as soon as they are made, they are even better when refrigerated overnight, which makes them extra fudgy. I usually use Valrhona Caraibe chocolate, which is 66 per cent cacao but feel free to use another brand that you like, ideally one with a cacao content of 60 to 70 per cent rather than the super-bittersweet kind. White chocolate chips will work here, but I prefer the irregular appearance you get when you chop a bar into bits.


200g dark chocolate (minimum 60 per cent cacao, see above)

110g salted butter

200g sugar (I use organic granulated cane sugar)

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 vanilla pod 1

75g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp fine sea salt

100g white chocolate

¼ – ½ tsp flaky sea salt

1 Preheat the oven to 180C (160C Fan) gas 4. Cut a 23cm × 40.5cm strip of baking paper and use it to line the bottom and two sides of a 23cm square tin, letting the excess paper hang over the ends. (Tip: don’t trim the paper to fit the bottom of the tin. You will need the overhang to lift the brownies out of the tin once they cool).

2 Bring about 2.5cm depth of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Turn the heat to low so the water is barely simmering. Place a glass or metal bowl over the pan. (Note: the bottom of the bowl shouldn’t touch the simmering water. If the chocolate gets too hot, it can become grainy.

3 Coarsely chop the chocolate and put it in the bowl. As it starts to melt, cut the butter into chunks and add them to the bowl. Let them melt together, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and let the chocolate mixture cool for about 5 minutes. (Note: if the chocolate mixture is too hot, it will scramble the beaten eggs in the next step).

4 Combine the sugar and eggs in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until pale and light in texture, about 2 minutes. Use the tip of a small knife to split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the egg mixture, saving the pod for another use.

5 Add the chocolate mixture and mix on low speed until thoroughly incorporated. Sift the flour, baking powder and sea salt onto the chocolate mixture and mix by hand just until combined. Coarsely chop the white chocolate into small bits and fold them into the batter. (Tip: you don’t want to overmix the batter after adding the dry ingredients or the brownies will be tough; mix just until it is a uniform dark brown).

6 Spread the batter in the prepared tin. Sprinkle with flaky salt to taste. Bake the brownies until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 25 to 30 minutes. Don’t overbake! Place the tin on a wire rack to cool completely.

7 Run a knife around the inside of the tin and lift up on the paper flaps to remove the brownie from the tin in one piece. Let the brownies cool completely before cutting into bars, and store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature.