You wouldn't think that something as tasty and moreish as a chocolate brownie would appear in Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins. After all, this is a book about Hollywood: the land of stars that don't tend to eat anything high calorie, high carb, high fat (and high taste. Probably).
But Hollywood Wives is about more than Hollywood and wives. There's also a murder and a mystery. Enter Detective Leon Rosemont. A Philadelphia cop pursuing Deke Andrews across America.
Leon is married to Millie and they've been happy for three years. But Leon's growing a roll of extra tummy flesh means he has to eat bland cottage cheese in an effort to reduce his size.
When it's Millie's birthday he marks the occasion by buying her a huge strawberry cake. Millie though, expected him to forget and has made herself chocolate fudge brownies, from him to her, just in case. They "almost bring tears" to the eyes of the man who has been on a diet for some time. I'm sure the only reason Leon remembers her birthday is because he's desperate and half-starved for cake. I think that is completely understandable!
For Leon, the cake has the desired effect and, "there was dancing and laughter and more good natured fun than he could remember in a long time." Cake does have that effect. Especially chocolate brownies.
The trick with making brownie is to take it out the oven before you think it's cooked. As it cools it hardens leaving behind a moist, squishy, beautiful, brownie. I recommend 35 minutes cooking time but if you think your oven cooks faster, keep an eye on it (don't keep opening the door though!) and maybe take it out five minutes before.
200g dark chocolate
4 medium eggs (or 3 large ones)
275g caster sugar
40g cocoa powder
100g plain flour
100g white chocolate, chopped into small chunks*
100g milk chocolate, chopped into small chunks*
*You could replace either of these with dark chocolate chunks or chopped nuts if you like.
Electric mixer, 20cm/8inch square tin (or a rectangular or round one, as long as the squared centimetres add up to the same – or very close), baking parchment to line the tin, spatula.
- Heat oven to 180c regular or 160c fan.
- Melt the dark chocolate with the butter. Either in the microwave or on the hob. Allow to cool.
- In a separate bowl whisk the eggs with the sugar. Whisk until it is pale and doubled in volume.
- When the chocolate/butter mixture has cooled, fold into the egg/sugar mixture. Don't be vigorous as you don't want to lose the air.
- Sift in the cocoa and flour. Don't overmix.
- Scatter over the chocolate chunks then pour into your lined baking tray.
- Bake for 35 minutes. It should come out wobbly, so you don't think it is done. But it will harden as it cools.