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Food

Nigella Lawson’s Emergency Brownies

This is for those times you urgently need a brownie, but don’t want to make – or, rather, can’t justify making – a whole batch. This recipe makes two (four if needs be) fudgy brownies to be snaffled straight from the pan. And they can be turned into glorious sundaes: squodge into glasses with ice cream, pour a little maple syrup over, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

It is worth keeping takeout aluminum foil pans in the house just to make these. Take my word for it, it will be a frequent occurrence.

MAKES 2 GENEROUS SQUARES OR 4 MORE MODEST RECTANGLES

Unsalted butter – 3 tablespoons, soft

Light brown sugar – ¼ cup

Maple or light corn syrup – 1 tablespoon

All-purpose flour – 3 tablespoons

Unsweetened cocoa powder – 3 tablespoons

Sea salt flakes – ¼ teaspoon or ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt

Egg – 1 large, at room temperature

Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon

Walnut pieces – ½ cup

Chocolate chips – ¼ cup, dark or milk, as wished

1 x approx. 7 x 4 x 2 inches aluminum foil pan

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Put the butter, sugar, and maple or light corn syrup into a small heavy-based saucepan and gently warm, stirring once or twice, until the butter’s melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat.

  2. Fork together the flour, cocoa, and salt to mix, then beat into the butter and sugar pan with a wooden spoon or spatula until smoothly combined.

  3. Whisk the egg with the vanilla – just casually, by hand – then stir into the pan, giving a final little whisk, if needed, to make sure everything’s mixed together thoroughly, before folding in the nuts and chocolate chips. Pour and scrape this nubbly brownie batter into an aluminum foil pan measuring approx. 7 x 4 x 2 inches. Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes until it is beginning to come away at the sides and the top has dried a little just around the edges.

  4. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool – but not completely. I leave them for 20–30 minutes (and that’s difficult enough) so that my first bite gets them when still warm, but just set enough to cut into 2 squidgy squares. If your need is not so great, or you want them to go further, cut each square in half again.

Excerpted from the book AT MY TABLE by Nigella Lawson. Copyright © 2018 by Nigella Lawson. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Jonathan Lovekin.

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