Budget Baking: Store cupboard Brownies

Budget Baking: Store cupboard Brownies

Brownies are amazing, they combine the best of solid chocolate and cake – by being gooey like chocolate becomes when it melts in your mouth, but still being cake (aka the superior food stuff). However, brownies can be expensive to bake, especially if you want to buy good quality, 70% dark chocolate to melt into it… well have I got the recipe for you.

I adapted this from a Food52 recipe (the greatest foodie website, bookmark it now!), which replaces the melted chocolate with extra butter (the fat) and cocoa powder (the chocolate flavour). They were literally the simplest brownies to make and I whipped them up in just over half an hour, which isn’t half bad for a Saturday morning’s work. The only thing I would change is using a slightly smaller baking dish, as the mixture spread out a little too thin and the brownie were a bit too skinny for my liking. But hey, I guess it was enforced portion control? Not that I needed it, I carted these babies to my friends R & J’s birthday party and they were gone in minutes – I only got one piece!

So here’s how you make budget brownies that taste even better than anything you can make with 70% dark chocolate…

Store Cupboard Brownies


  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (a pain to measure out, but yes you need to)
  • 1 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbs cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed is best)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain flour (unsifted, but stirred to remove lumps)
  • OPTIONAL: 2/3 cup walnut or pecan nuts, chopped


  1.  Preheat the oven to 160C and line the bottom and sides of a 16cm square baking tin with grease proof (baking) paper
  2. Put a pot half-filled with water on the stove over a medium heat and bring to a barely-simmer
  3. In a heat-proof bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt and place over the barely-simmering water to create a double-boiler. Using a wooden spoon, stir lightly until the butter begins to melt and the ingredients come together. The mixture may become a bit thick, that’s ok, as long as it’s all melted and combined. Remove when the mix is just too hot to touch and allow to cool until ‘warm’ on the kitchen bench
  4. Add the vanilla and stir with the wooden spoon
  5. Then add the eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each egg. When the batter is thick and glossy, add the flour and stir until combined
  6. Once combined, beat for 40 more strokes with the wooden spoon or a plastic spatula
  7. If using nuts, this is the time to fold them through
  8. Spread the mixture evenly across the lined pan and then bake for 20-25 minutes in the lower third of the oven
  9. The brownies are done when a skewer comes out just moist with batter
  10. Lift the brownies out very carefully using the over-hanging baking paper and transfer to a wire cooling rack
  11. Allow the brownies to cool as much as you can before cutting them, although they are great warm
  12. Cut into 16 square and share