Brownies, in my opinion, too often get by on reputation alone. I think many of us hold a platonic ideal of a brownie in our minds; it’s indulgent, rich with the flavour of chocolate, probably a little fudgy, and perfectly balanced between sweet, salty, and bitter. However a lot of brownies fall short of this, instead delivering something one dimensional.
When developing my recipe, I thought about a way to layer flavours and enhance the central ingredient, chocolate, while offering just a little bit more. Texture is another crucial component in a great brownie and wholemeal rye flour lends itself perfectly to that fudgy bite thanks to a low protein content. Together with coffee, salt, two different types of sugar, and deep roasted peanut butter, the brownies have a rich flavour that reveals its depth with every bite.
A small note on ingredients: during the first lockdown I really enjoyed how most recipe writers acknowledged limitations in ingredient sourcing and suggested swaps, something I do hope is here to stay. With that in mind, you can absolutely make this recipe with regular all purpose flour, caster sugar, and whatever peanut butter you have around. It will still be delicious, as long as you balance the flavour with salt, and watch your baking time.
150g dark chocolate (70%)
150g unsalted butter
3 eggs at room temperature
100g wholemeal rye flour
100g coconut or soft dark brown sugar
100g soft light brown sugar
1tsp vanilla bean paste
1tsp instant coffee
2tbsp deep roast peanut butter (I used Manilife)
Handful of roasted salted peanuts for the topping