Baking Amy

A year of baking disasters and triumphs

Macadamia and chocolate chip brownies

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Why oh why do I keep making the same mistake?! Every time I bake a cake I over cook it. You’d think that two months into my challenge I would have learnt how to tell if a cake is cooked or not, but apparently not. Maybe I am unconsciously sabotaging my baking so that I don’t eat too much of it. Hmm, I might be onto something there. If I made a beautiful cake that was the epitome of perfection then I wouldn’t be able to stop eating it, but if it is less than perfect and a bit overcooked then I really don’t feel like eating that much of it.

Yesterday I made some brownies from the book Mix and Bake by Belinda Jeffery. I love this book, Belinda’s cakes are just beautiful and usually fool proof. The picture in the book is of a lovely gooey-fudgy brownie that looks divine. Mine however, turned out a bit dry and more cakey than gooey. I’m beginning to wonder if I should ditch the wooden skewer method of testing the ‘doneness’ of cakes, would a toothpick work better? Or maybe I should just trust the cooking time in the book as being accurate. Even though my brownies didn’t turn out quite like they should have they are still pretty good and you really should try this recipe.


  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 180g good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 385g castor sugar
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g roasted macadamias cut into large chunks
  • 100g good-quality dark chocolate buttons
  • Icing sugar (optional) to serve
  1. Roast the macadamias at 180°C until fragrant and leave to cool (leave the oven on when cooked as the brownies bake at 180°C)
  2. Butter a 23cm square cake tin, line with foil, butter then line the base with baking paper (I have no idea what the purpose of the foil is, if you know I would love to hear from you)
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heavy based pan over a low heat until the butter is nearly melted. Stir and set aside to cool
  4. Add the sugar and vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture (I transferred the chocolate to my mixer bowl but you don’t have to) and mix well
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until fully incorporated
  6. Add the flour and stir until combined but don’t overdo the stirring
  7. Fold in the macadamias and chocolate chips
  8. Put the batter into the prepared tin and shake gently to level the top
  9. Bake for 40-45 mins or until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the brownie comes out with very moist crumbs clinging to it (REMEMBER it should be gooey and if you insert your skewer into a piece of melted chocolate then it may look like you brownie is undercooked). Another good indicator that it is ready is to rest the palm of your hand lightly on the surface and gently jiggle the brownie from side to side – it should feel wobbly firm (do this rather than the skewer, I didn’t trust this test but I should have!)
  10. Cool the brownie in the tin on a wire rack
  11. Once cool, chill the brownie in the fridge for 30mins so it can firm up making it easier to slice with a hot dry knife

These brownies can be frozen for up to three weeks or will keep for one week in the fridge in an air tight container.