I was tasked with making some birthday brownies. My normal go-to recipe would be Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s Tahini and Halva Brownies from Sweet, but I didn’t feel like an extra trip out for halva would be classed as ‘essential’. I set out a few cookbooks to find a new brownie option, Nigella’s are almost too rich. Candice Brown actually had an amazing sounding Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Blondie in her book Comfort that I’ve shortlisted, but it was Ruby Tandoh’s Black Treacle Cocoa Brownies from Flavour: Eat What You Love that got my motors running and mouth watering. Ruby Tandoh knows her way around.
Frugal is the last word you’d associate with a rich, gooey brownie, but these brownies are a thrifty treat. Relative to other brownie recipes, these are quite low in butter. They are also chocolate free, that is the chocolateyness comes entirely from cocoa. You’d never tell it was a frugal recipe – dark, treacly, chocolatey, gooey. All the brownie buzzwords.
The Black Treacle Cocoa Brownies are also remarkably easy to bring together. One bowl for mixing, one for weighing and I used a bog standard cake tin. Apart from the black treacle, most of the ingredients are bog-standard corner shop so it is a convenient sweet treat to make if that’s important to you… no halva or tahini here.
The clotted cream is optional.. but I’d have a glass of milk, or a dollop of greek yoghurt or anything of that ilk to temper the richness.
If you want to make these frugal, delicious and convenient brownies, they feature in Ruby Tandoh’s seminal sophomore tome, Flavour: Eat What you Love. That title is words to live by if ever I heard them. The recipe has also been handily published on the Guardian for your eating pleasure.