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Emergency Brownies

by . Featured in AT MY TABLE
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Introduction

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 tin. 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 takeaway-style foil tins in the house just to make these. Take my word for it, it will be a frequent occurrence.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

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 tin. 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 takeaway-style foil tins in the house just to make these. Take my word for it, it will be a frequent occurrence.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Emergency Brownies
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

Makes: 2 generous squares or 4 more modest rectangles

Metric Cups
  • 50 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 50 grams soft light brown sugar
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon maple or golden syrup
  • 3 x 15ml tablespoons plain flour
  • 3 x 15ml tablespoons cocoa
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 1 large egg (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50 grams walnut pieces
  • 50 grams dark or milk chocolate chips (as wished)
  • 3 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple or golden syrup or light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup walnut pieces
  • ¼ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (as wished)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan/325°F. Put the butter, sugar and maple or golden 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 a foil tin measuring approx. 18 x 11 x 5cm / 7 x 5 x 2in. 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 leave to 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.
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan/325°F. Put the butter, sugar and maple or golden syrup 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, unsweetened 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 a foil tin measuring approx. 18 x 11 x 5cm / 7 x 5 x 2in. 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 leave to 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.

Additional Information

STORE NOTE:
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 5 days.

STORE NOTE:
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 5 days.

Tell us what you think

What 4 Others have said

  • Made this with the 6-year old grandson yesterday, we were all (including grandpa) ecstatic. Brilliant recipe, thanks!

    Posted by moragsmum on 20th June 2020
  • These are AWESOME. Perfect lockdown brownies. Nice to bake and keep my toddler amused, whilst not resulting in too many to expand the waistline! Delish.

    Posted by LozzyS on 13th May 2020
  • 10/10 - absolutely stunning brownies!

    Posted by tinamanea on 3rd May 2020
  • Hello Nigella, I am in self isolation as a result of the covid-19 virus. I found your Emergency Brownies recipe and thankfully I had the ingredients on hand (not that there were many). Absolutely delicious, hit the spot. Thank you from Canada.

    Posted by Diane57 on 1st April 2020
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