Donna Hay’s classic chocolate brownies (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

I dream about chocolate brownies at night. They are some of my favourite indulgent treats, my go-to decadence, my secret “sinful” food affair.

I would sometimes eat brownies when I’m alone in my car, where I wouldn’t have to share them with anyone else. I like them fudgey, dark and very chocolatey. This is Donna Hay’s recipe for classic chocolate brownies from her Magazine, October/November 2011. She did an 11-page spread on these brown beauties, featuring not only the classic version, but also caramel crunch brownies, cookies and cream blondies, coffee meringue brownies, dark chocolate and raspberries brownie tarts, brownie cookies with peanut butter frosting, choc-peppermint brownies and toffee pecan and caramel brownies. Now if that doesn’t have you drooling, I don’t think you’re human!

Donna’s classic brownie features 400 g dark chocolate, which sounds like a lot, but it makes a fabulous crunchy top and a deliciously chewy centre. Half of the chocolate gets melted in the batter, and the other half gets chopped and mixed with the batter. That means you get fabulous chunks of chocolate inside the brownie, which adds great texture.

I used a slightly cheaper dark chocolate with some almonds in it, as opposed to the more expensive, best quality 70 % dark chocolate. It really still tastes fantastic! If you would like to go the same route, substitute the flour with a mix of flour and cocoa powder to make sure the brownie is really dark.

Serve them at room temperature, or just slightly warmer if you like the chocolate to be gooey. Heavenly squares of dark, dense, fudgey, chewy chocolate.


  • 400 g dark chocolate, chopped (preferable 70 % cocoa solids)
  • 250 g butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar (I use 1 cup light brown sugar and 1 cup treacle sugar)
  • 6 eggs (I use XL)
  • 1 cup flour (or 200 ml flour and 50 ml cocoa powder, if you are using cheaper dark chocolate)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C.
  2. Place half of the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Place the sugar, eggs and flour in a bowl with the chocolate mixture and mix with a hand whisk to combine.
  4. Stir through the remaining chocolate pieces and pour batter into a lined/greased baking tin, about 20 x 30 cm.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked. Cool in the tin, then cut into squares.

These brownies will keep in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.


This post was especially written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Food: Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Photography: Tasha Seccombe.

Styling: Tasha Seccombe & Ilse van der Merwe.

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1 Comment

  1. These brownies look wonderful and the photography on your blog is fantastic. Really lovely

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