Chocolate brownie hearts

  • Prep: 10m
  • Cook: 20m
  • Serves: 8

There’s something of a division among bakers when it comes to brownies: the fudge/dense camp and the crumbly/cakey camp. It can get quite heated. We like to think that this recipe might unite both sides: not so cakey that’s its made like a sponge, but not so gooey that it’s soft like fondant. Perfect for afternoon tea with your Valentine or to finish a romantic meal.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / gas mark 6. Line a small roasting or cake tin (roughly 20cm x 20cm) with baking paper.
  2. Put the butter, dark chocolate and 1 tbsp of the pink peppercorns into a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and let everything melt together gently. Remove from the heat and leave it to cool a little.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the eggs and both sugars together until thick. This will take a good 5 minutes in a food processor. The mixture should be thick, pale and quadrupled in volume.
  4. Next, add the chocolate mixture to the beaten eggs mixture and fold together. Be gentle so the mixture stays airy.
  5. Add the flour and baking powder and fold once more.
  6. Pour into the prepared tin and scatter the remaining tablespoon of pink peppercorns over the top. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. You want it to stay quite soft and moist in the middle, so they should be springy to the touch and set on top, but if you insert a skewer into the centre, it should come out sticky.
  7. Take out of the oven and cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning out and cutting into hearts with a heart-shaped cutter. This is best done while the brownies are still warm.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


All to be sourced organic where possible

  • 2 tbsp pink peppercorns, crushed
  • 175g salted butter
  • 175g good dark chocolate (at least 70%)
  • 2 eggs
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 65g demerara sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Alternatives to peppercorns:
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or,
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger or,
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom or,
  • Zest of 1 large orange.
Kathy Slack

Kathy Slack

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