This recipe for pecan fudge brownies comes from a little notebook I’ve had since I was a kid. In this book, I would painstakingly write down all my favourite recipes. If only my handwriting were still that neat!
Interestingly, the ‘family favourites’ category is filled with many sweet treats, from these brownies, to cakes, slices and cookies. I seem to remember that sweet treats featured heavily in my early forays of cooking with my sisters.
The origin of the brownie
I’ve read that the first reference to “brownie” in the USA appears in the Sears Roebuck Catalogue, published in Chicago in 1898. The brownie is believed to have been created at the request of Bertha Palmer, socialite and philanthropist.
Mrs Palmer was head of the Board of Lady Managers for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. She directed Palmer House pastry chefs to design a recipe for a dessert that could be transported in boxed lunches at the Women’s Pavilion. The brownie served in the Palmer House Hilton today is the same as that original recipe.
Reducing the sugar from the original recipe
I’ve reduced the sugar from the original recipe, replacing it with some almond meal. I’ve used also wholemeal flour instead of plain white flour. The pecan fudge brownies still have that gooey, fudgey texture I remember. My favourite piece is the corner piece, with its hard outer layer and soft centre.
Using different nuts and dark chocolates
Sometimes I make the pecan fudge brownies with different nuts. Both walnuts and hazelnuts work well in this recipe.
You might also like to try experimenting with different dark chocolates. Lindt makes a beautiful range of dark chocolates with mint, raspberry, strawberry and orange flavours. You might like to try adding one of these.
How to serve pecan fudge brownies
I find the pecan fudge brownies hard to resist just as they are, still warm from the oven. As a decadent dessert, serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of warm chocolate sauce. On the rare occasion that there are leftover squares after a few days, you can crumb them up and store them into a tub of vanilla ice-cream.
Do you prefer a brownie with more of a cake-like texture? You might like to try this fig, cardamom and orange brownie recipe.
PS: If you’ve tried this pecan fudge brownie recipe any other recipe on At Amanda’s Table, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below. If you’d like to read more, please subscribe to my monthly newsletter for stories, recipes and tips for simple, nutritious meals.
Pecan Fudge Brownies
- 150 g good quality dark chocolate, chopped I use Lindt dark chocolate, 70% cocoa
- 125 g unsalted butter, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (300 g)
- 1 cup wholemeal flour (125 g)
- 1/2 cup almond meal (60 g) make your own by blending raw almonds in a food processor
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans (120 g) substitute with chopped walnuts or hazelnuts
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ (160℃ fan-forced).
- Grease and line a 19cm square baking tin with baking paper.
- Balance a medium-sized pyrex mixing bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water (or use a double boiler if you have one). The bowl should not be touching the water.
- Melt the butter and chocolate in the mixing bowl, then stir in the sugar until it has dissolved. Remove the bowl from the heat and allow it to cool.
- Mix together the flour, almond meal, chopped pecans, baking powder and salt in a second mixing bowl.
- Whisk the eggs and vanilla bean paste together and then stir into the cooled chocolate mixture.
- Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir until all the ingredients are combined.
- Pour the brownie mixture into the the prepared tin, smooth out the top with a spatula and cook for 30 minutes. When cooked, the brownie will have pulled away from the edges and be firm on top when pressed with a spoon. It should be moist and fudgey in the centre.
- After ten minutes, remove from the tin and allow it to cool before cutting it into squares. Eat as it is, or serve with vanilla ice cream and warm chocolate sauce.