I’m going to tell you a secret. The kind of secret that your friends will plead for, one that will make grown men fall in love with you and your enemies turn green with envy. This is hands down the best recipe for chocolate brownies that I have ever found. Milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard? Pshaw! These chocolate brownies work much better. Three thoughts that might help:

1. You must – absolutely must – use real butter and dark brown sugar. Not golden caster sugar, you want the most flavourful dark brown sugar you can find. Billington’s molasses sugar is the best, but Sainsburys’ dark brown soft sugar is surprisingly good.

2. You can replace part or all of the flour with cocoa powder for an even more chocolatey (and less sweet) result – and the more cocoa you add the softer the brownie will be. It will take longer to cook, and you will lose the crumbly, friable crust you get on brownies, but instead you will create something closer to a chocolate brownie fondant. It’s lovely either way – experiment and see what you prefer.

3. I tend to leave out the vanilla essence, and scatter in a handful of raspberries or morello cherries…