200g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
1 vanilla pod
200g brown sugar
120ml vegetable oil
75g plain flour, sifted
50g cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g walnuts, finely chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Heat a saucepan with water and place a heat resistant bowl on top. Melt the chocolate in the bowl.
Cut the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the black vanilla seeds.
In a separate mixing bowl combine sugar, oil, vanilla seeds and eggs. Beat with an electric whisk until it becomes a smooth pale yellow mixture. Add the melted chocolate to this mixture.
Fold in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder. If you are using the walnuts add them in at this stage.
Spoon the mixture evenly into a square lined baking tin. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Pierce with a skewer and if it comes out clean they are cooked if not then place back in the oven for an extra 3-5 minutes until cooked. They should be squidgy but not wet in the middle.
Remove and cool. Once cooled cut into squares and dust with icing sugar.