It is not a true children’s party if there isn’t a chocolate cake! Actually, for my husband it is not a cake if it doesn’t contain chocolate/cocoa. In the UK, and in my house, the most popular and loved choc-cake is brownie. I know, I know, it is not a typical Italian cake, but I discovered (thanks to my neighbours!) that in a town in the centre of Italy, Ferrara, they make a very similar dessert, called “Torta Tenerina“. Since 2012 I tried to make a good-enough brownie: right consistency, crunchy outside and soft inside, not too sweet, not too bitter, not too “rich” (the euphemism not to say “fat”), not too crumbly but not as hard as a stone. I’ve always failed until recently… One day, as a guest of one of my hubby’s colleague arrived recently in the city, Tao, I tasted the PERFECT brownie! I immediately asked him the recipe, but his answer was a bit vague: “… Add 3 eggs of free-range hens with a little more weight in sugar… add flour, one cup or less or more, but certainly not too much… add 200 g of chocolate of the monk… ” ??? After a few attempts, my result was not too bad, but still not as wonderful as the original, for this reason I called the recipe “Almost like Tao’s Brownie”. I share my recipe with you, tested and approved by an expert in choc desserts!

Brownie recipe

  • Servings: 12-15
  • Difficulty: easy

Loved by kids and grown-ups, brownie is an irresistible temptation, a truly choc-shock! Easy hands-on recipe to do with your kids, have fun with them in decorating its surface!


Brownie recipe -ingredients -
  • 200 g quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solid minimum)
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 150 g sugar (50% soft brown sugar)
  • 100 g butter
  • 80 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt


Break the chocolate into squares and put in a pan (1) with cubed butter (2), put the pan in a water bath until they become a smooth mixture (3). Beat the egg yolks with sugar (4), until the mixture becomes firm (5), then add a pinch of salt. Beat the egg whites until stiff (6) and slowly add them to the yolks-sugar mix. Pour the chocolate mix to the eggs mixture (7), mix until they become one (8). Add the flour and baking powder (9) and keep mixing. Pour the mixture in a tray, covered with non-stick baking paper. Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes at 180°C. At the end, if you like, dust it with icing sugar.

Tao's tips

Avoid putting too much flour and cooking too long. Put the mixture in the fridge for 2-3 hours before cooking, to have a soft core.

Kids’ precious help!

I let my younger chef break the chocolate bars and cube the butter using her knife, break the eggs, separate whites from yolks, add and mix the ingredients, pour and level the mixture in the tray. My elder chef enjoys measuring the ingredients, beating the egg whites and decorate the cake once cooked and cooled.


Using icing sugar

We love to decorate our brownie! Sometimes we cut shapes or letters out of a sheet of baking paper and use the trimmings (or paper leftovers) as a mask to put on the cake top. Then we dust it with icing sugar and lastly – and carefully – remove it.

Using coloured sugar paste

Sometimes we decorate our brownie using ready-to-roll icing: once it turned into a “Day of the Dead skull”, perfect as a Halloween treat (more ideas about Halloween food here); another time it became a “piano” brownie, much appreciated at an informal music concert. I like also to bring a “school logo” brownie in occasions of cake sale events.
Maths Cookie image

CraftyMessyMom’s Maths Cookies

KIRFs: dividing by 3, factors of 24, doubling, telling the time.
  1. If I add 150 g of sugar to 3 eggs, how much sugar did I add for each egg?
  2. I have 24 squares of chocolate; can you guess how long were the two chocolate bar sides? (es. one side of 3 squares and the other one of 8 squares)
  3. I have to make a double weight brownie; can you double the ingredients?
  4. If I put the brownie in the oven at 3:47 pm and the cooking time is 15 minutes, what time will the cake be ready?

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3 thoughts on “(Almost like) Tao’s brownie

  1. Thanks for the recepies, I’m going to ask my brother Stefano to cook it !

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