Chocolate brownie recipe from Ile de Païn

Île de Païn in Knysna is known for being one of the tastiest bakeries on the Garden Route – but if you aren’t in the area, co-owner and chef Liezie Mulder shares how you can make their chocolate brownies at home.


Cooking tips:

Some like brownies gooey, some prefer them cakey, while others like them somewhere in between. The secret is in how much you whisk the eggs before adding them to the batter. Whisking will make the batter lighter (and drier); less or no whisking will make the cake more moist to the point of being gooey.

These are moist and more like a dense cake, but not gooey or gummy. This recipe is well balanced, not too sweet and just right in terms of the moisture level. It also freezes well, or can be made a day in advance, and covered with a cloth.


Yield: one mould of 20 x 20 cm

  • 135 g chocolate, chopped (Arriba 72%, Felchlin, or similar quality chocolate)
  • 150 g butter
  • 335 g white sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 110 g cake flour
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 80 g whole pecan nuts

Cooking method

  1. Line the mould with baking paper to fit snugly into the corners.
  2. Place the chocolate in a mixing bowl.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. When it boils, pour over the chocolate. Vigorously stir in the sugar and salt. Stir in the eggs.
  4. Sift flour together with baking powder, and fold in.
  5. Spoon the batter into the mould, tap lightly to level it, and spread the pecans evenly on top.
  6. Bake at 150°C for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the batter comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool, then remove from the mould, and cut into desired size slices.
  8. A dollop of lightly whipped cream (stolen from its Austrian cousin, the sachertorte) will complete the brownie experience.