All 3 entries tagged Brownies
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December 31, 2010
I really like this Chocolate Brownie recipe. The end result is densely chocolate, moist and good. The ingredients and the method is ever so simple and you can't go wrong with it¹. I've even forgotten to add eggs to it once and it was just extra gooey and went wonderfully well with icecream. I found the recipe in my Usborne First Cookbook, which I bought when I was in primary school. Now, when I think about it, it is my first ever cookbook. So, the newer editions (which Amazon tells me there's a few) may not have this recipe. Anyhow, my mistake was not making them until I was about twenty. By this point, I had passed from a nine-year old who disliked brownies (in the '80s British brownies were more like a boring chocolate cake) to a twenty-year old who had spent a year in the US and wanted to recreate that dense chocolate experience. The brownies were an instant hit and I gained a reputation as a Chocolate Brownie Queen. This is the recipe that I go back to all the time, even though I'm on an Ultimate Chocolate Brownie Recipe Hunt.
What I love about this recipe is that it is a fantastically easy basic brownie recipe and I'll often add things to suit the ocassion. I've listed a few that I've tried below.
Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Brownies adapted from Usborne First Cookbook.
- 4oz/100g dark chocolate
- 4oz/100g butter
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 2 beaten eggs
- 4oz/100g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 6oz/160g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 or 2 tbsp of milk if the mixture is too firm.
And the secret ingredient? Well, this is when you make it your own and add in something extra. Here's a starter for 5:
- My favourite - a 200g packet of maltesers/revels etc.
- 50g of roughly chopped walnuts/pecans/brazil nuts etc.
- 100g celebrations
- 2 tbsp Baileys or any Irish Cream liquor.
- Zest of one orange and 1 tsp of mixed spices and 1 tsp of cinnamon.
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Line a square baking dish with baking paper. The dish be between 20 - 25cm.
Top Tip: I've found that stoneware, pyrex or ceramic dishes produce better results that a baking tin.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl in the microwave.
3. As the chocolate and butter is being zapped in the microwave, measure out the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into another bowl. Sift the flour if you want to, but it's not necessary.
4. Add the vanilla extract and sugar to the chocolate melted goodness and mix well.
5. Add the beaten eggs and keep mixing to combine it all. Don't worry - they won't scramble.
6. Gradually add in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder so that the whole mixture is well combined.
7. Let your imagination go wild and add in your extra ingredients. In the top photo I used maltesers and hazlenuts.
8. Bake in oven for 20 mins. The secret is to take them out when the top is firm to touch but still wobbles when you shake it.
The verdict? Yummmm.... simple and delicious. I really like the brownie that it produces.
Happy Hogmanay 2010.
¹However, I did get it wrong. Once. Very badly. I added in cointreau, orange zest and mixed spices, which lent it a lovely Christmassy feel. It would totally have worked, except I had run out of some ingredients so I substituted:
flour with wholemeal flour
eggs with vinegar and bicarbonate of soda
As I took it out the oven, the bubbling mistake was unrecognizable as a brownie, in looks or taste. A complete disaster in the brownie front but as I explained away the disaster and said it tasted a bit like a Christmas flapjack, it all went. What a laugh! But - don't repeat my disaster. Some ingredients are irreplaceable.
August 20, 2010
It has almost been a year since I started this blog and I began it with a poem. Coincidentally, I'm celebrating it's first anniversary with another one.
I put up a twitter post asking people to guess the mystery ingredient in one of my brownies. They came back with chestnuts, courgettes, chillis... all great ideas... but incorrect. (it was maltesers). The chilli suggestion, however, reminded me of the time I experimented with brownies by adding in chillies. My friend Jen ate one. This was her reaction.
Jen spits it out. Eugh!
"What did you put in this one?"
September 14, 2009
Before I got distracted by baking with vegetables, I was on the hunt for the ultimate chocolate brownie recipe.
As a child, I really disliked brownies until the day I tasted one baked by some American friends. Since then, it’s all about baking fudgy brownies. As I’ve discovered the world of food blogs, my interest has grown into a preoccupation about trying out and hunting down the ultimate chocolate brownie recipe.
What I love about brownies is the sheer simplicity of the recipes that produce such gorgeous mouthfuls of gooeyness. So on top of that, I’ll also be considering the incredible fudginess, intensity of the flavour and the moistness. Mmmm… So, let the ultimate brownie challenge begin!
The first one I’m trying out is Coco and Me’s luxury chocolate brownies recipe and I’m definitely learning a few tips from the expert on the baking front. She has a fabulous brownie recipe and guide which I won’t copy out here (just follow the link above). Instead, some snippets from my thoughts whilst trying it out.
- Coco’s luxury one’s take much longer prep time than my usual recipe mostly due to the fine chopping of the chocolate. However, I’m liking the step of melting the butter in a pan and then adding sugar. Just realized that if I kept at it then I’d be making some sort of caramel. Question – does that add to the fudginess?
- Coco wants me to add the eggs into this hot mixture – won’t they scramble..? No, they don’t! Then I add it to the chocolate so that it melts it all. Hmmm… that worked really well. I’ve changed my method to do this now for my recipe.
- Coco also uses, proportion wise, almost double the amount chocolate and butter to flour…. My normal recipe is same amount of butter, chocolate and flour. Will this reflect in the intensity of the flavour?
- Coco asks for a mixture of nuts. For good measure, I’ve added brazil nuts, walnuts, hazlenuts and pistachios with pecans to decorate the tops.
So, prep wise – Coco’s took longer to prepare. But the real test will be in the testing.
So MMmmm-ometer (all out of 5Mmm’s)
Simplicity – MMMm (i think that with practice this will go to 4.5 Mmmms)
Fudginess – MMMM
Intensity of Flavour – MMMM
Moistness – MMMMM
Reviews from tasters/testers – won lots of votes this one, especially because of the mixture of the nuts and the moistness.
Verdict – A definite contender with 16.5/20 (possibly 17.5)
I’m interested to hear your verdicts too on this recipe.
There’s a wee ps. to this entry. Coco and Me has a stall in London’s Broadway Market and she sells these brownies and more chocolate delights there. Sadly, each time I’ve been down to visit, she has been away… :( If you get the chance to go down there – please taste a brownie for me.