Sunday, 13 February 2011

Everyone got Chocolate Brownies.

I'm about to make a bold statement... I think these chocolate brownies are the best things that I have ever made! And as you will probably know, the sheer scale of stuff that I like to make, makes that quite a statement. I could've so happily eaten the whole lot myself but I selflessly distributed them; I had to spread the word.
I urge you to give these a go, you will not be disappointed!

The recipe came from the truly wonderful Hummingbird Bakery cookbook,
but I "pimped it up" a little.

Original recipe for "Traditional Brownie"

What you need:

200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (that was 2 standard "divine" bars for me.
175g unsalted butter
325g caster sugar
130g plain flour
3 eggs
icing sugar (to decorate)

Then, in addition, I put in a small bag of mixed nuts that I roughly chopped, a handful of milk chocolate chips and 2 small packets of milky bar buttons.

Recommended tray was 33x23x5cm (Mine was smaller, about 28x23 and I think that was a good thing)

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.

Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth.

Remove from the heat. Add the sugar and stir until well incorporated.

Add the flour and stir until well incorporated.

Finally, stir in the eggs and mix until thick and smooth.

Then I folded in my extra things.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until flaky on the top but still soft in the centre. Be careful not to overcook otherwise the edges will become hard and crunchy. Leave to cool before cutting into rectangles.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Then I used the lovely gold foil that the divine chocolate came in to make a birthday portion for Kirstie:

Now that really does beat a sandwich bag, doesn't it...

Then, I knew Priya would want a sample but I had no chocolate wrap left,
what I did have however, was... tin foil!

And look at the lovely texture that this foil has, (little diamonds) - very cute!

But the main motivation for making these brownies was my dinner night on Wednesday for Rhi, Bella, Baz and Nic. When I was teaching Wednesday morning I picked up a plastic magnetic letter and thought, yes, great, I'll make personalised brownies for my dinner party dessert!
So I printed off their initials, carefully cut them out and used them as stencils for dusting their brownies with icing sugar. We ate "Arial" letters out of icing sugar but I tried a more complicated font the 2nd time - I think it's good to push yourself if you're a confident cutter-outer!
I should also say that I turned the brownies over to stencil them as the cracked surface wouldn't have worked so well to give a good finish.

This is a "J" in "French Script MT".

When re-creating mine to eat the next day I went a step further and stenciled the spoon with cocoa powder as an extra feature. Can you tell I'm really enjoying my new mini sieve? (from Occasion Cakes - £2).

So, finally here is my hot chocolate brownie with green and Blacks vanilla ice-cream, toffee sauce and a few roasted, chopped hazlenuts. Wow!

Oh, and Kevin got some and Nicky got some and Simon got some
(if Nicky managed to leave any of her portion for him). I would've struggled...


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