Brownie cookies

Today {19th May} is World Baking Day. The World Baking Day website encourages you to “step out of your comfort zone and bake something you have never baked before”. However, I decided to skip the stepping out of my comfort zone part and just go for something I have never baked before, as I had stumbled across a recipe I wanted to try out.

I found a recipe called Better-than-Brownies Chocolate Cookies over at Brown Eyed Baker, and being very partial to brownies, I figured I’d give them a go.

The result didn’t disappoint, they really are like brownies in a cookie form – rich, gooey and very yummy! These are going to get baked in my kitchen very often from now on!  Brownie cookies

Here’s my adapted version:-

Brownie cookies

Ingredients
225g good quality dark chocolate
25g butter
2 eggs
175g sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
50g plain flour
1/4 baking powder
a pinch of salt
50g chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate

Method
1) Melt the chocolate and butter gently in the microwave, or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Leave to cool until room temperature.
2) Stir together the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract, then add the chocolate mixture and mix until well combined.
3) Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and incorporate gently, being careful not to overmix.
4) Finally, stir in the chocolate chips / chopped chocolate and put the mixture in the fridge for a minimum of 30 mins to rest and firm up.
5) Preheat the oven to 175C
6) Scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture onto a prepared baking tray.
7) Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are firm on the outside. Like brownies, do not overbake!

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Flourless chocolate brownies

There must be thousands of brownie recipes around, but people always seem to be on the lookout for another one {or is that just me?!}

The Nigella Express cookbook features a flourless brownie recipe, but as it contains ground almonds instead of flour I have been a bit reluctant to try it, fearing the almond flavour would be too predominant. Since discovering wheat no longer agrees with me I decided to have a go though. I needn’t have worried! The almonds gives the brownie an earthy flavour without altering the texture or characteristic rich chocolatey flavour.

Flourless chocolate brownie with raspberries

When making these the first time I was a bit short of a few ingredients, firstly dark chocolate, so I ended up adding a good quality milk chocolate (40% cocoa solids) to make up the total amount of chocolate required. I also added cocoa powder to boost the chocolate flavour, and to make up the dry ingredients as I didn’t have enough of the ground almonds {I only had a 100g pack in the cupboard and 150g was required}.

The original recipe doesn’t mention if there should be salted or unsalted butter, so I decided to go for unsalted and added some Maldon sea salt flakes, as I like the unexpected little briny pops they provide.

Flourless chocolate brownie with candle

Flourless Chocolate Brownie

Ingredients
150g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
75g good quality milk chocolate
225g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
100g ground almonds
50g cocoa powder
100g chopped walnuts
50g white chocolate, chips or chipped
1 tsp flaky sea salt

Method
1) Preheat the oven to 170C and prepare the cake tin.
2) Melt the chocolate (dark and milk) with the butter in a heavy based saucepan over a low heat.
3) Take the pan off the heat, mix in the vanilla extract and sugar and let cool.
4) Beat the eggs into the mixture, one at the time, then add the ground almonds, cocoa powder, walnuts, white chocolate and flaky sea salt.
5) Pour into the cake tin and bake for 25-30 mins, until the top has set but the middle is still a bit gooey.
6) Cut into squares once cooled.  Flourless chocolate brownie

Bonfire brownies

“Remember remember the 5th November.” Tomorrow (Monday) is the official bonfire night in the UK, however in most places celebrations took place yesterday. A friend of mine had invited us round for some hot chocolate after watching the fireworks down at the seafront and I decided to bring along some bonfire brownies in honour of the occasion.
Bonfire brownie

I had found a recipe on the BBC Food website that I decided to adapt. It mentioned a spicy chocolate would work well in it, and I would have loved to try the new Green and Black’s Spiced Chilli bar but as I hadn’t planned ahead, I only had plain chocolate in at home. Instead I added a bit of cayenne pepper to give it some heat {which was well needed on a cold November night!}. I didn’t want to add too much as some of the kids might have it, so I only added a pinch, but I could probably have used a full 1/4 teaspoon measure without it being too hot. These ended up having a gentle warmth to them which worked great with hot chocolate, or in my case – mulled wine. {Yum}
Bonfire brownies

Bonfire brownies

Ingredients

150g butter
100g dark chocolate
40g cocoa powder
a pinch of cayenne pepper
100g plain flour
300g sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
100g marshmallows, chopped

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a 21cm square tin.
2) Gently melt the butter and chocolate together.
3) Mix the cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, flour and sugar and then add to the butter and chocolate mixture (off the heat).
4) Mix in the eggs a little at the time and finally fold in the marshmallows.
5) Pour the brownie mixture into the tin and bake for about 20 minutes, until the surface has set but still feels squidgy underneath. Allow to cool before slicing.

Bonfire brownie crumbs

Ultimate Brownies – part one

It’s been a while since my last post – jury duty, sickness bugs, catching up on work, trying to document last year in a photobook and life in general has come in the way… I have been baking though so here’s the first attempt at catching up!

I’m always on the lookout for the ultimate brownie recipe so when I found one called “Best-ever brownies” I had to try it. We had been invited to a BBQ last weekend so I decided to make these to bring along. It turned out to be the wettest BBQ I have ever been to, the rain was lashing down the whole time, but thanks to  a gazebo over the barbecues our host managed to cook up some fabulous food despite of the rain.

My youngest woke up earlier as usual (5.30 am – yawn!) so I took the opportunity to make the brownies, with a little help from him, while the rest of the family was sleeping. By nine o’clock the kitchen was smelling heavenly from freshly baked brownies!

I found the recipe on the BBC Good Food website and have more or less stuck to it. I did add a pinch of salt though, as I think that brings out the chocolate flavour more, and only used white chocolate for the chocolate chunks instead of a combination of white and milk as the recipe called for.
I almost forgot to to add the them though, I had just put the tin in the oven  when L pointed to the side where the chopping board with the white chocolate was sitting, so quickly had to take it out of the oven and add them.

The result was delicious! I’m not sure if they are the ultimate and best-ever brownies I have ever tasted, but they are definitely up there and I’ll be making them again.

Best-ever brownies

The instructions for the method on the BBC website were quite detailed so I have shortened them considerably here. If you have never made brownies before though, or is new to baking, it may be worth having a  peak at them to pick up a few good techniques.

Ingredients

  • 185g unsalted butter
  • 185g best dark chocolate
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 100g white chocolate
  • 3 large eggs
  • 275g golden caster sugar
  • pinch of salt

METHOD

  1. Turn the oven on to 180C. Grease and/or line the cake tin.
  2. Cut the butter into smallish cubes and break the dark chocolate into small pieces and put into a bowl. Melt over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave. Leave to cool to room temperature.
  3. Chop the white chocolate into nice size chunks.
  4. Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy.
  5. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, then gently fold together.
  6. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the mixture and gently fold in. Finally, stir in the white and milk chocolate chunks until they’re dotted throughout.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes. Check to see if done by pulling the shelf out a bit and gently shake the tin. If the brownie wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done, so slide it back in and bake for another 5 minutes until the top has a shiny, papery crust and the sides are just beginning to come away from the tin. Take out of the oven.
  8. Leave to cool in the tin, then cut into squares or triangles.
  9. Enjoy!

I also made some delicious Guinness and raspberry brownies a few weeks ago which I brought along to a girly night in with some great friends. The Guinness gave them an earthy note and the raspberries added a fresh fruity tang which went perfectly with the rich chocolate brownie. They could possibly have done with a couple of more minutes in the oven, but I was running short of time and I hate cakey overcooked brownies and prefer them to be gooey and slightly undercooked, which is how they ended up – possibly not to everyones taste, but  they still seemed to go down a treat!

Unfortunately my camera had mysteriously disappeared when I was going to take a picture of them, only to be found days later underneath a book case (go figure?!), so you are just going to have to trust me when I say they looked as good as they tasted 😉

I had got the recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie magazine, which was doing a baking special issue. Here’s the photo of the  brownies from the cover: http://www.jamieoliver.com/news/jamie-s-spring-baking-special