Yelly Eats

Brownie points

Who doesn’t like chocolate?  Apart from chocolate cake, one of my favourite chocolate consumption delivery systems is the good old chocolate brownie.  And after trying all the ways to make a brownie, looking through so many recipes, I have finally settled on my own.  Because I’ve made the brownie this way several times now and it comes out with that thin, shiny, crackly film on top, which I firmly believe is a sign of a good brownie!  Of course, other opinions are welcome.

brownie2ways

So, if y’all are interested in trying it out, my brownie recipe is written down below.

Ingredients:

  • 200g dark chocolate (at least 56%), roughly chopped
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 150g plain flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (350°F).  Grease and line a brownie pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a heat-proof dish and place the bowl over boiling water, making sure the boiling water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.  Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally to make sure the butter doesn’t burn.  Once butter and chocolate are melted, take off the heat and set aside.  Allow to cool to room temperature, making sure you stir occasionally (I usually add the paste made from 1 heaping teaspoon of instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water at this point when I want to add a slightly different flavour to the chocolate).
  3. In a free-standing mixer with a paddle attachment (you can also do this by hand with a wire whisk, but it’ll take a bit longer), beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture becomes a very pale yellow mixture (will usually take about 7-10 minutes, depending on the mixer, about 15-20 minutes by hand).
  4. Add the flour in three additions, making sure that the flour is incorporated each time.  Add the melted chocolate mixture to the batter ensuring that you scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure that everything is well-combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared brownie tin and level with a spatula.  TIP:  I place a baking tray (or cookie sheet) in the oven whilst it pre-heats and I place the brownie tin on it so that the brownie cooks evenly (raw brownie batter is lovely but bad for the tummy!).  Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Brownie is baked when a crackly film forms on top and a skewer/toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Serving suggestions:

  • Plain, just sliced into squares (sized definitely according to preference)
  • Topped with caramel and salted roasted peanuts
  • More melted chocolate
  • A sprinkling of icing sugar (if you can handle even more sweetness), add a little coffee or cinnamon to add  different dimension to the taste

TIP:  Caramel cheat – in a deep saucepan, boil water and add a can of unopened condensed milk (sans paper label), yes the whole can.  Boil for 3 hours.  When you open the can (after it has cooled enough to touch), the caramel will be ready to spread on anything!

 

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Yelly Eats

Beetroot brownies

I bring this brownie to work all the time and, more often than not, the brownies go, within minutes.  Sometimes people are taken aback at the “beetroot” element of the brownie and  I always say that this is a “healthy” brownie and I always joke that beetroot that’s in it can count towards one of your five-a-day.  But there is a large element of truth in that statement because there is a considerable amount of beetroot in the recipe — and beetroot is a vegetable!  I know that most people are pleasantly surprised at how good the brownies taste.  I think they expect the traditional beetroot taste to hit them, but in this recipe, you can’t really taste the beetroot.  If anything, the beetroot enhances the taste of the chocolate.

I tweaked a recipe that I found in a supermarket’s magazine.  I added more beetroot and reduced the amount of sugar in it.  The brownies come out very moist and very fudgy.

Ingredients:

  • 200g dark chocolateBeetroot brownies
  • 200g butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 250g sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 300g vacuum packed cooked beetroot, grated

Directions:

  1. Break the chocolate into sections and together with the butter, place in a heatproof dish and stand over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl didn’t touch the water.  Leave to allow the chocolate and butter to melt, stirring occasionally.  Once the chocolate and butter are melted, set aside and allow to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C.
  3. In a bowl, mix together eggs, vanilla and sugar.  Beat until the eggs are light yellow in colour.  Beat in the melted chocolate until well-combined.  The mixture will thicken slightly as you mix the chocolate into the egg and sugar mixture.  Gently fold in the flour and beetroot..
  4. Spoon the mixture into a prepared pan (greased and lined with parchment paper) and bake for 40-45 minutes.  It is done when a toothpick inserted comes out relatively clean.  Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then remove from the baking tin and cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Will make 16-24 squares, depending on how big you slice your squares.
Yelly Eats

Coffee and walnut brownies

I am doing something yummy for money!

Our office is doing a week-long bake sale to raise money for Comic Relief.  Comic Relief is a charity based in the UK that was set up in 1985 that aims to raise money to tackle the root causes of poverty and social injustice.  The money that gets raised each year helps so many people and I enjoy doing my bit to contribute, albeit in a very small way.

I’m going to bring coffee and walnut brownies tomorrow.  It’s still chocolate but it’s got a distinct coffee taste that cuts through the chocolate quite nicely, or at least, I think so!  I love the recipe enough to share it.  I think this would be great with a cup of milky tea or, what else, coffee!  If you try the recipe, please tell me what you think!  I’d love the feedback.

Ingredients:Coffee and walnut brownies cooling
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
175g butter
25g instant coffee granules
200g caster sugar
125g brown sugar
150g plain flour
100g walnuts, roughly chopped
3 eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C.
  2. Prepare a baking tray by greasing and lining with parchment paper and set aside.  I learned that when you grease the baking tin that you plan to use, it’s a good thing to also grease the parchment paper you line the baking tin with.  It prevents the parchment from sticking to the cakes and makes for easy removal.
  3. In a bowl, mix flour and choppped walnuts together, making sure that the walnuts are completely coated in flour.
  4. Place chocolate, butter and instant coffee granules in a heat-proof bowl over a sauce pan of simmering water.  Leave until melted completely but making sure you stir once or twice to make sure that everything is combined properly.  Remove from the heat once everything is melted completely and well-incorporated.
  5. In a free-standing mixer (this can also be done by hand or a hand-held mixer), mix sugars and egg and beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy-looking.  I read somewhere that this usually takes about 5 minutes, but what I look out for is a change in colour, the batter becomes a paler shade of what you when you started to cream the sugars.  Pour chocolate mixture slowly into egg and sugar mixture and mix until everything is well-combined.  Add the flour and walnut mixture and mix until the batter is thick and smooth.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean.  The top will look shiny and flaky.  Be careful not to over cook as the brownie can become hard and very chewy.
  7. This can make up to 24 squares, depending on how large your slices are.

Coffee and walnut brownies