Friday, 8 August 2008

The Ultimate Brownie!

As you read this I am in Spain and hopefully having a great time. As I write this, however, I am busy packing and getting ready for that holiday so this may be short and full of pictures!
Also as you read this on the 8th August - it is my Mum's birthday! I thought she definitely deserved a mention on here as she is fantastic! She does catering for parties and helping or watching her make huge batches of 150 canapes is truly amazing! She is my inspiration for cooking and I am extremely envious of her talent. Happy Birthday Mummy!
Now, before I get on to the brownies, here are the pictures of the Little Mocha Kisses sandwiched together with coffee icing. The recipe said chocolate but I was out of cocoa powder and didn’t want to get any, plus as I had been disappointed with the coffee flavour and my Dad likes coffee I thought the icing would be a good way to enhance it. And, for once, I was right!

I thought the icing made the cookies better and I think the coffee flavour worked better than the chocolate would have done. My icing was quite wet because I kept adding more coffee as I wanted that strong taste I have had in previous coffee cakes etc. Although I would say it made quite a lot of icing I think it might work well for the batch it is just lots had been eaten by the time I got round to sandwiching!

But enough of the kisses! Brownie time! As you can probably guess from the title I am a real fan of these brownies. They are perfect in my eyes – a nice crunchy topping, then getting softer and squidgier as you go down to the bottom. Beautifully chocolatey and rich. Fairly simple to make and – perhaps best of all, it makes a large pan full!
So here is the recipe:

Brownies, from How to Be A Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

Fills a 33 by 23 by 5 ½ cm tin, or Nigella says a maximum of 48 brownies. I say – a lot!
375g soft unsalted brownies
375g best-quality dark chocolate
6 large eggs
1tbsp vanilla extract
500g caster sugar
225g plain flour
1 tsp salt
300g chopped walnuts (because I hate nuts apart from almonds and my sis isn’t that keen, we never use these. I think it spoils the gooey texture as well.)

1. Preheat the oven to 180’C/gas mark 4. Line your brownie pan – sides as well – with parchment.

2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large heavy based saucepan. In a bowl or large measuring jug, beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla. Measure the flour into another bowl and add the salt.

3. When the chocolate mixture has melted, let it cool for a bit before beating in the eggs and sugar, then the nuts (if using) and flour. Beat to combine smoothly and then scrape out of the saucepan into the lined pan.

4. Bake for about 25 minutes. When its ready, the top should be dried to a paler brown speckle but the middle still dark and dense and gooey. Even with such a big batch, keep alert, keep checking, the difference between gungy brownies and dry brownies is only a few minutes! Also, they will continue to cook as they cool.



Marie said...

Ohh Lucy, I hope that you are having a wonderful time in Spain! Lucky you! Happy Birthday to your mom as well! Those cookies and brownies look delish! I have that Nigella cookbook. I don't know why I don't cook from it more often! I really must! XXOO

Anonymous said...

Lucy they look fabulous.

Anonymous said...

Lucy they look fabulous.

Tulip said...

Lucy, shall I tell you why Marie doesn't cook from Nigella's books very often??? She's an amazing cook and her fudge brownie recipe is the best....I use it instead of Nigellas...that's how good it is. I made it for my daughters 18th birhtday, we stacked them up (ala Niegella) and stuck candles in them...delish!!! Before the raspberries go out of season try her golden jubilee is out of this world.