Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Chocolate Brownies

Thurs 29 Nov 2007

To provide you with some inspiration for recipe ideas for the Hotel Chocolat competition, I'm looking at chocolate brownies.

I've actually got a few good recipes for brownies but this time it's Nigel Slater's version (from The Kitchen Diaries). Only his recipe is a bit ... fiddly, so this is my version.

Take 200g of best dark chocolate and melt over hot water. Meanwhile, beat together 250g of unsalted butter and 300g of golden caster sugar. You have to beat this really well, so let the food processor have a really good run at it.

When the butter and sugar is light and fluffy, add (one at a time) 3 eggs and one egg yolk - beating very well between each addition. Next beat in 60g of plain flour, 60g of beat dutch process cocoa and 1/2 tsp of baking powder. When this is all well combined, add the melted chocolate. Further good beating, before adding 50g of dark chocolate cut into 'gravel sized pieces'. This mixture has the texture of chocolate mousse and tastes fantastic.

But! You have to stop scoffing the mixture and pour it into a baking paper lined dish - I use our roasting dish and Mr Slater recommends a 23cm square baking tin. Smooth the top of the mixture and place in an oven pre-heated to 180C for about 30 minutes.

The mixture does rise a little, and you do want it moist (but not still cake-mixture) when you pull it out of the oven. Allow it to cool in the tin for at least an hour, before cutting into squares.

I've taken some severe short cuts and liberties with the original recipe, and maybe if I followed it I'd produce even better brownies ... but none of my work mates are complaining!

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