As mentioned many times I am quite lazy when it comes to cooking, however I’m vowing that 2013 that will all change. I personally don’t think it’s that I’m particularly bad, I’m simply not inspired… but if you have read my blog this year you will know I have been gradually attempting cooking more.
I was meant to be making a pudding but decided after my cooking disaster in 2009 I was best to ditch such pressure! Chocolate brownies were the chosen ones, so I set out to make them ready for afternoon yum yums on Christmas day.
First things first, I cleaned my kitchen from top to bottom and then gathered all my ingredients. You’ll notice I added in some bits of small fudge and chocolate chips… you may wish to use hazelnuts or cherries.
400g caster sugar
250g butter, melted
60g cocoa powder
200g of good quality dark chocolate (I used Lindt)
1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Vanilla paste
225g plain flour
Chocolate chips and or fudge
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
I started by measuring out all the items in their correct portions. I added the caster sugar, flour, cocoa powder and flour together, then started melting the butter and dark chocolate (break the chocolate up into squares for this). I used 70% dark chocolate from Lindt, which is of fantastic high quality and would of course make my brownies rich and full of flavour.
Whilst I did this I pre heated the oven to bake at 180C. Once this was done I added the melted butter and chocolate to my mixture of caster flour etc, shortly followed by the eggs, baking powder, vanilla paste, salt, finishing off by mixing in a handful of small fudge pieces and chocolate chips.
This was a brownie mixture certain of one thing…. chocolate and indulgence! Into the oven my brownies went to bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 180C. I then took them out and let them cool for quite some time before cutting them into squares.
Instead of using standard vanilla essence, I went for Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste. I’d read lots about it and thought that as my previous brownie/cake attempts had always lacked something, I’d try this paste because I’d been told it was fantastic. Question was, would it make my brownies taste better than they usually do?
Firstly ignore how I’ve put the greaseproof paper in the tins… 1. I didn’t have any square tins so had to use my round cake tins instead and 2. I couldn’t be bothered to cut the extra paper off :o)
I cut the brownies up and sliced off the circular parts, then was my biggest taste test…. my chef boyfriend was about to try one! He said immediately how he loved that it was spongy in the middle, but toasted at the top. I asked if he liked the cheeky fudge bits – he said that made them all the more tasty!
My next task was to see if those at Bean HQ enjoyed them as much as my other half. I was told they were yummy and I knew they must of been good because there was only a few left! So was this because I’d used the Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Paste, or have I finally cracked how to make good brownies? Either way the paste is being used next time!