It was my Mum’s birthday a few weeks ago and as we couldn’t all be together or go out to lunch as we normally would, I took her dinner up to her so that at least she didn’t have to cook for herself on her birthday. This recipe for Birthday Brownies was written up nearly a month ago but for some reason has sat in my drafts folder for all that time!
She also requested brownies. Unlike my daughter, Mum likes hers with nuts in them. I’ve used pecans here as the walnuts I was going to use didn’t taste too fresh – not sure if they are past redemption yet but I didn’t want to spoil the brownies. The two are pretty much interchangeable though – not sure I could tell the difference in most cakes. I think pecans are cheaper too.
This recipe makes 24 brownies – you could easily split it in half though. The reason I do this many is partly because they freeze well and my parents will have a couple every other day or so with their elevensies but also because chocolate comes in 190g bars and the nuts in 200g bags!
With the butter here, I used unsalted as different brands vary the salt quantities in their butter so this way I can control it, given that I am adding quite a lot into the recipe anyway. I don’t think it would be a problem to substitute in salted butter though.
With the eggs, I usually use three large eggs but my delivery had swapped out my large eggs for a mixed box of what I think were mainly medium eggs although I think possibly one of these was actually a small one and to be honest I couldn’t be bothered to weigh eggs and try classifying them!
I’d actually got just about the right amount of chocolate in a metal bowl melted from coating some biscuits a few days ago so I melted it with the butter over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water didn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. I would normally make these by melting the chocolate and butter in the microwave in 30 second bouts though.
1/2 teaspoon table salt
50g unsalted butter
190g dark chocolate (mine was 85% cocoa solids)
300g unsalted butter
200g golden syrup
250g dark brown sugar
4 medium eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
200g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
200g bake stable dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 180C and spray two 12 cup brownie tins with vegetable oil (not olive oil) or butter (if you don’t have brownie tins, use two square lined baking tins and adjust the timing by another five minutes
- Melt 50g butter in a medium sized frying pan – best not to use a cast iron one as they hold the heat too well and might burn the nuts
- Add the salt and nuts and stir occasionally over a low heat until they soften and begin to darken in colour, this usually takes about 5 minutes
- Remove the nuts immediately from the pan so that they stop cooking and leave to cool
- Whilst the nuts are cooling, melt the remaining butter and chocolate together in a microwave proof bowl on high in 30 second blasts until all the chocolate has melted or alternatively, melt over a pan of just simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water
- Once the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat
- Chop the cooled nuts
- In a large mixing bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder and sugar then add the golden syrup, vanilla and melted chocolate and whisk with an electric whisk until thoroughly combined
- Whisk in the eggs
- Add the chopped nuts and chocolate chips and stir through with a wooden spoon until evenly distributed (the reason for the wooden spoon is that it will start to knock out some of the air in the mix so that you get a dense fudgey brownie)
- Using an ice cream scoop, portion the mixture into the brownie tins then firmly tap the tins on the work top to knock out some of the air in the mix
- Bake for 20 minutes
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes then turn out onto wire racks to properly cool
- I think brownies are best served the next day……that’s a challenge though!