I just love baking brownies and they’re one of the first things to go when I have a stall. Not that I’ve done many stalls recently. My family love my brownies and they’re always popular when I’ve taken them into schools where I teach in the past. I still laugh my head off from the marriage proposal I got once from a man who bought a pack of my brownies from my stall. He came back about half an hour later having eaten the brownies, bought another pack and asked if he could marry me! Sorry, but I’m already taken!
Anyway, it’s always fun baking brownies and I bake loads of different versions. My most popular varieties are the plain ones, my Maya Gold ones and the Oreo cookie ones. I experimented with using Green and Blacks Maya Gold chocolate in them a couple of years back and loved the taste. I now have a baby niece called Maya so one day maybe I can teach Maya to bake them! The Oreo cookie ones are so naughty but nice as well, though.
SmartCookieSam’s Favourite Brownies
100g good quality chocolate of your choice
150g unsalted butter
125g plain flour
15g cocoa powder
300g soft light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 large, free range eggs
100g chopped nuts/ chocolate chips/ dried fruit, Oreo cookie pieces/ Smarties or similar.
This recipe is so adaptable. For instance if you want to have mint brownies, use a good quality bar of mint chocolate. I recommend Lindt Intense or one similar where the mint flavour comes from crispy bits, not fondant like an After Eight Mint. Instead of vanilla extract, use a good quality peppermint extract. Just remember to keep the quantities the same. Let your imagination run wild!
Preheat the oven to 180oC/ 350oF/ Gas 4. Grease and line the base of a loose bottom square baking tin (mine is about 8″ square). I swear by Wilton Cake Release available from Lakeland to help here!
Break up the chocolate into squares and add the butter in cubes. Melt the butter and chocolate over a saucepan of barely simmering water or if you prefer use the microwave. I must admit I use the microwave. I put the chocolate to melt for 1 minute, then take it out, stir it and put it back in for 10 second intervals. Works for me.
Allow the chocolate to cool slightly and then sieve the cocoa powder, plain flour, baking powder and salt into another mixing bowl.
In yet another mixing bowl, beat the eggs and add the brown sugar in, along with the vanilla extract. Stir the ingredients together but until they are just combined. Make sure there isn’t any flour visible.
Finally, fold in the melted chocolate along with any additional ingredients, such as Oreo cookies.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes. Brownies should be chewy and gooey inside, so don’t overbake them.
Let the brownies cool in the tin before you cut them into squares. I usually get 16 squares from a batch. Now try to keep them from being scoffed all at once!
Love Sam xx