Dark and Indulgent Chocolate and Walnut Brownies

Normally when I bake brownies, I think of it as a bit of a ‘childish’ treat – I have no idea why I have this connection as I never had brownies as a kid.  The inner workings of my mind is a pretty terrifying place to spend any time in so I didn’t bother to figure out why I have the connection, and started getting down to this ‘grown-up’ version of a timeless classic.

The first difference this recipe has to other brownie recipes is that it doesn’t use cocoa powder; instead Mary Berry decided to thrown in another bar of plain chocolate. And let’s be honest, what person is going to say no to another bar of chocolate, huh?

I broke up the pieces of chocolate, added the butter and put my bowl over a simmering pot of water for it all to melt.  This is when I realised I was using a plastic bowl that would start to melt itself at any second … aargggghh! I dashed back into the kitchen, to look for another bowl whilst holding the first one above the pot (so it could still get heat without burning a hole in the plastic).

After 5 minutes of looking for a glass bowl I remembered that, naturally, we don’t have any. Cue a very long, exaggerated ‘ugh’ sound before accepting defeat and holding the plastic bowl over the pan for the time it took to melt the chocolate and butter which, if you didn’t know, takes quite a while!

The chocolate finally melted and I was able to get on with the rest of the baking.  I chopped up an endless amount of walnuts, and put them to the side, ready to throw in at the last stage.  The whisk then came out and whipped up the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and coffee … Wait … coffee?! Yes folks, if an extra bar of chocolate isn’t enough of a sugar rush; Mary Berry decided to throw in an extra shot of caffeine. I guess this is another reason why it should be considered a ‘grown-up’ brownie recipe.

Once this was all whisked, I stirred in the chocolate and butter mixture and folded in the flour, walnuts, and a heck of a lot of chocolate chips.  Now I understand the use of ‘indulgent’ in the title of the recipe. The batter was poured into the tray tin and baked for the recommended time.

Now, you’re normally meant to let the brownies cool a bit before cutting them up, as the gooey middle sets better once it’s cool – but I was tired, and very hungry after watching all that chocolate melt and decided enough time had been spent on brownies for one day.  I attempted to chop the brownies up into equal pieces, nibbled on the bits that came off in the process and packed up the whole lot to take to work the following day.

Dark and Indulgent Chocolate and Walnut Brownies

There is one thing I do know about brownies, no matter what you put in them, or what they taste like – they are generally devoured in the work place.  Normally, I’m good with ‘taste-testing’ and only have a small piece/slice of whatever I bake but with these brownies, I couldn’t help but have an extra slice (or two…OK four in total!) The were definitely rich, but not sickeningly so – the coffee added a nice kick to balance out the sweetness of the chocolate.

These brownies should come with a warning however –no matter how old you are, you will get an insane sugar/caffeine rush from eating these.  OK so maybe don’t do what I did and eat 4 in one go, but I can say that attempting to eat only one of these moreish little delights is almost impossible, they’re just that good!

 Dark and Indulgent Chocolate and Walnut Brownies

Who Says Blondes Have More Fun?

I have been eyeing up this recipe for a long time and finally got the chance to make them when I went to visit a friend’s new place.  The Blondie – what is essentially a white chocolate brownie.  Yes people, it exists and I made it!

I started by melting the chocolate and butter over a pan of simmering water – this time I managed not to burn any plastic or anything, for which I am very proud (and relieved).  The eggs and vanilla extract are added just after it’s taken off the heat, and finally the flour, salt and pecan nuts.

Now I chopped up a LOT of nuts; it was the right amount but I was starting to get worried about how nutty it would be.  I kept to the recipe however and spooned the mixture into the baking tray, which had been greased and lined with greaseproof paper.

Forty minutes later, I took out the gorgeous smelling brownie, let it cool and sliced it into squares before heading over to my friends for dinner.

We were very excited to have a piece but were good and waited till after dinner.  The brownie came after a beautiful homemade salmon en croute and I was… disappointed.

Now don’t get me wrong, on the whole it was tasty, it was disappointing because I was expecting a beautifully, luscious white chocolate brownie.  What I bit into tasted more like a yummy cake.  It just wasn’t what I was expecting.

The recipe does say it’s an alternative for those that don’t like the richness of chocolate brownies so I should have figured.  To me the blondies tasted like a not-too-sweet, nutty cake that goes great with a cup of coffee. Great as a cake but not as great as a brownie.

In this case, the fight between blondies or brownies… the brownies definitely win!

Yumminess in the Form of Brownies

I’ve been quite famous among my friends for baking great brownies for a while so I was interested in how the Hummingbird version would taste in comparison to mine.  I also thought it was about time that I started baking the biscuits and bars etc so I went out, bought me a new baking tin (any excuse!) and started on the recipe.

This recipe is different from all the others because you don’t whisk anything.  The chocolate and butter are put over a simmering pot of water and melted.  The sugar is then stired in, followed by the flour and finally the eggs.

When stirring, I’d probably suggest folding the mixture rather than stirring.  Using a spatula, you gently ‘fold’ half of the batter onto the ingredient you just added.  You work in a figure eight motion and work your arm more than you work your hand.  If you still didn’t get that then youtube it, there are plenty of examples of how to fold.

The tin went into the oven for 35minutes and came out smelling moorish. Once cooled, they were cut into squares, split in half and taken to two different people as an ‘aren’t you a brilliant friend’ present.

I had a sneaky little taste before delivering the brownies and they tasted amazing; I could even say they were on par if not better than mine.  There was a mixed reaction as to which brownie recipe was better.  These are definately a good recipe to try, especially fresh from the oven with a bit of icecream.