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

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A Coffee Break in a Cake

I’m not the biggest fan of coffee, it’s too bitter a drink for my taste.  But everyone needs a coffee break, and there’s nothing like a piece of chocolate to offset the bitter taste of the coffee (any excuse for chocolate!) So I was intrigued as to how the Coffee and Chocolate Loaf would go down, so I baked it for the dessert for a dinner party we were having.

I started by whisking the butter and sugar together and adding the eggs one at a time.  Simple so far. Then I sifted the dry ingredients together and mixed the milk with the coffee… coffee? I forgot to brew the coffee! Aarrgghhh! In typical Diary of a Bake-a-holic style, I made what I thought would be strong coffee, and put it in the freezer for 5 minutes to cool.

Once I deemed it cool enough to put into the mix, I started mixing everything together: adding a little of the dry ingredients, then a little of the coffee milk at a time.

The batter was finally ready to be poured into the pre-greased and pre-dusted tin and put into the oven for an hour.  I breathed a sigh of relief and sat down with some tea.

 

The cake came out of the oven looking like a big slab of dark chocolate… yum.  Although it did look tasty as hell, I was worried the dark colour meant it would also be bitter.  Ah well, there was nothing I could do now.

The dessert was sliced and passed round with the tea after dinner.  I felt a bit odd eating a coffee cake with tea – it just seems so wrong – so I had mine with milk.  Everyone enjoyed the cake but I think were worried about their figures – I wonder what it is about a chocolate cake that makes it seem fattier than a normal one?!

I thought the loaf was actually really, really nice, definitely not bitter. It went beautifully with my glass of milk and had a really lovely, rich taste – not too much chocolate, or too much coffee – but a nice mixture of both.  Definitely a new favourite!