It dawned on me that I have not done a baking post yet…. Me, the ultimate-chocoholic-eat-Oreos-for-breakfast, me. So here it is, I present to you: The battle of the brownies.
I have a reputation for the best brownies in the world – although truth be told, they are an adaptation from a Jamie Oliver recipe. Secrets out.
I always look for ways to improve or evolve my baking, so I tried out a few more recipes to share the results with you. Moo did the tasting, it’s hard work but someone has to do it.
I hope you enjoy!
Contender #1: Salted Caramel Crack Brownies by Anna Jones
Recipe from: A Modern Way to Eat
I made these on a cold winters night, the rain was pouring down and i was just too happy to bake the evening away on these bad boys. The recipe calls for a dry caramel, which I’ve never been able to master – until now! Such a simple recipe to follow…. And the results? Hella good brownies!
Makes 12 brownies.
For the salted caramel:
- 50g unsalted butter or coconut oil, plus a little for greasing
- 100g unrefined golden caster sugar
- a hearty pinch of flaky sea salt
- 3 tablespoons milk
For the brownies:
- 150g dark chocolate (70%)
- 150g unsalted butter or coconut oil
- 250g unrefined golden caster sugar or light muscovado sugar
- 3 organic or free-range eggs
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract or the seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- 100g rye flour, or light spelt or plain flour
First make the caramel. Lay a piece of baking paper over a shallow tray and rub the upper surface of the paper with oil. Put the sugar into a pan and place on a medium heat. Watching it carefully, let it heat and melt until almost all the sugar grains have gone. Then quickly pull the pan off the heat, add your butter or coconut oil, and beat off the heat for a minute or so. Add the salt and coconut milk and beat again. Pop back on the heat for 2–3 minutes and beat vigorously until the mixture has darkened and thickened and any sugary lumps have gone. Pour on to the greased paper and place in the freezer to harden for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4, and butter and line a small brownie tin with baking paper (mine is 20 × 20 cm but anything around that will do).
While the caramel is chilling, make your brownie mix. Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Add the chocolate and the butter or coconut oil and let them melt, stirring from time to time. Once melted, take the bowl off the heat and stir in the sugar, followed by the eggs, one by one, and finally the vanilla and the flour.
Once your caramel has hardened, take it out of the fridge. Chop a third of it into small pieces and stir into the brownie mix. Chop the rest into chunky 1cm pieces.
Pour the brownie mix into the lined tin and scatter over the larger chunks of salted caramel. Bake for 25 minutes, until just cooked – a crust will have formed on top and the caramel will have melted into deep amber pools. Leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting. I know this will be hard, but the caramel will be very hot.
These will keep for 4 days in an airtight tin. I dare you to make them last an afternoon.
The Rudi-Rating (RR): This recipe has received a 9/10 from hubby! Keep in mind Moo is a complete and utter caramel addict – so this was a great combination for him.
Contender #2: My Chunky Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies
Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver’s ‘Fifteen Brownies’ from his cookbook ‘Cook with Jamie’.
These brownies never fail – and are such a crowd pleaser. A batch of these brownies never lasts long, so eat up!
- 250g unsalted butter
- 200g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) , broken up
- 100g milk chocolate, chopped into chunks
- 50g hazelnuts
- 80g cocoa powder , sifted
- 65g plain flour , sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 360g caster sugar
- 4 large free-range eggs
- A pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line a 24cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper.
Toast the hazelnuts on a dry frying pan. Once golden brown and you start to smell the nuttiness, remove from heat and allow to cool. Chop the hazelnuts roughly into quarters.
In a large bowl over some simmering water, melt the butter and the dark chocolate and mix until smooth. Add the hazelnuts and chopped milk chocolate and stir together.
In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and sugar, then add this to the chocolate and hazelnut mixture. Stir together well. Beat the eggs and mix in until you have a silky consistency. Add a pinch of salt and give the mix a last stir.
Pour your brownie mix into the baking tray, and place in the oven for around 25 minutes. You don’t want to overcook them so, unlike cakes, you don’t want a skewer to come out all clean. The brownies should be slightly springy on the outside but still gooey in the middle.
Allow to cool in the tray, then carefully transfer to a large chopping board and cut into chunky squares.
The Rudi-Rating (RR): This recipe has received a 8/10 from hubby. This is my go-to brownies recipe so he is used to these by now – I was a little surprised on these only scoring 8 of 10… as I watched as he did the batch justice.
Contender #3: Double Chocolate Brownies with Cherries and Salted Butterscotch Sauce by Katie Quinn Davis
Recipe from: What Katie Ate on the Weekend
We were both very excited about this recipe… The butterscotch sauce, the cherries – it’s all so delicious. Admittedly, this batch of brownies came out a little dry – perhaps a tad overcooked – maybe my oven was too hot. The elements here are so good though, I’m determined to give it another go soon!
- 110 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled a little
- 1 tablespoon kirsch liqueur or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 110g caster sugar
- 3 free-range eggs
- 110g plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 50g Dutch-processed cocoa, sifted
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 100g good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 250g sour or morello cherries from a jar, drained well
- icing sugar, for dusting
- 150g firmly packed brown sugar
- 250ml thickened cream
- 75g unsalted butter, cubed
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, crushed
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan-forced and grease and line the base and sides of a 28 cm × 18 cm × 3 cm slice tin.
For the salted butterscotch, place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat to low–medium and simmer for 15–20 minutes until thickened and smooth, then set aside to cool slightly.
Place the melted butter, kirsch or vanilla, sugar and eggs in a bowl and mix together. Sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa and combine well with a wooden spoon. Mix in the milk, then fold in the chocolate and cherries.
Spoon half the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Dollop with salted butterscotch, then top with the remaining batter. Bake for 35–40 minutes or until cooked through and the top is cracked a little.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting into squares. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
The Rudi-Rating (RR): This recipe has received a 7/10. Amazing flavours to combine, this was something special!
I hope you give at least one of these recipes a try – you won’t be disappointed! Over and out.