Tuesday, 8 February 2011

My New Toy and Cookies and Cream Brownies

I promise that one day, I'll bore you with an ENTIRE post on my kitchen gadget wish list, but for now, you'll have to make do with my exciting news that I've added the Breville SHM2 Twin Hand and Stand Mixer to my kitchen! 
This is my pretty new mixer! It is not quite the Kitchenaid mixer in a variety of beautiful pastel colours that I'm constantly lusting after but it's a definite step up from my crappy Sainsbury's mixer. They say you shouldn't speak ill of the dead so in defence of my (now dead) mixer, it mostly did the job. For several good months. Except for when I was making buttercream frosting. It didn't matter how long I stood over my bowl of butter and icing sugar, it didn't matter how numb my hand managed to get, it wouldn't reach that creamy perfection I was after. But now, I can just dump my butter and sugar into my free-standing mixer and go off to read a few more pages of 'Emma' while letting it work it's magic. Whoop whoop! I can't wait to make buttercream! And bread, because it has dough hooks. Can I get another whoop?

Now on to something that doesn't require a mixer; brownies! This is another recipe from Lorraine Pascal's 'Baking made easy' and it is an interesting one because it only contains two tablespoons of flour.  This is a nice, fudgy brownie recipe but I think it lacks a certain je nais c'est quois (I bet I've just spelt that completely wrong! French has never been my strong suit).  I think it's almost too light. For me, the perfect brownie is one where one square fulfills all my carnal chocolate desires. One square, and even me, the ultimate chocoholic, is sated. This wasn't that brownie. I know I said this when I made these cheesecake brownies but the more brownies I eat and the more brownie recipes I try, the more convinced I am that my original brownie recipe is one of the best there is. And I know I always say I'll share it but this time I mean it, as I'll be baking them for a work Valentines Day bake sale. I'll also try my recipe with Oreos in in so watch out for a 2nd take on these brownies. 

Till then, enjoy! Because while my overly critical self might not be 100% happy with these, they are nice brownies and as with all brownies, pretty easy to make but amazingly rewarding to eat.


165g butter, plus extra for greasing
200g dark chocolate
3 free-range eggs
2 free-range egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
165g soft light brown sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch salt
154g pack Oreo Cookies

1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
2 - Grease and flour a 20cm/8in square baking tin
3 - Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bain marie. Alternatively melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the grated (or chopped) chocolate. Leave to stand for a few minutes, or until the chocolate melts, and then stir together. 
Another alternative is to put the chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt in the microwave in 25-second blasts, stirring well each time.
4 - Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together in a large bowl until the eggs begin to get light and fluffy. 
5 - Add the sugar in two additions, whisking between each. Pour it around the side of the egg mix so as not to knock out the air that has been whisked in. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes stiffer. 
6 - Once the egg mixture is ready, pour the chocolate into it - again around the sides so as knock the air out.
7 - Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt and a third of the biscuits and stir until fully combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin.

8 - Scatter the remaining biscuits over the top, pressing them in slightly. 
9 - Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes. The middle should be ever so slightly gooey. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin - the top will sink and crack a little.
10 - Cut into squares and serve


Mari said...

Goodness, Vickii! How do you get rid of all these delicious goodies you bake every week or other week?

titi said...

Oreos in brownies sound yummy and looks good too. I need to try this recipe. I love that Kitchenaid mixer too!! I want one, am stuck with using a hand mixer right now:(
I have started a blog

Chic Lounge said...

that look sooo good...I'm not a cake person at all but I tried brownies and it was a mouth full of yummm...

after your meatpie recipe...I've graduated to my first time Pizza and it'so good...lol

cheers! (I'll stop ranting now)

Vickii said...

@ Mari - Ha ha, well first of all, I always have a piece. I have to taste it to know what I'm doing right or wrong ;p Then my housemates have some, my friends at work, colleagues - trust me, there is never any problem getting rid of anything!

@Titi - Yay!! I'm heading to your blog right now!

@Chic Lounge - I thought you seemed like a great person till you said you're not a cake person, I'm afraid we can't be friends ;p. Brownies are yum though so let's agree to agree on that :) Wow, pizza is amazing - I've never made my own home made pizza so I'm very impressed and inspired!

TaD said...

Awesome Vickii
Just discovering this.

I shall most certainly delve in.

Chic Lounge said...

LOL@ Vickii...don't just take my word and hate me for it...lol. Thing is I love Cake and the creativity that goes into it but I don't love to eat it...I've had few great bites and i'm picky about which to eat.
So pretty please... don't hate me

P.s thanks for the motivational comment on CL.

Have a festive and love filled Val weekend, however you choose to celebrate.

Lisa said...

Those are some good looking brownies. Enjoy your new toy. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your brownies up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/02/sweets-for-saturday-4.html