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
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