Sunday, 7 August 2011

Mint Chocolate Brownies and How to Stay Cheerful when Baking






Phrases I definitely, absolutely, 100% did say during the baking of these Brownies


(or How to Stay Optimistic in Face of Potential Brownie Disaster):


1. 'I'm so pleased I have all the ingredients and don't have to make multiple separate trips to the overpriced corner shop in my slippers every ten minutes'


2. 'I do love it when I beat my not-quite-softened-enough butter and it splatters all round the entire kitchen and most of the living room. Removing congealed butter from the ceiling is such a satisfying job'


3. 'Of course experimentation is vital for Brownie advancement. Even when I have the best ever Brownie recipe and up until this moment of madness altering the recipe would have been absolute sacrilege, its still very important, and certainly not remotely foolish to experiment'


4. 'I'm sure half an hour of nervous pacing up and down infront of a hot oven, wringing the teatowel in despair,  is equivalent of a thirty minute gym session'


5. 'Hey, A, if  everyone gets drunk on Sangria no one will notice the unexpected and not entirely welcome Aero bubble effect on top of the Brownies right?'


Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies


(inspired by Nigel Slater and Dan Lepard, whose original recipes can be found here and here)



Ingredients

300g golden caster sugar
250g butter
100g dark mint chocolate
200g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids) 
3 large eggs plus 1 extra egg yolk
1 tsp natural peppermint essence  
60g flour
60g cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 4.
2. Line the bottom of a baking tin, roughly 23cm x 23cm, with baking parchment
3. Put the sugar and butter in a deep bowl and beat for several minutes until white and fluffy
4. Meanwhile, break the dark chocolate into pieces and melt in a pyrex bowl suspended over, but not touching, a saucepan of gently simmering water. Remove from the heat once melted
5. Chop the 100g dark mint chocolate into small pieces
6. Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat them lightly with a fork
7. Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix in a pinch of salt
8. With the mixer running slowly, introduce the beaten egg a little at a time until completely combined
9. Mix in the melted chocolate and mint essence with a large metal spoon
10. Fold in the flour, baking powder and cocoa, gently and firmly, without knocking any of the air out
11. Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smooth out with a spatula and insert the chopped dark mint chocolate, evenly spaced throughout the mixture
12. Bake for 30 minutes. A skewer when inserted may have a little Brownie on it (it is a gooey and sticky recipe) but if it has raw mixture attached, pop the brownies back in the oven for a couple more minutes.

Baker's notes...
  • By inserting the mint chocolate pieces at the end, they should more or less retain their shape through the cooking resulting in little explosions of chocolatey mint as you munch your way through the Brownies. Brownies plural because you will need to have more than one. 'tis the law.
  • I only added a teaspoon of peppermint which added a subtle minty taste, but do add a little more if you wish for more of a kick
  • Allow to cool before cutting into squares. In 2-3 days, stored in an airtight container they'll still taste good
  • They weren't an absolute disaster but three jugs of Sangria really help the enjoyment of these. 

10 comments:

  1. Lol - did they taste good though? Its such a shame when things don't work quite as you would like them to but they sound utterly divine to me.

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  2. Hi Kate, have recently discovered your blog and I really like the way you write. You make me laugh. I too have enjoyed scrubbing butter off the ceiling. Fun.

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  3. cake fails are important to blog! you still at them right? so not all lost :) always need to experiement with brownies :)

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  4. Lol...I have said variations of those a few times as well! :)

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  5. Baking disasters are where I learn the most important lessons. I've definitely had a few of your moments - once whilst making a red velvet cake, I managed to splatter red batter all over the kitchen!

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  6. 2. 'I do love it when I beat my not-quite-softened-enough butter and it splatters all round the entire kitchen and most of the living room. Removing congealed butter from the ceiling is such a satisfying job'................YESS! That is me, I do that too! Made me laugh when I read that!
    Great looking brownies....
    Karen

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  7. Funny, these are the EXACT same phrases I say when I'm baking something I've never baked before! LOL, you crack me up as always. As I'm a big fan of Aero, I don't see what's wrong with having bubbly-topped brownies...in fact, I think you may be spearheading a new look in the brownie(s) world here!

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  8. Wow, I like chocolate, it is very attractive. It allows us to be happy.

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  9. The idea of mint in them is great!. I had some interesting times when I tried to make cupcake shaped cake pops that looked like pregnant cupcakes - no definition whatsoever... I was not brave enough to blog them though but perhaps I should have, would have at least given some amusement..!

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  10. I think they look great, after all, your eaters weren't to know what they were supposed to look like were they!

    I reckon blogging (near) disasters/not-quite-successes is a good thing to do - prooves we're human!!!

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