Best Brownies EVER.

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I won’t lie, these are the only tall, dark and handsome things on the internet you’ll ever really want and need in your life right now. They’re sweet, they’re rich and they’re bad for you but above all, they defo won’t let you down or ghost you like Reece from tinder might do. (No offence to any Reece’s from Tinder). I actually discovered these from my Mum who usually sticks to a Jamie Oliver recipe with her twist on it. Obvs that recipe was before he turned all melodramatic about 2 for 1 pizzas and whether or not a vimto has one or more sugars in. This recipe is certainly not the healthiest, not a pinch of superfood in this and it’s so delicious.

I am not one to toot my own horn but this recipe is quickly becoming my go-to for impressing people with my fine kitchen skillz.  Because I want to be a bit of a Rahul from Bake Off about this all and I want you all to actually like me and be my friend consider this my way of baking this for you…kinda. The method to these are a little bit different to any of the ways I’ve baked brownies, or any other baked good for that matter, so even though it might seem a little bit mental…stick with it. k?

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You will need:

  • 250g butter,
  • 1tsp coffee granules,
  • 200g dark chocolate,
  • 80g cocoa powder,
  • 65g plain flour,
  • 1tsp baking powder,
  • 4 eggs,
  • 360g caster sugar.

HOW TO:

First off, line a square tin or any shaped tin of your choice, with parchment paper or grease it with butter and preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.

Then I put the butter into a microwave safe jug or bowl and heat it for 30 seconds at a time until it is fully melted. You could do this on top of the stove or even in a bain marie if that is easier for you. To the melted butter add the coffee granules you don’t taste the coffee element by adding this it just helps to enhance the richer, chocolate flavour. Add your chopped chocolate to this mixture at the same time as the coffee too, letting it mingle with the hot butter, leave it for about 2 minutes or so and then come back and stir it all together until it has all melted and is a smooth, glossy chocolate liquid. At this stage it’ll still be really warm so you could either put let it cool somewhere, place it in the fridge for short intervals making sure it’s not in there too long in case it’ll set. I actually use the very unorthodox method of putting the plug in my sink and putting cold water in. Just enough water that it comes up to where the chocolate mixture is in the jug, allowing no water actually into the mix.

Whilst that is cooling I crack the eggs and put them in a stand mixer, if you don’t have one of these you could use a hand whisk it might just take you a little longer but think of the muscles you’ll be using! Slightly ironic thought that for a brownie recipe but hey. To that I add in the sugar. If you want a richer, fudgier, more of a molasses taste, I’d suggest using a darker or demerara sugar. I used caster sugar.

I mixed it for about 5 minutes or so until the eggs and the sugar were lovely and combined and plenty of air was whipped through so it had pretty much doubled in size.

When the chocolatey, buttery mixture was cooled whilst the mixer is on a slow speed Ioured in the chocolate a little at a time careful not to knock any of the air out and gradually added more and more until it was all fully combined.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder a little at a time, folding it through gently.

Once it’s all fully combined you can pour it into your prepared tray or if you wanted to jazz it up a bit and add chopped fruit like cherries or some crushed nuts, oreos, peanut butter cups (shout out to Reece from Tinder we knew we wouldn’t have seen the last of you just yet) or a handful of pretzels now is the perfect time to mix it through or push some into the top of the batter once it’s in the tray.

I baked it between 20-25 minutes, checking it halfway with a skewer. I found to get that extra crackly top is once it’s out of the oven, hold it about 8 inches above a cooling rack and drop it down on the surface several times. My dog wondered what on earth I was doing but it helps to crack the top surface (of the brownies not your kitchen work tops).

Leave to cool and then cut into little chunks. ENJOY. ❤

 

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Look at that crackly top tho?????

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I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

MUCH LOVE. x

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Irish Apple Crumble Cake.

I saw this recipe online a few months ago, from Donal Skehan’s website here,  and it quickly became one of my favourites and one of my family’s too. Even though I live in  Dorset so you may have thought that the famous Dorset Apple cake would have stolen that top spot for me however I enjoy the cake/crumble hybrid that comes with this teatime treat. It has a light, fluffy sponge, delicately spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger topped with a smooth, buttery crumble top adding an extra dimension of texture and flavour.

This bake isn’t really for the fainthearted judging by the amount of butter and sugar you throw (not literally) into the bowl. It won’t be one you can take to a weight watchers bake off to be honest but it’s so deliciously decadent that it won’t even matter. I based my recipe off of Donal’s, he’s one of my favourite chefs with his fun approach to cooking and baking. I have added a bit of a twist to this recipe which some Irish folk may think is absolute blasphemy and I’ll be banned from the Emerald Isle for life but i’ve baked this for family and friends and it went down a treat.

For this bake you will need:

  • 110g butter, I used unsalted.
  • 150g soft brown sugar or demerara sugar whatever is easier or what you’ve got in your cupboards.
  • 2 eggs
  • 210g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of almond or vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1tsp nutmeg.
  • 300g peeled, cored and sliced cooking apple is Donal’s recommendation but I tend to use 2 or 3 small eating apples.

For the crumble top you will need:

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g cold, diced butter.

 

HOW TO:

So first off I would recommend preheating your oven to 180 degrees and lining a cake tin. Then you can peel and dice your apple. Depending on how apple-y you like your bake you could add more or less. We like ours quite fruity so add a good amount. To keep them from browning I put them in a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice until I add them to the mixture.

Like any other cake, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and smooth. Add in the eggs with a spoonful of flour with each egg. This helps the mixture from not looking claggy and a bit gross and enables it to mix together more smoothly.

Add in the rest of the flour along with the salt and baking powder too. Once that’s all fully combined I pop in the almond extract and the spices too. I really like these flavours so sometimes adjust the amount I use depending on my personal tastes and whether I want to use some of these Christmassy flavours too. I think the cinnamon is definitely a good addition but things like ginger, nutmeg or even something like allspice or mixed spice are all optional.

Draining the apples from the water completely and patting them dry in a tea towel, stopping any excess water getting the batter wetter than it needs to be, I pop them straight into the batter giving it a quick stir until it’s completely combined.

At this stage you could also add things like a handful of crushed mixed nuts, raisins or other dried fruits like raisins, cranberries or chopped apricots or even jewel the lined cake tin with blackberries or raspberries ready for when you pour the mixture over it.

Once the cake mix is evenly spread into the tin you can sprinkle on top the crumble mix.

To make the crumble mixture all you need to do is rub the sugar, butter and flour to a rough breadcrumb consistency. I like to add some spices to the mix of mine too, giving it that lovely golden sand colour. Similarly if you want an extra crunchy texture, crumble in some crushed up biscuits or shortbread, flaked almonds or even some rolled oats then evenly coat the top of the cake batter.

Cook in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until you poke a skewer or knife in and it comes out clean. I sometimes find that bit difficult with a recipe with fruit in so sometimes it’s easier to poke a couple holes in just to be on the safe side.

Once cooled it is perfect served with a generous dollop of cream or even have it slightly warmed up too. It is glorious. If I do say so myself.

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Jammie Dodger blondies.

Blondies were a bit of a new phenomenon for me until I made these and introduced my family to them too. Not too dissimilar from the OG chocolate brownie with its fudgy, gooey chocolate centre and flaky, crumbly top. Blondies are are typically flavoured by the dark sugar or the browned butter used to give it that gorgeous golden yellow hue and that deep, rich molasses flavour. If you have a super sweet tooth like me, blondies will be right up your street. I chose to add some Jammie Dodgers, which was one of the best biscuits you could get at a kids party if you ask me! I actually made some in a blog post as seen here.

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This little slice of heaven was really simple to make, looks really impressive and is super delicious too. Plus it goes perfectly with a cup of tea FYI; what’s not to love! I used a recipe I had in a cookbook at home and made a few changes to it to suit what I like aaaand also what I had at home and what I thought sounded nice.

Ingredients:

  • 200g Butter, I used unsalted butter. 
  • 250g sugar
  • 200g White chocolate
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 250 g Plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pack Jammie Dodger biscuits
  • Strawberry jam (optional)

HOW TO:

So I’m not the most organised in the kitchen, but I’m trying to get better, in recipe books or on cookery shows they always tell you to preheat the oven and line the baking tray first so you can get the oven warmed up and ready and will have also saved the faff of lining a tray. So I did (eventually) preheat the oven to 180 degrees and lined a little square baking tin. I wish I could say the actual measurements of the tin for you, but I am not sure. I quite like thicccc little squidges of blondie pieces so I could cut this into smaller chunks rather than larger, thinner pieces.

ANYWAY, I cubed the butter melting it slowly in a pan. If you quite like the taste and flavour of browned butter, leave it to slowly warm over heat until its browned and got that gorg nutty smell. That’ll give your bake a lovely colour and richer, molasses flavour too. Once this was fully melted I mixed the sugar into it.

When it comes to the sugar you use it can change the taste, colour and flavour of the blondie altogether. I used regular white caster sugar but you could use golden caster sugar for a richerr colour and fudgier consistency. Equally if you prefer that molasses, treacly flavour use a darker sugar. Something like demerera or brown sugar would work well too!

Whilst the mixture is still warm, I added half of the white chocolate which I had already cut into smaller pieces, until the whole mixture was completely mixed together and smooth. Leave this to cool for a little bit and then add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Make sure the mixture isn’t too warm still in case the eggs scramble.

Add in the flour and the pinch of salt a small heap at a time. Once combined I used the rest of the white chocolate which I had already cut into small chips and mixed that through. Finaaaaally you can pour your blondie batter into your ready prepared and lined tray.

If you’re a big fan of the jam like my fam you can add in a few spoonfuls of your jam of choice and swirl it through the mixture.

Lastly, place the jammie dodgers on top of the blondie in whatever pattern you choose. You can buy the mini ones if you wanted to throw them more sporadically into the mix. Y’know you do you hun.

Bake in the oven for roughly 30 -35 minutes til they are golden and brown and the top has that crumbly, crackly crust.

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It went down a treat in my house and lasts really well too as long as it’s kept in an airtight container! I’d definitely recommend baking these, next time I won’t bake them for as long as I did as you can see they caught a little bit on the top! The blondie was lovely and fudgy and the Jammie Dodger gives it a fab crunch. It was BANGIN.