The 2 B’s, baking and brownies

I grew up in southern America, in the mountains of North Carolina. America is incredibly diverse and every area is different to the next, even within the southern states.

I grew up with Betty Crocker. Shes amazing and knows her baking and almost always comes out perfectly! Growing up, I thought baking with Betty was baking from scratch, oh, how I couldn’t have been more wrong if I tried! Betty Crocker is a boxed baking brand, you add eggs, water and oil to the mix and TADA you’re done.  Its easy, its simple and it ultimately almost always tastes amazing. I was always told this was ‘baking’ and for years I really did think I was baking from scratch. It was only when I moved out of the states that I realised this wasn’t the case and it was a shock! I wont lie, I did get more than a little bit excited when I noticed my local grocery story started to carry Betty.  In America, Betty Crocker is one of the major baking ranges that have practically everything you could ever need, from cake mixes, brownies, and cobblers to frostings.

Living in Europe, means that I now bake from scratch! The amount of boxed items 15 years ago when I moved over were incredibly limited (maybe one or two only), where as now its better. Honestly, nothing frustrates me more than when Im looking at a cake recipe on the internets and it says in the list of ingredients ‘1 box cake mix’, you’ve got to be kidding me!

Having learnt to adapt means that Ive mastered some things and still fail at others, no matter how hard I try I am completely unable to make a white cake.

One of my wins which I am so proud of are these amazingly awesome unctuous fudgey brownies. From the base recipe, you can keep it as it is or you can dress it up and make it an adult only espresso brownie, which is my favourite! Why espresso? It doesnt taste like coffee but actually enhances the chocolate flavour, giving them a deep richness that keeps you going back for more!

Ive also made them with gluten free flour and they work just as well, still coming out fudgey.

I hope you go off and make these and enjoy them as much as I do!

Unctuous awesome fudgey brownies

Unctuous awesome fudgey brownies

Makes: 1 9x13in Pyrex dish   Prep time: 15 mins  Cook time: 25mins  Total time: 45 mins

Required Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of butter
  • ⅔ cups of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup of flour
  • ⅔ Chocolate chips and peanut butter chips (optional)
  • 1 shot espresso (if making the adult version of this)

Now how to make these truly awesome brownies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line the pan with greaseproof paper.
  2. Melt your butter on the hob/stove top with the cocoa powder. Once the butter and cocoa have completely melted, add in the sugar.  Put this off the side to cool down for 10 mins, sit down, have a cup of coffee, read a book, take a break.
  3. Once the butter, cocoa, and sugar mixture have cooled down, whisk  in the eggs, salt and vanilla, mixing until completely incorporated and smooth in texture. (If making the adult version add in your shot of expresso now)
  4. Add flour and chips to the liquid mixture, and stir until just combined (do NOT over mix).
  5. Pour the brownie batter into the baking dish, put in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 25 minutes. Make sure it’s on the middle rack, not the top one
  6. When the brownie cools down, cut it into squares.  Store in  a air tight container for up to 4 days.

Edits:

Do not over bake! Its so easy to over bake a brownie, they are suppose to look slightly undercooked, as they then firm up and finish cooking off as it cools down.  25-30 mins at the very most is more than enough time to cook a brownie that has been placed in a pre-heated oven.

I love that you can add anything to these brownies! As per the picture below, I made the standard brownie and then I made an adult version, in my adult version, in addition to the espresso, I chopped up a white, dark, and milk chocolate bar and put it on top for extra unctuous ooey-gooeyness and then for crunch I added ½ cup toasted coconut and ½ cup chopped pecans. They were AMAZING.

home made brownies.jpg

 

I also made them gluten free by swapping gluten free flour for plain and adding in 2 tsp of xanthan gum.

Remember to share with friends and enjoy!

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