Ready for greatness | Baller Brownies

Everybody loves brownies. They’re in every cafe, every bake sale, every morning tea. A good, fudgy, chewy brownie is everything that is right in this world.

So how do you make a great thing better? Fill it with all the best, tastiest tidbits you can get your hands on. Today, that’s two kinds of chocolate chips and crunchy nuts. Are you ready for greatness? Because these brownies are.

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Many years ago, I was commissioned to make 100 white chocolate mud cake cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream. Several trials and more than 200 cupcakes later… The smell of white chocolate makes me instantly queasy. Can’t do it. This recipe takes boring old white chocolate and turns it into golden, caramel-ey goodness. Roasting the chocolate low and slow imparts a deep caramel flavour that can be used anywhere you’d use the white stuff. And the smell? Heaven. I can’t get enough.

This recipe is made better by the quality of chocolate you use. Lindt is the best supermarket-available chocolate, and I like to use the Smooth 70% and Touch of Salt, because it’s not overly sweet, it’s not overly bitter, and the salt just lifts everything and makes it better. Buy it when it’s on sale, and you’re onto a winner.

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Baller Brownies

Adapted from Delicious

150g unsalted butter, chopped
250g dark chocolate (I used 200g Lindt 70% Smooth dark, 50g Lindt Salted Dark), chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
250g caster sugar
50g plain flour
100g white chocolate, chopped
50g Lindt Salted Dark
100g pistachios, chopped

Heat the oven to 120*c. Place the white chocolate in a Pyrex roasting dish, then place in the oven. Stir the chocolate every 10 minutes or so until it’s a deep gold in colour and caramelised in flavour. It’s okay if it looks lumpy, it will smooth back out. Set aside to cool and solidify.

Increase the temperature 10 180*c. Line a brownie pan with baking paper and set aside.

Place the chopped dark chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl, then place the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.Stir occasionally until melted together, and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together with an electric mixture until light and fluffy, a couple of minutes. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and combine, then stir in the flour. Crumble in the caramelised white chocolate, pistachios and additional dark chocolate, folding to evenly combine.

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Pour the mixture into the brownie pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until a crust forms. Remove the pan from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature, then place in the fridge to chill and firm.

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A, B, C. Easy as br-own-nie.

Searching for the perfect brownie recipe is like the search for The Holy Grail. The delicate balance of fudgey and chewy; whether or not to add nuts; levels of chocolateness? Brownies are a business fraught with difficult decisions. You could be forgiven for throwing your hands up in the air and making something that comes out of a box.

But wait!

These brownies are not much more complicated than box mix and are made special by the addition of smushed up Oreos. This recipe is great for beginners (I even had it tested by one – great for kids), or when you’re a little short on time. Brownies were one of the first things I learnt to master because of their flexibility. The perfect place to start for someone just stepping into the kitchen.

Cookies and cream ice cream is hands down my favourite ice cream. In my head, you can’t go wrong with it. It’s creamy. It has chocolate biscuity goodness. There is no flaw here. Except for when you are so consumed in the creamy biscuity goodness that you absent-mindedly eat an entire tub while watching a marathon of Game of Thrones.
What?

Just putting it out there, Oreos make everything better. Fact.

Cookies and Cream Brownies

From What’s Gaby Cooking

Ingredients

10 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup chocolate chips
15 oreo cookies, crushed

1) Heat the oven to 180*c. Line a slice tray with baking paper and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan. In a bowl, mix the sugar and cocoa powder and add the slightly cooled butter.

2) Add vanilla, eggs and salt, stirring until combined. Add the flour, chocolate chips and half the crushed oreos and mix until incorporated.

3) Press the batter into the slice tin, and sprinkle the remaining oreos on the top.

4) Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve.

I’m eating my feelings; they taste delicious.

You know those days where you kind of get knocked for six?
Well, it’s been one of those weeks.
A break-up, missing some friends, and a new role at work (which is great, it’s just new, and you know how that is). All this crazy happening around me takes up a lot of energy. Which makes me hungry.
You know in movies where you see those delicate girls who are to upset to eat? I don’t have that problem. As I was inhaling ice cream while Skyping with a friend, he looked at me incredulously and asked “You’re not going to eat the whole tub, are you?”. Well, I’m not going to, now that you’ve said it like that.
Don’t judge me. I do what I want.

Eating habits aside, I’ve been in a new role at work this week. And believe it or not, when first introduced to a new group of people, I’m a little shy (stop laughing. No, seriously). My fail-safe in life has always been to bribe people into liking me with food. It’s easy, people like food, I bring food, people like me for bringing food, equals people like me.  My logic is sound, don’t ruin this for me.
So combining my desire to eat my feelings with a baking challenge, I was struck with inspiration.

Chocolate Obsession.

I’m not talking about my chocolate obsession. That’s a whole other post.
I’m talking about Chocolate Obsession ice cream. You know the one, chocolate ice cream, with cherry brandy sauce, with chocolate bits running through it? It’s like my kryptonite.
Ice cream isn’t terribly practical in the workplace (I’ve tried), but brownies are. So I decided brownies, chocolate chips, with a raspberry coulis swirled through might just do the trick.

I’m always searching for The Best Brownie Recipe. I personally think I’ve found it. That one will stay with me until I die. Or I find a better one. This one, however, is pretty damn good. Easy, too.

Chocolate Brownies
Adapted from Donna Hay

200g dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped
250g butter, chopped
1¾ cups (310g) brown sugar
4 eggs
⅓ cup (35g) cocoa powder, sifted
1¼ cups (185g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
¼ teaspoon baking powder

Raspberry Coulis
Adapted from myrecipes.com

2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup sugar Preheat oven to 160°C (325ºF).

Place the 200g chocolate (not the chips) and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.

To make the coulis; in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring raspberries and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture starts to thicken, about 15 minutes.

Press mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, using a spatula to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard seeds and skins. Place the sugar, eggs, cocoa, flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until combined.

Mix though the chopped chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed.

Line a 20cm-square slice tin with non-stick baking paper.
Pour in half the brownie mix. Spoon half the coulis over the brownie mix, and swirl through with a knife. Pour the rest of the brownie into the pan. Repeat with remaining coulis.
Bake for 50 minutes or until an inserted skewer withdraws clean.
Allow to cool slightly in the tin before slicing. Serve warm or cold.  

Hey, they don’t call it winning brownie points for nuthin’.
P.S. If you have nothing to do on Saturday, you should check out the Beaufort St Festival. It’s going to be amazeballs.