3 December 2010

New Baby Brownies

I find it really hard to know what to get friends who have just had babies as they get loads of presents and some people are off some things and some people will only use one type of thing so I always try and bake something instead. New parents are likely to have lots of visitors so I think it probably helps to have baked goods to offer them, I also thing a quick sugar fix that can be eaten one handed is a must for nursing mothers! So in honour of little Lilly who was born on Tuesday here are my New Baby Brownies.

NEW BABY BROWNIES

Preheat the oven to 180C/356F/Gas Mark 4

300g caster sugar (I like to use golden caster sugar here but you don't have to)
250g butter
250g chocolate, broken into pieces and 50g put aside
3 large eggs and 1 extra egg yolk, beaten with a fork
60g plain flour
60g good quality cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

I make them in a disposable foil roasting tin because they never have to go anywhere else and when they're finished it can just be thrown away but any Swiss roll tin will do - the small it is the fatter they'll be and vice versa. If you are using a non-disposable Swiss roll tin then you'll need to line the bottom with baking paper.

1. Cream the butter and sugar together - ideally use a Kitchenaid as the mixer on this is ideal, I use my trusty Magimix but if you don't have either then do by hand. This needs to be really creamy though so be prepared for a bit of arm ache if you are doing it manually.

2. Melt the 200g of chocolate pieces in a bowl over a simmering pan of water (make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water). Once the chocolate is melted then take it off the heat and stand to one side.
 
3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

Sifted dry ingredients
 
4. Slowly add the beaten eggs to the butter and sugar mixing in between additions. If you are using a kitchen aid then remove the bowl once all the eggs are added. I have a Magimix so I tip the mixture into a new mixing bowl.

 5. Break up the remaining 50g of chocolate into small pieces. I do this by putting them in a freezer bag and bashing them with a rolling pin. Very satisfying but slightly annoying for our upstairs neighbours. Add the melted chocolate and chocolate pieces to the butter/sugar/egg mix, folding them in with a metal spoon.
Post-chocolate, pre-flour
6. Finally fold in the dry ingredients - try to be gentle as you don't want to knock all the air out.


7. Pour the mixture into your tin, smooth the top and put in the oven for about 25-30mins. Brownies continue to cook as they cool so you want them to be cooked enough so that a skewer comes out sticky but not covered in raw ingredients when poked in the centre.

8. Leave to cool on a rack in their tin for at least an hour before removing them or cutting them into their squares. If you are being fancy schmancy you can dust with icing sugar. But I never do.


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