Friday, 22 April 2011

Easter Brownies with White Chocolate and Walnuts

The Ewing is the normally the baker in this household, but since since I've been writing this blog I seem to have gone a bit cake crazy.  I needed to make something tasty, suitable for a Spring celebration with  friends, and that could weather a long, hot journey on the tube. There's not many people who would turn down a chocolate brownie, crispy on the outside and dense and fudgy in the middle, especially when topped with a handful of mini eggs.

Although the Ewing left her much loved Gary Rhodes recipe out to me follow I ended up going a bit off piste, adapting a Good Food recipe with a few touches of my own for good measure.  I used white chocolate for the chunks in the brownie batter, and added a handful of walnuts for some crunch.  I also added a touch of cinnamon, aping the lovely Hepburn brownie I enjoyed from Outsider Tart a few weeks ago. The spice adds a nice, woodsy note to the chocolate, without being too overwhelming.

Walnut and White Chocolate Brownies

185g Unsalted Butter
185g Dark Chocolate
50g White Chocolate
50g Walnut Pieces
3 Large Eggs
275g Golden Caster Sugar
1tsp Cinnamon
85g Plain Flour
40g Cocoa Powder

Mini chocolate eggs to decorate

-Preheat the oven to 160c and line a 20cm squared tin with baking parchment.
-Break plan chocolate into chunks and place in a bowl with the diced butter. Melt over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave.  Allow to cool to room temperature.
-Break the eggs into a large bowl, add the sugar and cinnamon and whisk with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. (About 5 minutes)
-Gently fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar.
-Sift the flour and cocoa into the bowl, and fold in lightly.
-Chop the white chocolate and walnuts and add to the mixture.  (Do not overwork the batter, or the brownies will be too heavy.)
-Pour into the lined tin and cook for 25-35 minutes.  It is ready a papery crust has formed on top and there is no 'wobble' in the middle when you gently shake the tin.
-Allow to cool completely before turning out the tin and cutting into squares.
-Decorate with chocolate eggs, affixed with a little melted chocolate or glace icing , if desired

These are a piece of cake, for want of a better phrase, to make.  The only difficult part is judging when they are perfectly cooked.  The whole point of a brownie is the dense, fudgy crumb.  Overcook it and it will become dry and crumbly, under cook it and it will be sticky and soggy.  I ended up cooking these for a bit longer than the recipe suggested, checking on them after every five minutes, and they were perfectly gooey in the middle when I cut them into squares.

They seemed to go down very well with the girls, and there were only a few solitary crumbs left in the tin by the next morning.  They are good with morning coffee, or afternoon tea, and fabulous served slightly warm, with fresh raspberries and smothered in thick cream or ice cream.  Another advantage is they improve with keeping, for up to a fortnight, wrapped up in foil or in an air tight tin.  That's if you can resist their chewy, chocolatey charms long enough...

No comments:

Post a Comment