My new favourite brownie?

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I make brownies quite a lot; they are often requested by my team when I say I’m going to bake, especially the peanut butter ones. But this week I’ve been making some for an 18th birthday that needed to be very chocolatey, no nuts and something a bit special. Which is how I came to be making a white chocolate and raspberry version and also salted caramel.

 

Salted caramel brownies

This may have been a little foolhardy, as I’d never made either variant before, but both seem to have come out okay. They were both variations on the same recipe, with the salted caramel being the simpler of the two. I did rather cheat on this one, as I added about three quarters of a teaspoon of fleur de sel to jar of Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Rich Caramel Dipping Sauce. Swirling this over the top of the batter in the tin worked a treat though.

 

White chocolate & raspberry brownie

 

For those who asked though, here’s my recipe for the white chocolate and raspberry:

375g unsalted butter, room temperature

375g dark chocolate (I always use 70% cocoa, I like the richness)

500g golden caster sugar

6 large eggs (free range, preferably organic)

1 generous tablespoon vanilla extract

225 g plain flour

1 teaspoon salt

500g raspberries (fresh or frozen, depending on the season)

300g white chocolate, roughly chopped (I quite like a mix of larger chunks and finer pieces)

 

Tin about 33x23x5cm, greased and lined

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan oven (unless it’s one like mine that cooks far too hot, in which case 150C).

In a large pan, melt together the plain chocolate and butter. Whilst that’s going on, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla in bowl or wide-mouthed jug. Sift the flour into another bowl and add the salt.

Let the melted butter and chocolate mixture cool slightly, then beat in the eggs and sugar, then the raspberries and white chocolate chunks.  If you’re using frozen raspberries, I would defrost them first, and then drain them before adding in, otherwise there is too much liquid being added in.

Finally beat in the flour until smooth, and pour into the prepared tin.

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Keep an eye on this stage, you don’t want them to cook too much otherwise you lose the fudginess in the middle. Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, and then turn out onto a cooling tray. Depending on how generous you are with your slicing, makes a good 36 pieces.

These keep well in an airtight tin for a couple of days. If you can get them to last that long! These are definitely my new favourite, and will definitely be making these again!

 

White chocolate & raspberry brownies

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Baking the easy way but with taste

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Baking Made Easy from Montezuma's - great gift for a food lover who'd like to bake with ease

 

We were joking about Shake a Cakes the other day, which would most definitely not be something I would suggest sending anyone as a gift, not even as a joke. But very interested to see that Montezuma’s are now doing Baking Kits, which look like they could turn out very tasty results.

Building on their great chocolate credentials, these kits only need eggs, butter, a bowl and a whisk, and shortly afterwards you could be tucking into Dark Chocolate and Salted Peanut Butter Brownies or Chocolate Chunk and Hazelnut Cookies, or even White Chocolate and Butterscotch Blondies. Maybe they’d make a gift to pack someone off to uni with, as long as you give them all the equipment, as imagine the friends they’ll make if they whip up a batch of these and share them around!

Of course, you could pack them off with a huge amount of chocolate as well and it might well have the same effect!

 

UPDATE: Sadly these packs are no longer available.

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The Saturday Session

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4th July, an excuse for some comfort cooking!
4th July, an excuse for some comfort cooking!

I love Saturdays, it’s when I get to cook properly, thinking about it, without just needing to feed everyone. And particularly I get to bake, which I love. So the Saturday session is just a chance to reflect on some great recipes, as the best gift you might be able to give your foodie, or yourself, is just the time to do something different in the kitchen.

And as today is July 4th, it seems appropriate to have some American themed recipes. I was looking for Nigella’s brownie recipe, but got waylaid by the recipe for pancakes with bacon and maple syrup. At least once on any trip to the US, this is my indulgent breakfast at choice. I wish I’d been organised enough to make it for this morning’s breakfast!

But for a taste of the US, and suitable for my cream tea tomorrow, then I’m going to go for Red Velvet Cake. I’m never sure of the history of this cake, but it definitely seems to be an American thing to me. I love this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, and the observations about the cake. There are better tasting cakes, but nothing can beat people’s reaction when they see the colour. It would also make a perfect Halloween cake for kids!

So, start flipping those burgers, get The Boss on in the background, and bake up a storm. For once, it looks like we might have weather worthy of those Independence Day gatherings you always see on Martha Stewart!

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