Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentines Day Brownies!

I was determined today to firstly use my new heart-shaped silicone tin, and secondly to make a valentine-based dessert and finally to actually get it on here in case anyone deemed to make it in time for the big lunch or supper on 14th February.

Here's the silicone bake mould that I bought last week. Incidentally, I went back to the supermarket where I bought this with the hope of buying the smaller cupcake tray after all... and guess what ?? Well, of course there were none left. Typical.

I wasn't sure what to make in my lovely mould. I guess that given more time, I would have liked to make an ice cream based dessert, probably with meringue and raspberries, but I didn't have enough ice cream or any meringues, so that was a non-starter. I considered lemon pudding, but I knew I wouldn't have time to steam it...

In the end, I plumped for the classic chocolate brownie. Easy and quick to make, and delicious warm with ice cream. Also, although Biscuit Boy likes most desserts, he and Cupcake both particularly like Brownies. Our Valentines meal will be a family affair this year, Cupcake is nearly ten now so there's no point trying to feed her early and rush her off to bed. She has a later bedtime, so it's lovely that we can all eat together. Our main course will be the beef stew that I made earlier this week, served with garlic bread and these brownies and ice-cream, probably served with some tayberries for desert.
So, no effort for me as it's all ready to go ! Yippee.

So, on to the brownies...I chose another Nigella recipe. This one is from the 'How to be a Domestic Goddess' cookbook. I halved the quantities in the recipe as the recipe said it made 48 (!). I did not add any walnuts as Cupcake doesn't like them. If I was making them for me, I would have added them as I think they add a lovely taste and texture. Next time !


185gr soft unsalted butter

185gr best quality dark chocolate

4 standard size eggs (e.g. not large eggs)

0.5 tablespoon vanilla extract

250gr caster sugar

110 gr plain flour

0.5 teaspoon salt

150 g chopped walnuts (optional - or you could use other nuts, like pecans, or some white chocolate chips or dried cherries or cranberries...)


Preheat the oven to 180 deg.

1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over a low flame.

2. Whilst that is melting, mix the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract.

3.Once the chocolate is melted add the chocolate to the egg and sugar mixture.

4. Add the flour and salit, and walnuts to the mixture if needed and mix in.

5. Tip the mixture into your tin and bake for about 25 minutes. The mixture will need a lot longer than 25 minutes, if you prefer a drier browner. Check it every 5 or so minutes after 25 minutes, remembering that it will continue to cook when cooling.

6. My brownie went in and out of the oven three times before it was not running liquid - I just hope it's not rock hard tomorrow... Either way, I think the final look is quite cute, and I love the little cracks in the heart. Nothing's perfect is it ? Least of all love.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

NOTE: If you use a silicon cake mould, place the mould on a baking tray to slide it into the oven as they're too floppy to hold..

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