My mother drifted into the kitchen, following the scent of the brownies I had just baked. I had just set the steaming tray onto the bench to cool, when I saw her nimble little fingers reaching for the pan. Quick as a flash, I grabbed a spatula from the drying rack and gave her hand a little whack. “Stay away from my goddamn brownies” I growled, as she shot me a filthy look and sulked her way back out of the kitchen.
You see, my mother is an edge nibbler.
What’s that, you ask?
She’s one of those people with darting fingers, who will attack at the edges of any freshly baked produce, pinching off bit by bit till it looks as though it has been attacked by a family of rats! She even this to a mate’s birthday cake that I made a few weeks ago, even though I’d told her to keep her paws off! Thankfully, the entire thing had to be covered in buttercream and fondant so I was able to hide the raggedy edges…
Unfortunately, I had somewhat overbaked the brownies (by about half an hour! This is why afternoon naps are dangerous!), and it was too dark to take photos, so I covered the tray with foil and ended up hiding the lot in the laundry cupboard to keep them safe from her destructive touch!
That also explained why I received a text message from her the following day, demanding that I reveal where I had hidden the goods. Honestly, is it just me that thinks there’s a bit of a role reversal problem here??
Oh, and incidentally…since the brownies had to be trimmed for the photos anyway, she did end up getting her edges
Double Dark Chocolate & Roasted Macadamia Brownies
(From ‘Mix & Bake‘ by Belinda Jeffery)
250g unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
180g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
385g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
150g all-purpose flour
100g roasted macadamias, coarsely chopped
100g dark chocolate chunks
Icing sugar, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, and line a 23cm square cake tin with non-stick baking paper and set aside. Place the 180g of dark chocolate and butter in a heavy-based saucepan and place over very low heat to melt. Give the saucepan an occasional stir or swirl so that the chocolate solids don’t stick and burn to the bottom of the pan. Once the mixture is smooth and shiny, set aside to cool for 8-10 minutes.
2. Once the chocolate mix has cooled, add your caster sugar and vanilla extract and whisk in till smooth. Then add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
3. Once all the eggs have been incorporated, the mixture should be thick and gooey and much lighter in colour. Grab your freshly roasted macadamias…
4. and add them to a mixing bowl, along with the 100g of chocolate chunks and flour, and give it a quick stir to make sure the nuts and choc are covered in flour. Tip the lot into the saucepan and gently fold through.
5. Once the flour and chocolate mixtures have been folded together, tip the lot into the lined baking tray and bake for 40-50 minutes, or till a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out with moist (but not wet) crumbs clinging to it.
Once baked, allow to cool completely, then chill the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm it up and make it easier to slice. Allow the slices to come back to room temperature, dust with icing sugar and serve!
A word of warning – these brownies are intense. I’m talking instant chocolate overload and sugar rush. You are best cutting these into small bars as large portions may just be a bit too much!
[tags]brownies, dark chocolate, macadamias, dessert, cake[/tags]