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I made these to take along to the Green Man Festival. You always need some little treats when you are camping, especially when the forecast is for four days of solid rain. Luckily we had some serious sunshine between the serious downpours and I only had to queue for the toilets in a thunderstorm once. Anyway, these were lovely, and comforting and luxurious, and, like the weather, seriously moist.

P1030818

It takes a bit of confidence to bake a brownie. First of all there are just so many recipes out there to choose from. I have put this one together with a lot of agonising, testing and re-testing.

The perfect brownie requires the perfect length of cooking time to ensure it is moist, but not sloppy.  You want the finished brownie to be damp in the middle, but not undercooked. Also you need two different types of chocolate to ensure the right amount of gooiness. I don’t understand the science of this, but it has something to do with the way the fat content of the chocolate makes it behave differently during the cooking process.

Undercooking is better than overcooking. When you take your brownies out of the oven and shake the tray slightly, you want them to wobble rather than slop. Give the top of your tray-bake a little tap – it should sound just right  (unfortunately it takes practice and experience to know what this sound is, but my best guess is ‘phftut’).  I know this is a little vague, but the recipe that follows worked for me, and my oven.

Ingredients:

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 300g dark chocolate – I used 200g of chocolate with 70% cocoa solids and 100g with 35% cocoa solids
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • zest and juice of one orange
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 150g tinned cherries, roughly chopped into quarters and coated in a little of the cooking flour
  • You could also add a splash of cherry liqueur.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Grease and line a baking tray – mine is about 27cm x 17cm.

Slowly melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a pan of hot water. When it has melted, add the eggs and sugar and whisk together. Then whisk in the orange zest and juice.

Fold in the flour, then the cherries.

Pour the mixture into your prepared baking tin and cook for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool and slice into squares. If you like you can dust with cocoa powder.

Makes about 15.

 

 

 

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P1020344

This is the easiest thing in the world to make. The children sometimes make it as an end-of-term gift for their teachers.

Ingredients

  • 125g softened unsalted butter
  • 300g chocolate, broken into pieces – I used 200g of dark chocolate and 100g milk chocolate
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 200g digestive biscuits
  • 100g mini marshmallows
  • 100g glacé cherries
  • 1 tsp icing sugar, for dusting

You could also try adding popcorn, dried fruit, chopped nuts or even Maltesers.

The first job is to line your tin. This recipe is just fine for my tin which is 25cm x 16cm.

Then, gently melt the chocolate, butter and syrup in a thick bottomed pan. Don’t allow it to get too hot, or you’ll melt the marshmallows.

Whilst the chocolate etc. are melting, put the biscuits in a plastic freezer bag and bash with a rolling-pin. Don’t go mad, you do want a bit of chunk in your tarmac.

When your chocolate has completely melted, stir in your marshmallows, cherries and any other ingredients. I sprinkle a few mini marshmallows on top, just to look pretty.

Refrigerate overnight.

This is such a rich sweet that you can cut it into pretty small pieces. Dust with a little icing sugar.

Enjoy.

Here's one I made earlier

Here's one I made earlier

Hi, my name's Helen and I live in London with my husband and two children. When I started piping the potato on my shepherd's pies, my husband suggested that it might be a good idea for me to find an outlet for my creativity, so here we are. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, the extra twist is that I don't eat meat (I do eat fish though) and Jim, who loves meat, is always on a diet. Here are a few recipes that I have enjoyed making for my family.

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