Brownies are not something I make a lot. They are quite indulgent and as a result need a lot of butter, eggs, chocolate and brown sugar – so generally need to go and shop before I make brownies. My regular bakes are generally more frugal (but still yummy!) so there is always enough ingredients in the store cupboard and fridge to throw them together whenever. I also prefer to make brownies when lots of people are sharing them so I don’t overindulge!! There is no need to eat them all at once as they keep well wrapped in foil for about a week…….but realistically that is unlikely to happen!! When I make them I enjoy every morsel.
I particularly like brownies with fruit in – raspberries are fab, sour cherries work too, both of which can be bought frozen and thrown in easily at the end of making the mixture. I have a particularly yummy banana brownie recipe. I think the addition of fruit adds something extra – cuts through the richness and adds some tang or texture depending on the fruit. Maybe it is a subconscious feeling that I am making my indulgent treat a little bit better for me but I really think they taste better!
Today I am making banana brownies as I have the overripe banana sitting feeling neglected and as I don’t have enough ripe bananas for the double quantity I am making (bring and share buffet this evening after my youngest son’s school play so need a decent contribution plus a small number to keep at home – of course!) I am going to throw in some frozen blueberries. Nothing quite like trying something new to take to a bring and share. If they go wrong I will just slide them on the table and deny all knowledge – they won’t be so bad!! (Apart from those who read my blog of course – doh!)
So here goes. The recipe for one batch – adapted from a BBC GoodFood Recipe:
175g butter chopped into pieces
300g light muscavado sugar/soft brown sugar
175g dark chocolate broken into pieces
3 eggs beaten
1 ripe mashed banana
100g self raising flour (farine de gateaux)
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking powder (levure chimie but not sure exact amount needed)
A sprinkling of frozen blueberries
Heat the oven to 180/160 fan/gas 4 and grease and line a tin – 18cm x 28cm is the one suggested in the original recipe.
Melt the butter, sugar and chocolate in a large pan and heat until everything is combined and the mixture is smooth. Then take the pan off the heat.
Mix in the eggs and the bananas well. Then sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Fold the dry ingredients in until they are well combined and then sprinkle in the frozen blueberries. You can use other frozen berries or fresh. I have a blueberry and banana muffin recipe that works well so figured the combination in the brownies would work just as well.
After pouring the mixture into the prepared tins, put into the oven for 30mins. Take them out when the centre of the brownie is firm. I always think brownies are a bit tricky because what makes a perfect brownie is a matter of taste. Moist and fudgy to the point of needing a spoon to eat it to something quite firm and drier. Adding fruit adds moisture so you may need a bit longer to get the texture you like. And, if like me, you like them moist and fudgy, you have to remember that they cook a bit after they come out of the oven.
It is all a matter of taste (and occasion). I like my brownies to be quite moist and a bit fudgy, but sometimes I take them out a bit too soon and they are not great if they are for an occasion where they need to hold their shape and be eaten without any plate. Too long and they lose that fudgy quality and are a little too dry so it is bit of roulette for me. Whatever happens they taste good.
Today I had three 11 year olds for lunch and they scraped the pot of the mix and tucked into the still hot and very gooey brownies with lots of compliments. So I think they will go down OK at the buffet this evening – I may not have to slide them surreptitiously onto the table and deny all knowledge!