Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ultimate Chocolate Brownies (inspired by Lorraine Pascale)

For the past 3 weeks, the Twitterverse has been buzzing on Monday evenings.  And it's all about baking, or more precisely the fabulous new show on BBC2 - Baking Made Easy with Lorraine Pascale.  Talk about having it all - she used to be a supermodel, and then decided she liked food more and retrained as a chef, with a love for pastry.  Talk about a complete career change!  The show is just lovely with an amazing kitchen (I am lusting over it), a fantastic soundtrack and most importantly, achievable gorgeous food.  Oh, and the wonderful Sharon Hearne-Smith worked on the show, so Lorraine is in good company, seeing as SH-S has also worked with our very favourite American cook, Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa fame.

I had forgotten to delete Monday's episode from my Sky planner, so when The Hubs saw it, he thought it would do no harm to watch it.  10 minutes later, he was nudging me & imploring me to make the brownies.  How could I resist such blatant begging?  Actually I had already bought a packet of Chocolate Oreos the night before because I was going to make them anyway, but a bit of gratitude goes a long way...

There's also a Baking Made Easy book which I snagged for myself during the week - I can't wait to get stuck in & start baking!

Ultimate Chocolate Brownies

165g Butter
200g Dark Chocolate, grated or finely chopped
3 Eggs
3 Egg Yolks
1 Vanilla Pod/1tsp Vanilla Paste
165g Soft Light Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Plain Flour
1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
Pinch of Salt
1 packet of Oreo Cookies (I used the Chocolate ones)
Icing Sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180c/350F/Gas 6.  Grease a 20cm/8in square baking tin with butter, then line with baking paper with the paper overlapping the sides a little.

Melt the butter in a pot over a medium heat. When the butter has melted, remove it from the heat and add the grated (or chopped) chocolate.  Leave to stand for a few minutes, or until the chocolate melts, and then stir together. 

Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together in a large bowl until the eggs begin to get light and fluffy. Add the sugar in two additions, whisking between each. Pour it around the side of the egg mix so as not to knock out the air that has been whisked in. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes stiffer. 

Once the egg mixture is ready, pour the chocolate into it - again around the sides so as not to knock the air out.  

Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt and two thirds of the biscuits and stir until fully combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Scatter the remaining biscuits over the top, pressing them in slightly. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes. The middle should be very so slightly gooey. 

Leave the brownies to cool in the tin - the top will sink and crack a little.

Pull the brownies out using the overlapping paper and cut into squares. Dust with icing sugar.

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