Tag Archives: Chocolate brownie

Bacon maple brownies

11 Dec

Thank you Nigella.  They’re in the oven, so I don’t know yet if they are to die for, or a waste of some perfectly good ingredients.  The constituent parts were scrummy (well, I had to lick the spoon after scraping the brownie batter into the tin, and the baconny-syrupy scraps on the plate were just asking to be licked up).

But really?  Bacon in chocolate brownies?  I totally see where you came from with this – bacon and maple syrup pancakes are divine.  And as a child I remember the treat that was bacon with fried bread and honey. Now, whatever happened to fried bread?  Did the health Nazis get rid of it for good? Possibly not the worst decision ever made, but still divine in my childhood memory.

Anyway, Nigella sent me a recipe for Bacon Brownies.  Well, she didn’t just send it to me, it was sent out to anyone who subscribed to whatever style thingy she’s guest editing this week.  And now I’m wondering if it was all just a big hoax, to see what muppets would actually make it.  Well, here I am, prize muppet! I give you Bacon Maple Brownies, inspired by Nigella, but not exactly the same.

Bacon maple brownies

Preheat oven to 190C / 375F / GM5

(OK, now I see why my finished brownies seem even gooier than they should be, I had the oven not quite hot enough).

Grease and line a 25cm square brownie tin.  Or Nigella does it in a throw away tin, of course she does.  Her hands aren’t made for washing up.  And it’s so much easier to take a gift of brownies when you pop in to your neighbours if they are in a throw away dish!

100g thin rashers of streaky bacon, snipped or chopped into teeny weeny pieces

2tsp maple syrup (or golden syrup)

150g unsalted butter

250g soft light brown sugar

75g cocoa powder

150g plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

4 large eggs, beaten

150g chopped chocolate (dark, or milk)

  1. Heat a heavy frying pan and then add the bacon bits, and fry till they are just going crispy
  2. Add the syrup, and mix quickly, then pour the whole bacony syrupy mixture onto a plate to cool
  3. In a large heavy pan melt the butter over a low heat.  This is the pan the whole batter will be made, so make it big enough
  4. Once the butter is melted, remove from the heat and stir in the sugar with a wooden spoon.  Bash out the sugary lumps (unless you anticipated this and sifted it in advance).
  5. While the butter was melting you should have put the flour, cocoa and bicarb into a bowl and mixed it.  And cracked the eggs into a bowl and beaten them.
  6. Once the sugar and butter are mixed, add the flour mixture and stir it in
  7. Add the beaten eggs, and stir all together
  8. Throw in the chopped chocolate, and then use your finger to nudge all the bacon off the plate into the chocolate batter. Lick your fingers.  And wonder if this was all a hoax and you should have just made ordinary brownies, and had maple syrupy bacon bits as a separate snack.
  9. Mix all together
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25 mins or so.  It will still be slightly wobbly, so you have ultimate gooeyness in your brownies.  But if you cook it at the right temperature it shouldn’t be too gooey.
  11. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and cut into pieces.  Not too small, but not too big pieces.  You know, a couple of decent mouthfuls.

Don’t tell anyone what is in them

Mine are out of the oven now and I’ve decided it’s not a hoax – they are divine.  That sweet yet salty hit of a wee nubbin of bacon is just perfect in the rich gooeyness of the brownie.  They may not be glamorous, but oh my god they are tasty.

Triple chocolate ginger brownies

6 Jun

This recipe is a bit of an amalgam of several other recipes.  I had decided it was a chocolate brownie weekend.  That was after it had already been a garlic bread, asparagus & parma ham pizza, carrot soup and granary bread weekend.  More on the savoury stuff later, this is all about the chocolate.

So, the amalgam.  I looked at a few recipe books, and the recipe in Leon is the only one which stood out.  It was very particular about the order in which things were added, and also that the melted chocolate and butter should be allowed to cool slightly before mixing with other ingredients, to prevent it seizing up – this makes perfect sense to me now that it’s been mentioned.  They also whipped together the eggs and sugar to make a frothy loveliness before combining with flour/chocolate/butter/whatever else (I seem to recall a lot of orangey stuff, but I’m not a great fan of orange and chocolate).

So, I had some technique to think about from Leon.  And I had an old favourite recipe written out in my old cloth-covered Liberty recipe book.  I wrote it out years ago, and didn’t note where the original recipe came from, I suspect a Good Food magazine.

And on the opposite page from my old tried and tested brownie recipe I have scribbled in the ingredients for Triple Chocolate Brownies.  I made these for the first time when I was looking after my nephews about 2 years ago, and the recipe was either in a book (possibly Delia’s latest?) or ripped out and pinned up on the wall next to the rayburn.  Anyway, I made it, loved it and kept the recipe.

So, I wanted ginger chunks, and found an opened bag of crystallised ginger, you know the stuff all covered in granulated sugar that looks like a cross between a mis-shapen sugar lump and a pineapple chunk.  And I wanted deep chocolatey-ness.  And not too much squelch, more lightness than you might normally associate with a brownie.  And I didn’t want too much sweetness – my original recipe has LOTS of sugar and I felt sure I could lose some of the sugary sweetness without losing any of the nomminess.  I think I succeeded.  But you decide.

Triple chocolate ginger brownies

Grease a 20cm square tin and line with greaseproof paper.  Oven: Gas Mark 4 ish.

150g butter

200g dark chocolate

175g light muscovado sugar

3 eggs

75g plain flour (or use wholewheat if you have it in the cupboard, for a pretendie health improvement, with no associated loss of loveliness)

75g white chocolate

75g milk chocolate

75g crystallised ginger – use ginger in syrup if you can’t find the crystallised stuff, but I think the crystallised is less likely to sink.

  1. Melt butter and dark chocolate over a double boiler.  Use a microwave if you have to, but I prefer being able to heat it gently over water.
  2. You can take it off the heat before it is all melted, especially if you chopped it into smallish chunks before you started.  The residual heat will melt the remaining lumps.
  3. Leave to cool for a wee while, while you get all your other ingredients prepped.
  4. In another bowl, beat the eggs and the sugar together (Using electric beaters) until light in colour and creamy.  It won’t fluff up like egg whites, but it will hold quite a good heavy frothiness.
  5. Chop the remaining chocolate and the ginger into chunks about the half the size of your pinky finger nail.
  6. Now, keep the electric beaters running and gradually add about half of the not-quite-so-hot-now chocolate-butter mixture.  Then mix in the flour, and finally the remaining chocolate-butter mixture. You should have a batter thick enough to fall off a spoon, but not so thin that it just runs off in a liquid stream.
  7. Now stir in the chocolate and ginger chunklets.
  8. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for around 45 minutes.
  9. Cut into teeny squares – I can generally get 16 -20 squares out of the tin.  It’s extremely rich and you only need a wee square to get that chocolatey hit.
For further gingeriness, you could replace some of the sugar with some syrup from a jar of ginger, and even add some ground ginger.  Or grate some fresh ginger and add the juice to the mixture.  Although I possibly only suggest that last one as I recently acquired my mother’s old ginger grater (it is a glass implement, slightly reminiscent of a lemon squeezer gone wrong).
And you could adapt this in many other ways such as:
  • omit all ginger and replace with vanilla paste
  • or omit all ginger and replace with the zest of an orange; use a terry’s chocolate orange cut into chunklets for further orangey-ness
  • add chopped nuts – I think pecans would work well
  • or hazelnuts, and you could replace some of the flour with ground hazelnuts – perhaps a couple of TBsps
  • omit the ginger and instead of adding ordinary chocolate, break in some mint chocolate matchsticks, or whatever they are called – you know the chocolate sticks that look a bit like a chocolate twiglet
  • wee nubbins of marzipan instead of ginger – and replace a couple of TBsps of flour with ground almonds, and add a few drops of almond essence
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