Friday 7 November 2014

My ultimate chocolate brownies

I know I have given you another lovely brownie recipe already but this one is rather special to me - because as of this year, this mother of a teen and an almost-teen finds her services as the "birthday cake baker" sadly no longer required: no more mega bakes for school, and, in the case of my now 14 year old, also no more birthday cakes at home... in fact, for his big day last month he didn't even want a party but invited four of his friends to lunch at a local Italian restaurant instead - crazy or what! (However, my hopes were raised a few weeks ago when there was talk of a "bake sale" one (unspecified) morning at their school. Trying desperately not to appear too keen/needy I would "casually“ enquire about said event every day: "Oh I almost forgot – didn't you say there was some kind of cake thing at school sometime?" Answers, however, were not forthcoming – until the last time when I was blithely told: "Oh yeah that was yesterday – didn't you know? I thought you knew..." - "No. I. Didn't." (through clenched teeth). "Were.They.Any.Good?" - "Nah – not really...")

BUT the one bake that both my children (and especially my son) still regularly ask for are these chocolate brownies and I was SO happy to provide him with these beauties as a sort-of-cake... I've tried A LOT of recipes over the years but these are simply the best: they are so delectable in their rich gooey-ness yet so easy (as are, in fact, all brownies) and they work each and every time.

Here are some I made earlier (this year) - to celebrate the arrival of my son's
"Hannibal Lecter" mask (don't ask) - and with a "Tardis" stencil by his sister...

I'm sure you all have your own tried-and-tested chocolate brownies recipe but I do urge you to give these a try – you will not regret it. (The recipe is slightly adapted from Nigella (Lawson)'s How to be a domestic goddess book):

375g butter
375g dark chocolate (min. 70% cocoa)*
6 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
500g caster sugar
225g plain flour
1 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 180° / 160° fan oven.
Line a ca 33 x 23 cm baking tin with baking paper.
Put the chocolate and butter into a large microwaveable bowl. Microwave on medium heat for ca 2 mns (checking/stirring every 30 secs) until melted.
In a bowl beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla.
Measure the flour into another bowl and add the salt.
Beat the eggs and sugar into the chocolate mixture followed by the flour.
Beat to combine and then pour into the baking tin.
Bake for about 25 – 45 mns.**
When it's ready, the top should be dried to a paler brown, there should be some cracks all over and a skewer inserted into the middle should come out almost clean.
Let cool completely before cutting.

*Lidl sell fantastic-value 74% dark chocolate for 0.85€/100g.
**The baking time DOES vary from oven to oven so DO check after 20 mns or so.

Die besten Schokoladen-Brownies

Ich habe im Laufe der Jahre unzählige Schoko-Brownies-Rezepte ausprobiert, aber dieses ist in der Tat das Ultimate und Beste! Es ist aus dem Back-Buch How to be a Domestic Goddess der englischen Star-Köchin Nigella Lawson (das Buch ist übrigens super – ich kann es wirklich empfehlen!).

Dieses Rezept hat zudem auch noch einen enorm sentimentalen Wert für mich, denn ab diesem Jahr sind die Geburtstagskuchen-Backkünste dieser Mutter eines Teenagers und einer "Fast-Jugendlichen" leider nicht mehr erforderlich: keine "Mega-Bakes" für die Schule mehr, keine Geburtstagskuchen für die Party zu Hause - es ist wirklich traurig....

ABER diese Schokoladen-Brownies werden von meinen Kindern (und vor allem von meinem Sohn) immer noch mit schönster Regelmäßigkeit erwünscht und sie waren (am Geburtstagsnachmittag nach der Schule) "wieder voll lecker Mum!"

375g weiche Butter
375g Zartbitterschokolade (min. 70%)
6 Eier
1 Tl Vanille-Extrakt
500g Zucker
225g Mehl
1 Tl Salz

Den Backofen auf 180°C /160° Umluft vorheizen. Eine ca 33 x 20 cm große-Backform mit Backpapier auslegen.

Die Butter mit der Schokolade in einem großen Topf in der Mikrowelle bei mittlerer Hitze ca 2 Minuten schmelzen (alle 30 Sekunden überprüfen/umrühren).

Die Eier mit der Vanille und dem Zucker in einer separaten Schüssel verrühren.

Die Eiermasse zur Schokolade geben und unterrühren. Danach Mehl und Salz unterheben.

Den Teig in die Backform geben und für ca 25 – 45 Minuten backen. Wenn die Brownies fertig sind, sollte die Oberfläche trocken und hellbraun aussehen und einige „Risse“ haben und an einem hineingeschobenen Holzstäbchen sollten nur wenige feuchte Teigkrümel kleben.