What is a Brownie?
Young girl that achieves things and then gets badges, normally on a Wednesday evening giving Mummy and Daddy alone time to [as William Smith of Fresh Prince and Wild Wild West fame once sang] get jiggy with it.
No. Not what I was talking about.
Erm. Jamaican Batty Boy? uh-huh. Oh ok. You must mean the old Eastman Kodak cameras lovingly referred to as Brownies then. Nope sorry wrong again.
Right I have it, you mean a Gaelic mischevious fairy also know as an urisk. Do I win anything?
No prize for losers sorry.
Oh. I give up.
This is a food blog, remember? I’m talking about the cake type thing, small square and chocolatey…
I’m assuming that when they had their tea party in Boston, Mass. they served some brownies, as it is one of the earliest recorded places to have a recipe for this somewhat dense and chocolatey cake. There are COUNTLESS recipes and versions for Brownies – I have three that I like. My favourite is closer to what seems to be a more original recipe – using molasses sugar.
It is a complicated beast – The Brownie – somewhere between a cake, pudding, chocolate bar and a ….well cake again, it can be mucked around with and be very handy for many different situations. In my book it should always be sticky and have a crisp outside. Those are the two essential qualities, the rest is up to you – chocolate chunks, nuts, fruit or my personal fave – marshmallow
I like to make mine in a loaf tin and a bit thick then slice them thickly so you get a nice gooey middle and a good amount of crisp outside.
I have just made a batch and sent them over to @MathildeCuisine for a tasting, one where she will no doubt be quite sick of brownies forever.
200gms Molasses Sugar (Billingtons does the best sugars)
100gms Golden Caster Sugar
225gms Plain Flour
200gms Plain Chocolate
1tsp Vanilla Essence
1tbs Cocoa Powder
1tsp ground Cardamom
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
Handful Sour Cherries
In a large bowl, cream together the molasses sugar and the butter, till light and soft. You may find that not all the sugar incorporates itself, don’t worry a few lumps are good in this case.
Take the chocolate and break it into pieces and add the sugar and butter mixture in a bain-marie. Melt it all together and then cool.
Take the eggs, the remaining sugar and the vanilla essence and beat till light and frothy (about 5-6 minutes) then fold in the sifted flour, baking powder, cocoa, salt and cardamom – then the chocolate mixture – do not overwork – if there is a lump or two don’t sweat.
Chop up the Cherries, Mallows and pecans and fold into the mix.
Line a loaf tin (or two!) – or just butter and dust with cocoa – and bake at 180c for about 35mins.
Take out and cool on a rack. When cool discard the ends (or just eat them yourself) and slice about 2 inches thick.
Eat cold or warm through and dollop on some ice cream or yoghurt.