(Almost) According to Delia: Brownies

I don’t know about you, but I collect cookery books, mostly chocolate or baking ones. As a child I used to love going through the ones my mum had in the kitchen, and although I never used it, I was particularly taken by Delia Smith’s How to Cheat at Cooking.

I mean, a recipe book, and it’s full of cheating ways to cook? Handy!

Just a small peek at a few of my cookery books

Just a small peek at a few of my cookery books

Anyway, I’ve always liked Delia’s style, and I was given an updated edition of her Book of Cakes (now simply called Delia’s Cakes) for Christmas, and I think it’s about time I tested the recipes. Of all the cooks out there, Delia is my favourite, for almost no other reason than because her name sounds like mine (at least, that’s how it started; now it’s because I like her cake recipes). So I’m going to attempt to bake a different cake every week or two from Delia’s Cakes, and maybe in a year or two I’ll have reached the end. I was going to wait until after Easter, because she does say, quite strictly, to follow the recipe exactly, but I was looking for a brownie recipe and hers fit the bill.

So, because I’m still working with a dairy-and-egg-free diet, I’ve had to make a couple of changes to the recipe (sorry, Delia!). And I didn’t have the right sugar. I shall put in brackets what I’ve used, and you can pick-and-mix which you prefer.

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Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients:

125g dark chocolate, over 70% cocoa solids (cacao chips)

175g butter (cocoa butter)

3 large eggs (3 -and-a-bit-for-luck tbsp apple sauce)

275g golden caster sugar (dark brown muscovado)

75g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

smidge of salt (I skipped this altogether)

150g broken nuts (I actually used marshmallows – no nuts in the cupboard)

I also added in ground ginger

How to Make:

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over simmering water. It’ll take a little while, which’ll give you plenty of time to whisk together the eggs and sugar (or apple sauce and sugar) in another bowl and sort out the flour, baking powder, and any additional ingredients.

Once the chocolate and butter’s melted, stir in everything else and pour into a greased, lined tray and bake at 180C/Gas Mark 4 for about half an hour.

Comments: Firstly, I need to remember about fan ovens being a bit quicker. Secondly, oh goodness! Most yummy and chocolatey and squidgy and mmmm! Probably needed more ginger, though. I don’t think I can taste it, but I was being a little eager and they are still a bit warm and in the falling-apart stage. Oh well!

Fudge Brownies

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I was trying to write an essDSCN1806ay this afternoon, but I was distracted by a longing for something cake-y. So I rummaged through the cupboards to see which ingredients I have and then I hunted for a recipe to fit my ingredients. And I came up with Fudge Brownies. Which would have worked even better if I’d remembered that the Aga is quite hot and I needed to check on them after twenty minutes, rather than the recipe’s required forty.

I found the recipe in a book entitled Death by Chocolate. It’s a nice simple sort of recipe, meDSCN1808lting butter and chocolate, mixing sugar and eggs and flour and putting it all together. Then baking.

I scaled down the amount of sugar in the recipe by a quarterDSCN1811 – a side-effect of Lent is that I now struggle with overly sweet things –  and switched out pecan nuts for the rest of the dried strawberries (since I have them, but not nuts). So this became a 2, 3, 4, 6 recipe: 2oz plain chocolate with 4oz butter melted together; 2 eggs mixed with 6oz sugar and 3oz flour (preferably self-raising; I used plain plus bicarb). All happily blended together with chopped dried strawberries thrown in for good measure

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and then baked in the oven.

Verdict: sadly a little dry, because of the over-baking, but otherwise tasty. So a recipe to be re-tested whileDSCN1817 keeping a much closer eye on them.