Today is Shrove Tuesday so come back later when I’ll be posting about pancakes.. Today is also
What else could I write about on International Women’s Day than brownies? These brownies are deep, dense, richly chocolately, and topped with dark chocolate and peanut butter with a sprinkling of roasted salted peanuts for crunch.
Don’t say I haven’t warned you. Samantha Higgs – my brownie photographer – had to work pretty hard to fend off the kids. I think you’ll agree that the young ladies in the photo below did a wonderful job and deserved their reward after duty was done. You can see where the brownies ended up in the last photograph 😉
Peanut dark chocolate brownies
Makes 10 jumbo brownies (the size in the photo)
5 oz (140g) (10 tablespoons) butter
5 oz (140g) (3/4 cup) sugar
3 oz (80g) (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) cocoa. Use the best quality you can.
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, cold out of the fridge (large in the US/Aus)
2 1/2 oz (65g) (1/2 cup) plain/all purpose flour
For the topping – 8 oz (200g) dark chocolate, large handful of roasted peanuts, 4 tablespoons peanut butter
Take all the racks out of the oven except one in the lower third of the oven (not necessary for a fan oven). Preheat the oven to 160C/150C fan/ Gas Mark 3/ 325°F. Line the bottom and 2 sides of 8 inch square baking tin or 2lb (1kg) loaf tin with greaseproof paper or foil, leaving the overhang. If using foil, make sure it is foil that can be used in the oven and put shiny side down. Grease the sides not covered with greaseproof paper or foil.
Put the butter, sugar cocoa and salt in a microwave safe bowl. Melt slowly using the defrost setting. Microwaves vary so much I can’t give exact times, but you want the butter melted. Stir occasionally until you get a smooth mixture.
(If you don’t have a microwave, and I don’t, then melt the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt together in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of hardly simmering water. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Stir occasionally until you get a smooth mixture.)
Once the mixture is hot and smooth, take off the heat and allow to cool to warm. The mixture won’t look like smooth melted chocolate, so don’t worry.
Stir in the vanilla. Add an egg and beat vigorously. Add the second egg and beat again. This is a recipe which is wonderful for upper arm muscles. No gym fee necessary.
When the batter is well blended and shiny, add the flour and stir well.
Beat thoroughly for 40 strokes with a wooden spoon. Again, no gym fee necessary.
Spread evenly into the tin.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. You want a knife put into the middle of the brownies to come out a bit moist rather than clean. Leave them to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack even though the chocolate smell will drive you crazy.
Have a cup of tea (optional).
When the brownies are cold, make the topping.
Break the chocolate into pieces and put in a heatproof bowl with the peanut butter. Microwave on the defrost setting until the chocolate has melted at the edges. By then, the whole piece will be molten but still retaining its shape. (If you don’t have a microwave, melt over a pan of hardly simmering water as described in the brownie directions)
Combine the melted chocolate and melted peanut butter together thoroughly and pour onto the brownies. Sprinkle over the roasted peanuts.
Cover and put into the fridge to get cold. I know, more waiting with the chocolate smell driving you crazy. But bear with me, it’s worth it.
When the topping is set, take the brownies out of the fridge and lift them out of the tin using the paper or foil. Cut into 10 pieces (or more or less as you prefer) using a very sharp knife.
Now you can finally follow this young lady’s fine example – eat them!
Keep in an airtight tin for up to a week, or freeze. Like, they’re going to last that long!
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.