Does the urge to bake ever just take you by surprise and you barely have any of the necessary ingredients in the house but you strive on with it nevertheless?
This keeps happening to me throughout lockdown and I’m loathed to fight the urge because it’s an excellent way to keep me occupied. I had a little craving for brownies the other day but knew immediately I didn’t have all the ingredients to hand. Of course, I could have gone to the shop to pick them up but somehow I don’t think “more chocolate, cocoa powder and plain flour” really count as essentials on their own. So, I forged ahead with what we had and came up with a not too sweet, but definitely delicious gooey chocolate and walnut traybake.
The beauty of all my lockdown larder baking essentials is that they can clearly withstand a little tweaking here and there. Of course you won’t see me in the Bake Off tent anytime soon, but frankly it always seems to be swelteringly hot in there and I don’t do well with the heat, so I’m staying well out of that particular kitchen.
- 100g chocolate (whatever you’ve got in the house, mine was a bit of a mish-mash of all the different ends of chocolate bars I could find!)
- 100g unsalted butter (it really probably should be unsalted, I don’t think this could withstand salted)
- 60g flour (plain would be ideal, but we only had self-raising and it did the job, sort of!)
- Two medium eggs
- 125g sugar (I used a mixture of golden caster sugar and brown sugar)
- Half a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Walnuts, any chocolate sprinkles or chips, essentially whatever you fancy to mix in!
Treat this really as you would any brownie making recipe – melt together the chocolate and butter slowly over a saucepan of water and when it is all melted together, set aside to cool.
In another bowl, whisk together your eggs and sugar until they appear to double in quantity and when you let some mixture drizzle back into the bowl you can see it snake across the top for a second or so before sinking in. For me this took FOREVER, otherwise known as about ten minutes with an electric whisk.
Then set aside your whisk, grab a large spatula or wooden spoon and take your slightly cooled chocolate and butter mixture and gently fold it in to the frothy eggs and sugar mix. At this point I also added around half a teaspoon of vanilla extract as I didn’t have any cocoa powder around to add to the sweetness of the mixture. Be careful not to knock out the air from the mix and then fold in your flour and finally mix in anything like chocolate chips or chunks of walnut that you’re using to add texture. If I make these again, I might try and do a maple syrup and pecan version, that sounds tasty doesn’t it? Okay it’s on the official list of things I shall try and bake!
I dolloped this big gooey chocolate mixture into an oven safe dish that was around six inches square, with a sheet of baking paper on the bottom. Popped it into the oven on 160 degrees for 25-minutes and voila, we had a delicious gooey chocolate brownie cake like thing with little bits of crunchy walnut scattered throughout.
Mary Berry I am not, but I promise you won’t be disappointed!
PS I cut it into six pieces initially but ended up halving those into twelve more manageable looking bites!
Stay safe x