Friday, 26 July 2013

Bake it yourself!

I'm not one to shy away from cake... not even in the summer! I know that it's one of those comfort foods that people usually enjoy in the cooler weather with a cup of tea or even coffee... but you really do not need to twist my arm!
It's true that cake does taste better when it's not so hot, well I think so, but on the other hand I've never let the weather stop me from eating a slice (or two) however actually baking it is another story.

Pardon the pun but it's baking hot and turning on the oven in such ghastly heat isn't really something I look forward to but with this recipe the oven isn't on for too long. Phew!
For a truly quick summer bake I've gone for soft, gooey, chocolate rich brownies, the perfect accompaniment to our previous recipe for chocolate ice cream!

The magic with brownies is that the whole process is super quick - actually they taste better a little bit undercooked- and the ingredients are super quick to measure up, put together and slap in a tray! That's pretty much it and as long as you are organised -yes having ingredients at hand does help- and you follow this recipe then you'll be in and out of the kitchen in about 10 minutes.

I say whip it, whip it real good! Thank you Devo... but yes a good old MIX will do!

Pour into a pre lined baking tray...

Yummy dark and rich and ready to be baked!

After 30 minutes... hey presto! Cooled and ready to cut...

Dense, moist and very rich! I would remove them a bit earlier next time...

Because we love to post "healthier" versions too we're baking a gluten free version... and because I accidentally ordered a huge bag of fine corn meal (slightly coarser then corn flour) in my weekly shop I've been looking forward to trying some recipes which use alternatives to wheat flour.  So a great treat for wheat intolerant greedy guts (like me) and/or suitable for ceolics as it's gluten free!
I've gone for a straight up neat brownie mix but you can definitely experimenting with additional ingredients like dried cherries, almonds, pistachios and any other stuff you like. For example I quite like adding fresh blueberries and chopped Brazil and Hazel nuts for a cake version of a Fruit & Nut bar!

So here's what you need:
  • 80 grams of softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup fine corn meal
  • 1/4 almond flour/almond meal meal
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • half a teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • half teaspoon salt
  • 200 grams of dark chocolate (either in chips or broken in smaller chunks)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used half caster, half brown sugar for a deeper caramel taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to gas mark 6.  Line an 8 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a bowl sift together the corn meal, the almond flour, cocoa, cinnamon if using, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a microwavable bowl combine butter and the chocolate chunks.
  4. Melt in microwave stirring every 30 seconds until melted and mix well. You should have a smooth, thick mixture. Leave to cool slightly.
  5. Beat the eggs. 
  6. Stir in the sugar, vanilla, and beaten eggs into the melted chocolate mixture.
  7. Add the corn meal & cocoa mix into the melted chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool completely. *You can refrigerate before actually cutting them as they'll be much neater though you can remove from the tin and leave to cool slightly and cut while still warm.
Happy baking!!!

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