Saturday, February 9, 2008

Party time!

We went to a lovely party for my nephews 5th birthday at the weekend, my sister slaved to cater for the hoards and of course I felt that I really should offer to help to ease her load. So I offered to take care of desserts for the adults as she had plenty of yummy stuff organised for the kids.
I knew exactly what I was going to make when I offered of course. I have been thrashing Nigella's galette recipe from Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for Good Food, Fast and I have finally tried a brownie recipe that I am happy with, so the two got another outing for the party. I made a number of variations on the galettes, this time using apricot and blueberry, white flesh peach and raspberry, black dorris plum and cherry, and strawberry and blueberry. They were all done in next to no time, this time though I bought a pack of pastry and rolled it myself, saving about $4.00 in the process!!! (it all went on the fruit anyway!)

The brownie recipe is one from the foodie forum "Violet's Pantry", from the recipe exchange section. This is the most wonderful thing about belonging to a 'community' of foodies, sharing tried and tested recipes, which I really enjoy. Heather (Hevz) posted this recipe that she proclaimed to be the best brownie recipe she had ever made and I absolutely agree with her! I have tried to make brownies on a number of ocassions and they have never quite worked out, either they are too cakey, too fudgy or too dry! Countless amounts of melted butter, eggs and blocks of chocolate have been sacrificed at the altar of my attempts!

The last time my son tried he siezed the chocolate while melting it and ruined the whole mix, so I resigned myself to just not bothering!!!!
This recipe I think works as it has very little flour and that gives it a lovely fudgy texture but the outsides are almost crispy and the combination of the two makes it perfect! What also works about this recipe is the ease with which it can be made and the cost, it works at about $3.00 per tray which is less than a block of chocolate and so much more satisfying! Rex also helped me make them and I reckon he could go it alone next time they are that simple to make!

I quadrupled the recipe for the party and cut it into 36 generous sized pieces, dusted them with icing sugar and made a raspberry coulis to go with it. I was amazed and very pleased at how quickly they disappeared from the plate, with lots of comments on how yummy they were! So thanks Heather for the recipe, this is, as they say, a 'keeper' recipe!
Heather says she found the recipe in "Finger Food For Babies And Toddlers" by Jennie Maizels
(I have taken this recipe straight from Violet's Pantry with Heather's notes included)
Best ever Chocolate Brownies

100g/4oz butter
50g/2oz cocoa powder (I use Green and Blacks)
2 eggs
225g/8oz caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g/2oz self-raising flour
50g/2oz white chocolate chips (I usually use choc chunks, they're bigger)

1-Preheat oven to 180c/350f/gas 4

2-Take a shallow baking tin, approx 23cm/9inch square, and line the bottom with non-stick liner or baking parchment (very important you do this).

3-Melt the butter, then add the cocoa powder, stirring well to remove any lumps (I use my mini whisk)

4-Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the sugar and mix until smooth.
5-Stir in the cocoa mixture, white choc chunks and the vanilla extract and mix well.

6-Add the flour and mix gently with a spoon, be careful not to overmix.
7-Pour mixture into the lined baking tin and place in the middle of the oven for about 25mins. When done the brownies should be crisp on top and soft in the middle. Leave to cool for 10mins in the tin before turning out onto a board and then cutting into squares.

You can vary what you put in these brownies, I experiment with milk choc chunks, pecans, raisins, coconut etc. My favourite is pecans and white choc chunks together.


Anonymous said...

Linda they look fabulous. So tasty.

vonsachsen said...

Oh, those Galettes are killing me! They look so good with all that fresh fruit...I´m longing for summer already and even then we don´t have such abundance! Good on you that you really know how to make the best of it :) I guess your sister was really satisfied, the brownies look yummy too.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad so many people are enjoying that fab brownie recipe that I found in that childrens cookbook.
Beautiful blog, wonderful layout xxxx