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Friday, 5 September 2014

Peanut Butter Brownies and Apparently CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!!

Yes, you read the title right; Harvey Nichols has just sent me an email telling me that Christmas is just around the corner and I need to book Christmas drinks there ASAP. I know that it's now September and Christmas is in about three months (or 110 days, 5 hours, 5 minutes and 30 seconds away if you really want to get technical - thanks - although that might be for a different country, I'm not sure!) but let's celebrate Halloween and Guy Fawkes night first!!

For a not at all christmassy, but maybe a just right for the start of  Autumn, snack I wanted to make David Lebovitz's dulce de leche brownies but didn't have the titular ingredient, so, after a bit of googling I hit upon the idea of peanut butter brownies (recipe from Good Housekeeping). Yummy! And I have about a kilo of peanut butter at home. Swirling the two mixtures together made it look so pretty and they tasted fairly good (apart from the edges as I forgot to set a second timer whilst chatting to a friend). In the future I would set another timer and cut the peanut mix by a third as it almost made two complete layers instead of marbled swirls. I used my Callebaut 54% chocolate in this recipe plus their cocoa powder and it made for a intense but not too strong/bitter chocolate flavour (NEWSFLASH I just got the Callebaut milk chocolate chips and the white chocolate ones and both taste good but the milk chocolate is divine, more chocolaty than high street brands and so moreish!)

Marbled Brownie Recipe
Oven at 180˚C
Baking tin required - I normally use an IKEA tin or a rectangular sandwich tin which lets me remove all bar one side of the tin for easier cutting. Whatever you use make sure it's well greased.
Cut as many slices as you want

175g butter
125g dark/milk chocolate
250g sugar - the original recipe says "light brown soft sugar", which has one too many adjectives for my liking! If you have muscovado sugar then use that, if you don't then regular sugar should be fine.
2 eggs - again, the original recipe says medium but really whatever size you have to hand
125g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
Peanut Butter Marble (this is two thirds of the original recipe)
17g MELTED butter (stick it in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time)
27g icing sugar
67g smooth peanut butter
¼tsp vanilla extract (not essence - essence is terrible as it is a synthetic flavour and not really real vanilla)

Melt the butter and chocolate in a big pan on the hob (if you're concerned about burning it then use a bain marie - a bowl suspended over pan/bowl of hot water so that it doesn't touch the water but that the heat melts whatever is in the top bowl).

Take off the heat and stir in the sugar followed by the eggs and then the flour and cocoa powder. This is your brownie base.
For the peanut butter marble you need to combine all the ingredients in a separate bowl until smooth-ish.
Spread ⅓ to ½ the brownie mix into the bottom of your greased pan and dollop half the marble over the top.
Repeat the above step with the rest of the brownie mix followed by the peanut butter marble and then swirl the tip of a knife through the dollops to create a pretty pattern, but try not to over mix it!
Cook in the oven for 20-35 minutes, depending on your oven. I would start at 20 and then check before putting another timer on for five minute increments. You want the brownie to have a crisp/cracked top but still move slightly in the middle, so it's a bit gooey and lovely to eat but not to runny you need a spoon to eat it with (I have had to do that before and it's not great!)

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I love to cook and this blog follows my successes (and a few failures) in the kitchen. If you enjoy my posts, or think there is a problem with a recipe then please let me know