Thursday, 5 July 2012

A recipe first

Do you know, up until two nights ago, I had never in my life made brownies.  In fact, I didn't even taste brownies as a child that I can remember.  If Mum was making something chocolatey she usually made hedgehog slice or caramel slice.  Brownies, to me, were always an American treat.  And until recently I hadn't realised quite how good they are. 

Quite often, someone will bring them to Brown Owls.  And I always have one (or two, or three).  So the other night when I was in the mood for a bit of baking at quarter to midnight and had realised I had no milk left, I was flicking through the Donna Hay Fast, Fresh, Simple recipe book for something I could make and found her standby brownies recipe and thought I'd give it a go.

Of course, I had to add something to my brownies and definitely not choc chips because there is more than enough chocolatiness to them already.  I had a bag of unsalted preshelled pistachios in the cupboard so that made the decision for me.  I used about half a bag, next time I think I'd use at least three quarters if not the whole lot. 

Pistachio brownies

150g butter
275g caster sugar (I used low GI cane sugar, just because it seems like it is healthier)
75g cocoa
1tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
75g plain flour
bag of unsalted shelled pistachios

The recipe says to melt the butter, sugar and cocoa in a saucepan but I just chucked the butter in a bowl in the microwave and once it was melted added the sugar and cocoa after that.  Less dishes is a good thing.  Add the vanilla and eggs and whisk well (I just used a hand whisk, not much needed stirring in so no point getting out the kitchen aid).  Sift the flour over the top and whisk in.  Pour half the mixture into a lined square cake tin.  Scatter pistachios or other nuts over the top, as many or few as you like but make sure you hold back 16 to go on top.  Pour the rest of the mixture in and then lay your reserved pistachios in a 4x4 grid over the top (so there will be one on the top of each square when you cut it up).  Cook at 160*C for 30-35 minutes (my fan forced oven took 23 mins) or until centre is just set.  Cool in tin and cut into squares to serve.

I kept six for me and took the rest out for afternoon tea yesterday.  I met Amanda from Homely One who was kind enough to offer me a cuckoo clock of her dad's that she was going to give to the good sammies.  Aren't bloggers such generous people!  It is a very gorgeous cuckoo clock, it is just missing its pendulum stick so I need to order one from ebay and then work out where to put it and get MR to put a hook in the wall.  I can't wait to share photos when it's up and cuckoo-ing!!

Is there a fairly common recipe that you've never made?



Amanda said...

I can definitely vouch for your brownies Megan - they were yummy and I really liked the addition of the pistachios. Thanks for leaving me some to enjoy with my cuppa last night - delish! I don't remember having brownies as a child either - I only made them for the first time as an adult.

Thanks for visiting yesterday - I enjoyed our afternoon chatting and I'm so glad you like the clock. I really hope you can get it to work and find a spot for it.

Thanks for my lovely snapdragons too - they've been making me smile all day today brightening up my bench :) Have a lovely end to your week x

Michelle said...

Your not alone I've never made brownies either. I have eaten them a few times but not attempted to make them ... maybe I should! Yours look delicous :)

2paw said...

Oh, I was flipping through that book this week, it's very good. I like the puff pastry pie/Wellingtons. Yum. I had not heard of Brownies either, I was a grown up before I made or tasted any. I go all Nigella-ry looking at those green jewels dotted in the delicious brown brownie!!

Baa-Me Kniits said...

Thanks for the recipe Megan, I was drooling over you photo when you posted it on IG. I make brownies with grated orange zest in them and they are delicious too. Looking forward to seeing your cuckoo clock...very lucky :-)

Baa-Me Kniits said...

Megan do your brownies have any dark chocolate in them? They seem to dark not too but it isn't mentioned. Only asking cause I know my recipe does and this one looked much easier.