Apr 22, 2009

Toffee Brownies

 

I was seriously craving chocolate last weekend; brownies in particular. Yet there was one thing standing between me and my raspberry cheesecake brownies fix; our pathetic Sunday shopping ordinance. How dare they!!

So basically that left me with no alternative than to make do with what I still had in my pantry/fridge. These turned out a little sweeter than my usual recipes, but nonetheless, I ate 2 big pieces! Then I weeped all the way to the gym. Oh wait; I don’t do the gym thing. Never mind!

Ingredients:

Brownies:

3/4 cup sugar
4 oz chocolate (no dark chocolate)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 cup self-rising flour
10 oz cream cheese
7 oz pecan nuts
4 oz butter

Icing:

2 oz butter
3 oz chocolate (no dark chocolate)
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp milk

 

Directions:

First things first; I’ve buttered and lined an 8 x 8 inch baking tray with baking paper.

 

Then I smashed about 7 oz pecan nuts I still had floating around my pantry. They could just as well have been walnuts, though. Leave a few nuts whole for garnish.

 

I’ve set 3/4 cup of granulated sugar ready and grabbed 2 tbsp from it. Added the 2 tbsp to 10 oz (room temperature) cream cheese, along with 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Use a little toddler hand for stirring (What do you mean child labour? He’s almost 3!) and set the bowl aside for a while so the sugar will dissolve.

 

You can do this au bain marie, but a microwave works so much faster!

Place 4 oz of butter in a microwave-proof bowl, add about 4 oz chocolate, 2 tbsp cocoa powder and pop in the microwave until it melts. Stir well.

Tip: if you don’t have any chocolate on hand, just use 3 tbsp cocoa powder in stead.

 

Break out your kitchenaid or hand-mixer and whisk 2 large eggs with the rest of the 3/4 cup sugar, until it’s all smooth and creamy.

 

Pour the butter/chocolate mix in there. Stir until it’s a pretty brown batter.

 

Sieve 3/4 cup self-rising flour right on top of the batter. Gotta love them action shots.

 

Throw in the pecan nuts and combine it all. A pretty turquoise spatula helps make the photos more interesting!

 

Pour half of the brownie batter into your baking tray. Level it.

 

Top with the  cream cheese. You can add some fruit or even throw in a few jelly puddles here and there at this point. Strawberry jelly works really well! Just knock yourself out.

 

And pour the other half of your brownie batter right on top of the cream cheese. Now you can swirl it, draw little puppets or animals in it, but I always leave it just like this. They come out real pretty that way.

 

Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 350F (180C) for 40 to 45 minutes!

In the mean time we’ll fix the icing. Combine 2 oz butter with 3 oz chocolate, 1 tbsp cocoa powder and 2 tbsp milk. Melt everything au bain marie or in the microwave. Even a sauce pan on your stove top will do.

Tip: you can omit the chocolate and just use 2 tbsp cocoa powder in stead.

 

Grab 1 cup confectioners sugar.

 

Add it to the butter mix and start mixing. If it’s too thick, add more milk per tbsp.

 

Always taste what you’re doing. I do! And I have the thighs to show for it.

 

After 45 minutes my cake looked like this. Notice the cracks on top? Those are good. Those are really, really good.

 

Because you see, this way I get to spread a little icing on top of the cake while it’s still hot. The icing will melt and seep right into the cracks.

Let the cake cool off for at least 15 to 30 minutes now.

 

Spread the rest of the icing on top.

 

Garnish with the whole pecan nuts you kept behind.

 

Let the cake cool for several hours, preferably overnight, before cutting it in squares.

This completely satisfied my sweet chocolate cravings. So simple, but so good.