Saturday, 15 January 2011

Nigella's Brownies - Forever Nigella 1

I've been craving brownies all week; I've been looking forward to the weekend so I could get on and make them and then, more importantly, eat them. Maison Cupcake is running a new monthly Forever Nigella event, so it seemed appropriate to try the brownie recipe from How to be a Domestic Goddess, which amazingly I've not yet tried. Seasonal Sensations is this month's theme - well you can't get much more seasonal than chocolate. Brownies are a real comfort in the dull grey weather we've been experiencing over the last few weeks! One of the rules is not to write the recipe down unless you have changed at least two ingredients. Well, as I'm incapable of following a recipe exactly, I should be all right on that count.  Making the rather large batch that Nigella suggested was a little too much, even for me, so I endeavoured to make half the amount as best I could. I used wholemeal flour, dark brown sugar and duck eggs and used my quick one pan method.

This is what I did:
  • Melted 180g unsalted butter in a large pan
  • Added 250g dark brown sugar and 180G dark 72% cooks chocolate
  • Mixed until smooth and chocolate melted.
  • Beat in 2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp salt (Himalayan pink).
  • Beat in 3 duck eggs, one by one.
  • Folded in 115g wholemeal flour.
  • Stirred in 150g chopped walnuts.
  • Baked at 180C for 20 mins.
  • Poured into a 9" (23 cm) sq cake mould.
  • Left to cool (a bit) then cut into 16 squares.
These brownies had a lovely crunchy top, were moist and fudgy inside, had a good strong chocolate flavour and were very rich. The liberal quantity of nuts added to the comfort factor and gave a crunchy contrast in texture. They were, however a little bit too greasy for my taste.  To be fair, this may have resulted from my failure to follow the recipe as given: I didn't whisk the eggs and sugar together as specified by Ms Lawson. By day two these had improved a lot; they were less greasy and had a fudgier consistency.

In conclusion, these brownies were good and satisfied my brownie craving, but they weren't up with the best - chestnut brownies, spicy orange brownies, toffee brownies, fudgy coconut brownies and many of the other brownies I have made. But please don't let that stop you giving them a try.

In a further conclusion, I think I might have been a bit harsh. These got better each day we had them and by day five they were truly delicious.

24 comments:

  1. Love the idea of using wholemeal flour in brownies!

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  2. Wow, you sound like a brownie addict, I'm just going have a look at the chestnut ones, very unusual.

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  3. Do the duck eggs change the flavor or baked goods? By weight are they the same as a medium or large egg. The brownies sound wonderful. Sorry to be so full of questions. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

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  4. BVG - always use wholemeal or spelt in my brownies - as they are meant to be dense rather than light and fluffy, wholemeal works fine. Also can kid myself I'm getting some goodness along with all that sugar ;-)

    Peasepudding - brownies are possibly one of the best things ever!

    Mary - questions are fine. Duck eggs equate to large hens eggs, more or less (I'm not that exact with quantities when I'm cooking). They are generally better for baking - see my post on duck eggs - http://choclogblog.blogspot.com/search/label/Duck%20Eggs

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  5. It is always the right time for a brownie. Sorry these didn't quite live up to your expectations, I read on someone else's blog that you were craving a brownie, maybe BVG's. They look good though.

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  6. They look good, pity they weren't the best, but at least that means you can keep on looking ;-)

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  7. I'm always on the hunt for the best brownie recipe. I've never tried wholemeal flour in brownies - does it work? I like the addition of duck eggs. Looking forward to more brownie creations.

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  8. I love the Forever Nigella event. I'm really excited to see everyone's entries. Brownies are a great idea. I think they look dense and rich; the way they should be.

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  9. There's nothing like a good brownie, especially in the winter! You sound like a brownie expert, would you recommend passing on this recipe? Maybe you should try my recent post about maple muffins, they were fantastic. . . Thanks, and have a wonderful weekend!

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  10. These sound good. With wholemeal flour, that means they are healthy, right? ;-) (I've still got your toffee brownies on my list of things to make.)

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  11. never made these but have often admired them in how to be a domestic goddess - am sure they would be cheering in a grey winter's day

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  12. I remember that happening with brownies too, that is, firming up after a few days. I'm only half sure it was a nigella recipe though. I don't have her books so it must have come from her website. Still ate them though!

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  13. Interesting that they don't come up to your high standards lol! BTW nothing to stop you entering the UKFB I've Blogged giveaway, you gotta be in it to win it!

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  14. Not sure if I ever came back and told you but I tried your recipe for the gluten free brownies made with ground almonds instead of flour.They were delicious, I've also tried this trick with other cake recipes some good some not so!

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  15. These sound and look wonderful - I think the whole point of brownies is that thin crisp top that's only there for the first few hours - so you have to eat them quickly..(that's my excuse anyway)

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  16. like the way you've simplified the recipe. Less pans = less washing = more fun cooking. Interesting that they became less greasy but squidgier over time - I'm going to look at your other brownie recommendations now...

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  17. Kath - you're right, I can't ever imagine saying no to a brownie. These have improved with age, so I'm not as disappointed.

    C - too true, it would be awful to feel there were no more brownie recipes to try.

    Baking Addict - I usually use wholemeal flour in brownies as it's a squidgy dense texture that is needed. I think it work's perfectly well.

    Brittany - thank you - they've improved with age. There certainly seems to be plenty of interest in the Forever Nigella event.

    Priya - thank you

    Ocean Breezes - not sure I'm a brownie expert, but I do like them and they are so easy to make. These were good, but as I said in the post, others I've made were better.

    CityHippy - I usually use wholemeal flour in brownies, it makes me feel I'm not being quite so naughty ;-)

    Johanna - this is the 3rd grey winter's day they've been cheering me up, so they are earning their keep :)

    Gillian - one cannot make brownies and then not eat them - what sacrilege!

    Janice - OK, you've persuaded me.

    Northern Snippet - glad the brownies worked for you. Would be interested to know which almond cakes worked and which didn't. How about a blog post about it?

    Liz - greedy as I am, I couldn't possibly eat a whole batch in one sitting, even with CTs help. But they've actually got better with age.

    Grazing Kate - that's my standard way of making brownies and it usually works well. One of the main points to brownies are that they are fast to make and simple and as you say not much to clear up.

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  18. Here was I thinking that your house was always full of brownies - what a surprise to find you had to make some to satisfy a craving! I agree, wholemeal flour is somehow really good in brownies (and wholemeal spelt even better!)

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  19. Kitchenmaid Before I started this blog I only ever used wholemeal spelt or wheat for cooking and baking - using white flour is quite a new departure for me.

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  20. Ive made these quite often and i definitely agree that they improve if left for a day - but who wants to leave a brownie for a day!!!

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  21. I love a wonderful brownie... I think I might be a bit of a brownie connoisseur for I do reject brownies which people around me devour quite happily so I'm in full understanding that you might get a batch that aren't up to scratch.

    If you're looking for another Nigella brownie recipe, I recommend the cream cheese ones from Domestic Goddess, I love them.

    Thanks so much for entering the first Forever Nigella and I hope to see you again.

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  22. FreeRangeGirl - I've just eaten one now and I have to say this has been the best yet - day 5. These are just getting better and better.

    Sarah - I may have been mistaken with these and done Nigella a disservice. Now these brownies are a few days old, they are truly good - fudgy and nutty. I've made Nigella's cream cheese brownies before and gave them a bit more of a rave review.

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  23. I like the fudgy bit in the middle of brownies.

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