As the local paper (Nottingham Evening Post) have been so lovely to me over the past few weeks, I thought it was time to make them something umptious! The problem I always seem to have when baking for things like this is how to feed as many people as possible with something that tastes great from my tiny kitchen? Coupled with the fact that I have to cycle my cakes everywhere too, this poses a bit of a challenge. After brain storming for a little while, I settled on this little number:
My reasoning being that brownie is quite sturdy and marshmallow is always loved. Add a layer of blondie to the mix, flavour the whole thing with chocolate and salted caramel and we have a good desert I reckon! It still proved to be a pain to deliver, having to cycle up hills with a bag containing cake acting like a sail in the wind but it was received with great joy, even being featured on the front cover of the following days paper.
Now when I started this little website project a couple of months back, I stated that I wasn’t going to include any recipes. My reasoning being that people would be inspired to create their own versions of my bakes. It seems this was not the most popular idea though as I have since been bombarded with requests for recipes! So here I am, breaking my own rules with this, the first of (maybe) many recipes I shall start to add.
As always with my bakes, they may not be the prettiest but I can assure you they will pack more flavour per bite then anything offered up elsewhere!
Blondie – The bottom layer – Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen
113g Unsalted Butter
240g Dark Brown Sugar
1 Free Range Egg
125g Plain Flour
1 Vanilla Pod
Handful of Pecans, roughly chopped
50g Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped
Pinch of salt
1) Butter an 8” pan, line with silicone baking paper (any other kind will stick like a bugger)
2) Melt the butter completely in a saucepan
3) Add the sugar, egg and vanilla. Beat until smooth’ish.
4) Add salt, pecans and chocolate pieces. Stir into mix.
5) Add the flour and fold in. Be careful not to overwork it at this stage or your blondie will be hard and crunchy. Not soft and lovely!
6) Bake at 180c for 20 to 25mins. Cool completely.
Brownie – The top layer
85g Good quality dark chocolate – roughly chopped
115g Unsalted butter – chopped into chunks
265g Golden Caster Sugar
85g Plain Flour
2 Free Range Eggs
1 Vanilla Pod
Pinch of sea salt
Handful of Hazelnuts – Roughly chopped
50g White chocolate – Roughly chopped
1) Butter an 8” pan, line with silicone baking paper
2) Heat a little water in a saucepan to boiling point, reduce to a simmer. Place a heatproof bowl onto and into that put the butter and dark chocolate. Heat until butter and chocolate has melted and remove from the pan.
3) Add the sugar and eggs, one at a time. Beat until smooth.
4) Add the seeds from the Vanilla pod, the Salt, nuts and white Chocolate. Stir into the mix.
5) Gently fold in the flour, being careful not to overmix.
6) Bake at 180c for 20 to 25 mins.
Salted Caramel Sauce
75g Unsalted Butter
50g Soft brown sugar
50g Golden caster sugar
50g Golden syrup
125ml Good quality double cream
1tsp Flaky Sea Salt
1) Add sugars, syrup and butter to a pan. Heat until it starts to simmer and leave it cooking for 3mins, stirring regularly.
2) Carefully add the cream. The mix will bubble up. Lots! Be careful!
3) Add the Sea Salt. Stir in and leave to cool.
500g White Caster Sugar
125ml Cold Water
8 Sheets Gelatine
2 Egg Whites
Salted Caramel Sauce made earlier
1) In a large saucepan, add the water and sugar. Bring to the boil and cook until it reaches 122c on a sugar thermometer. Do not stir this at all as it will crystallise and you will have to start again. Use a wet pastry brush for wiping down the sides of the pan as the mixture is boiling. Be VERY careful!
2) Place the gelatine into a bowl of cold water for 10mins to soften.
3) In a large mixer, whisk the egg whites until light and fluffy. As you would for meringue.
4) Once the sugar reaches 122c, slowly add it to the egg whites whilst mixing on a low speed.
5) Add the, now softened, Gelatine sheets. One at a time, squeezing out as much water as possible. Turn mixer onto high speed.
6) Once Marshmallow has started to cool and thicken (5mins) add the salted caramel sauce. A good few spoons should do it. Remember to leave some to drizzle on your brownies! Mix to combine.
1) Place the blondie at the bottom of a clean 8” cake pan. Drizzle with salted caramel.
2) Spoon Marshmallow over the blondie. Use a lightly greased pallet knife to help smooth it down.
3) Place brownie on top of the Marshmallow. Drizzle with more Caramel Sauce!
4) Melt a little chocolate over a pan of simmering water and drizzle of the top of the brownie.
5) Cut into squares and serve. A little goes a long way!
Phew! I did warn you my recipes weren’t the shortest things in the world! I really hope you give at least one of these components a go on their own. Each stands on its own as a fantastic treat or you can combine them in any combination you so choose. Remember to show me photos of your outcomes!