Monday has come around again and I haven’t managed to squeeze in a single blog post in a whole week!
Last week was a hectic, long, exhausting, emotional one, although I am still utterly besotted with Leiths, and even more so the people. They are the kindest, most talented (perfection seeking) bunch of souls I have ever come across, and we are all cut from the same cloth which just makes me love them even more.
I can’t tell you how much we have learnt so far- I have filled up an entire notebook full of new lingo and definitions, essential hints, tips and skills, and notes on everything we have made so far. (although I’m not complaining if it means I get to scour Paperchase for an even prettier new notebook!)
By Friday night, I was definitely ready for a glass of wine, so blasting out a bit of moody Tom Odell and Mumford and Sons and pouring myself a large Sauvignon Blanc, I decided to let off some steam and wind down a little by baking.
Oh yes, I came home from an exhausting week of cooking, and decided to cook some more.
You may think this odd behaviour, but there is nothing more rewarding and relaxing than pouring your heart and soul into a creation, whisking, melting and mixing to your hearts content, popping it in the oven and literally sitting down like they do in Bake-Off and watching your delicate little cupcakes rise gingerly out of their cases, or your bread develop a golden crust, or hoping and praying that the moment you extract your brownies from the oven will be just long enough for a cracked top, and a fudgy middle. (At this rate, all of us at Leiths will have a fudgy middle at the very least if we carry on ‘devouring’ rather than ‘tasting’!)
I’m actually going to digress a little here.
BAKE OFF. Oh my god, what a final!
I have been rooting for Nadiya since the first week, so to see her crowned Champion was a pretty happy moment for me! She is an awesome role model- “A domestic goddess and an alpha female” as she put it. I think thats just fabulous!
(Her facial expressions, as everyone has noticed, are also just the best thing to happen on TV. Like, Ever. Heres a few favourites: 20 Nadiya from GBBO facial expressions for everyday situations)
All of the showstoppers were unbelievable– I think it takes a lot of imagination and bravery to pull off some of the amazing pieces of art they all did in the final. Bake Off is so engaging and funny, (for a hilarious list of this year’s funny bits click here – GBBO 2015 – The best quotes, one-liners, and innuendos) and has encouraged literally thousands of people to pick up their wooden spoons and whip up some treats for their friends and family.
Going back to Friday night’s baking mission – this time I wanted to make something for a friend who’s birthday party I was going to the following day.
Baking for birthdays is tricky – Cake is wonderful, but predictable, and a bit of a hassle too. Biscuits are a little boring for an occasion, and never really look like anything special. Cupcakes are a great option if you can be bothered with the icing- but I wanted to do something different.
The delicious morsels of gooey chocolatey indulgence that were served to us during our afternoon demonstration may or may not have had any effect on my decision, but after hearing an in depth description of ‘the sluttiest brownies I have ever made’ from a guy sitting next to me, who claimed his were ‘whoreish brownies’, I thought this so hilarious, I decided to look them up and have a go at making some myself.
So here I present to you – Slutty Brownies
- 1 box of just-add-water cookie dough (if you’re feeling lazy)
- 100g sugar (soft brown is best)
- 125g butter
- 1 egg
- A pinch of salt
- 225g plain flour
- 200g chocolate chips or chunks
- 1 packet of Oreos. Double stuff ones are even better if you can find them!
- about 200g caramel (you can buy it in tins, like condensed milk)
- 200g dark chocolate
- 140g butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 85g plain flour
- Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees
- Make up your cookie dough as per packet instructions, OR:
- Cream the butter and sugar until well combined
- Add the egg and mix again
- Sieve in the flour, add a pinch of salt, and mix to form a dough
- Press the cookie dough into the bottom of a 20cm square baking tin, lined with greaseproof/baking paper.
- Place the Oreos evenly over the cookie dough layer
- Put the caramel into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave for a few seconds until it becomes runny- then spoon it over the Oreo layer so it creates a shallow layer of caramel.
- Make the Brownie Batter
- Break the chocolate into a large glass bowl, cube the butter and add to the bowl, then melt gently together over a bain marie.
- Once completely melted, set aside to cool for a few minutes, before mixing the eggs and vanilla extract into the mixture gradually until the mixture is smooth.
- Sift in the flour and stir with a spatula until evenly combined.
- Pour the batter over the caramel-oreo layer, and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle of the brownie tin comes out with gooey crumbs, not liquid batter, on it.
- Set aside to cool completely, then preferably chill in the fridge overnight as this will improve the texture (If you can wait that long!)
Slice and enjoy!
*It is better to undercook brownies than overcook them. If you’re unsure- take them out – they will harden in the fridge*
These will freeze for up to 1 month!
Basically- If you want PURE indulgence, and to console yourself this week about the lack of Bake-Off, you should make these. They went down pretty sweetly at the party, even if I say so myself…
In short- they are bloody marvellous.
Have an angelic, or naughty week, however you please, Foodies.
Love and lazy baking hugs