Bye-Bye Brownies

…a.k.a Peanut Butterscotch Cheesecake Brownies 

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My housemates are packing their bags and heading off to join the circus. Well, not quite. They’re packing them to go explore Asia & Australasia and I am incredibly jealous. So jealous I’ve attempted to make them put on a stone before they embark on their adventures. If you can’t beat ‘em and you can’t join ’em… fatten ‘em up! I joke girls. You’ve probably guessed now why I’ve called them ‘bye-bye brownies’, I’m going to assume you have anyway. These girls have been fantastic guinea pigs and have spent hours tirelessly taste testing even my most interesting creations. They have never once complained, nor faulted my baking skills, regardless of temperamental ovens or experimental mishaps. They’ve praised me far too much and far too kindly so thanks gals and I hope you enjoyed these!

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So what do we have here? All the good stuff. Chocolate brownies filled with butterscotch chips, marbled with a creamy peanut putter cheesecake mix. Quite a mouthful, literally. They’re deliciously indulgent, sinfully calorie laden and worth every bead of sweat you might have dripped not to feel guilty about eating them. If you don’t feel an ounce of guilt then good for you, get on and enjoy. You’ll probably burn them off with the excitement of eating them anyway.

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Brownies:

  • 230g dark chocolate
  • 115g butter
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 80g flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 150g butterscotch chips

Grease a 9×9 pan and line with baking paper

Heat the oven to 180C

Melt the butter and chocolate

Set aside and leave to cool while you weigh out the rest of the ingredients

Whisk in the sugars then add the eggs one at a time beating until smooth after each addition.

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Add the yolk and vanilla then whisk again

Fold in the cocoa powder, flour and salt followed by the butterscotch chips.

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Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirl

  • 120g cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 50g sugar
  • 125g peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • pinch of salt

Whisk the cream cheese, egg and sugar together until smooth.

Add the peanut butter, salt and vanilla essence and whisk again, it’ll be quite thick, just add milk a little bit at a time until it’s slightly smoother and creamy – you don’t want it runny at all.

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Easy as that.

Use about 2/3 of the brownie mix to fill the bottom of the pan.

Dollop spoonfulls of peanut butter mix on top followed by spoonfuls of the remaining brownie batter.

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Use a knife or toothpick to swirl the two together creating a marbled effect.

It’s really tempting to overswirl but try your best not to. Just drag the knife in straight lines from one edge to the other until you’ve got the desired effect.

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Stick in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes.

Allow the brownies to come to room temperature before placing them the fridge where you should let them cool until completely firm and ready to slice without making a runny mess.

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When they’re ready to be cut use wet cloth to clean the knife between each slice.

Enjoy!

 

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Better Than Before Brownies

Also known as ‘best ever chocolate brownies’ these are quite literally, the best brownies ever. I’ve made them once before and had rave reviews. Having tried the vegan recipe I was  keen to see Imagehow the two compared. The verdict’s in the title. I’d be lying if I said the vegan ones were best. These have a softer texture and are less dense than their vegan cousin. They’re gooey and fudgy to die for, without sticking to the roof of your mouth a bit. I (and you) have fellow baking blogger Alice Melly to thank for this one, check out her blog www.averymellybake.tumblr.com for more!

For the brownies: 

  • 185g Unsalted Butter
  • 150g Dark Chocolate
  • 100g Milk chocolate
  • 85g Plain Flour
  • 40g Cocoa Powder
  • 3 Eggs
  • 275g Caster Sugar

Alice’s recipe includes chunks of both 50g of milk and white chocolate chunks, and slightly more dark chocolate but I adapted it to use up what I had left in my baking cupboard.

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.
  3. While the chocolate and butter cool, weigh out the flour, cocoa and baking powder and sift them together.
  4. Whisk your eggs together with the sugar until they’ve about doubled in volume and have a consistency like a milkshake – a nice thick one
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  6. Fold the cooled chocolate mix gently into your ‘milkshake’ eggs and sugar until evenly incorporated and there are no streaks.
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  8. Finally, sift the dry ingredients into the wet mix and fold gently until you have a thick chocolatey mixture.Image
  9. Pour the brownie batter into your prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes or until the top is shiny and starting to pull away from the edges of the tin. A skewer should definitely NOT come out clean. Straight out of the oven these will slip through your fingers like a mini mudslide, I let them cool and firm up before cutting them.Image

I didn’t take any pictures of the cut up brownies as I was rushing around buying Christmas presents but they’re not that photogenic really. It’s all about the way they melt in your mouth rather than how your mouth melts when you look at them.

Choclatey Chocolate Cake

I’ve been on the hunt for a really fudgy homemade chocolate frosting for ages. As much as I loved Imageeating Betty Crocker’s version from the tub as a teenager having it homemade is so much more satisfying! To cut to the point, I’ve found it. So good it’s bad. I taste tested a little bit too often, by the spoonful. Hello an extra 3k in the gym, so worth it though.  The treacle makes it really thick and smooth, while all the dark chocolate means it’s rich without being overpoweringly sweet. The cake itself is also quite rich, not too sweet and has a really strong chocolate flavour. It’s dense, but again, so yum. My friend drizzled some leftover condensed milk over her slice and it was incredible.  I’m sure a bit of cream would do too but condensed milk is such a treat. This won’t last long around chocolate lovers. Or anyone for that matter, we demolished it pretty quickly.

For the cake:

  • 50ml cold water
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 50g dark chocolate (chopped finely)
  • ½ tsp. bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 175g muscovado sugar
  • 125g condensed milk
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 tsp. glycerine
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare a loaf tin.

Make a paste with the cocoa powder and cold water

Whisk the boiling water into the paste

Add the finely chopped chocolate immediately along with the bicarbonate of soda and leave it to melt.

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In the meantime beat together the butter, sugar and condensed milk until smooth.

I suggest sifting the sugar or at least checking it isn’t lumpy as brown sugar is prone to sticking together and making little sugar pebbles.. I ended up with a few at the bottom of my bowl.

Once the mixture is smooth beat in the eggs and glycerine.

Stir together the flour and baking powder and add half to the beaten mix and beat thoroughly

Add the chocolate mixture and beat until the mix is even in colour.

Add the remaining flour and beat again until smooth.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes (my cake took about an 1hr 5 mins but would have been fudgier if I’d taken it out a bit sooner)

When a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with only a few crumbs on it the cake is ready.

Leave it to cool in the tin completely before serving or icing.

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Tips:

If you’re worried about the cake collapsing add an extra tablespoon or two of flour, I did. It thickens the batter so it’ll hold up better.

You can also add an extra two tbsp’s of egg white, which helps to bind the sugar and fat.

You can also use both of these methods at the same time if you’re really concerned about a collapsing cake. 

Fudgy Frosting:

  • 2 tbsp. black treacle
  • 300ml milk
  • 150g light brown soft sugar
  • 4 tbsp. cornflour
  • 4 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 50g unsalted butter

*You can use half milk and half dark chocolate and this would make the icing sweeter, it really does have the bitter kick of dark chocolate so if that’s not for you I would suggest using half and half.

Put the treacle, milk, sugar, cocoa and cornflour in a saucepan and beat until smooth.

Gently bring the mix to the boil, whisking often or it’ll stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.

Remove from the heat and beat in the chocolate until the mix is smooth and creamy.

Let it cool a while before adding the softened butter and vanilla a little at a time.

I used the frosting while it was still quite warm as the book instructed but I think letting it cool and thicken a little bit would actually make it easier, you can spread it on the cake thicker without it oozing over the sides.

Tips:

Beat in extra melted chocolate to thicken the icing.

To lighten it try adding some double cream.

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