It seems that I can’t go to any shop at the moment without seeing some sort of baking paraphernalia or nod towards that ever-so popular BBC TV programme that’s back on our screens.
I must admit, The Great British Bake Off has done wonders for home-baking, with everyone from the kids next door to your plumber knocking up a batch of Battenberg, Bakewell or Bara Brith.
So, in keeping with this and to satisfy our baking mad nation, I thought I’d share one of our more popular bakes with you this week.
Chocolate brownies are the ultimate choccy treat and these certainly go down well with our customers.
A freshly baked tray never lasts long – they wouldn’t even make it out of the kitchen if my staff had anything to do with it!
Some brownie recipes include nuts but we prefer to leave them out and really let the chocolate do the talking.
However, if you like a nutty crunch then simply add 100g of walnuts to the mixture before baking.
Also, try to use good quality dark chocolate - 70 per cent cocoa solids if possible. It really does make for a richer, more luxurious finish.
Served warm, these brownies are incredibly rich, soft and gooey and make for a perfect dessert or cheeky afternoon treat.
Be warned though, they are not for the faint hearted or for those on diet – they pack a serious chocolate punch. Just try not to eat the whole tray to yourself!
HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE BROWNIE
250g softened butter, plus extra for greasing
350g golden caster sugar
450g good quality dark chocolate
4 large eggs
125g plain flour, sifted
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a 23cmx23cm baking tin and line with baking parchment.
Break the chocolate into a bowl and set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water but just sits above it.
Stir occasionally until melted and then remove immediately from the heat. Stir the softened butter into the warm chocolate until all completely melted.
Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar and the eggs in a large bowl.
Pour in the chocolate and butter and mix everything together well.
Gradually add the flour, gently folding it into the mixture until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. The batter should have a smooth and silky consistency.
Pour into the prepared baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes.
The brownies should be slightly wobbly in the middle, but not raw – you can test the centre with a skewer.
They will continue cooking for a little while after they have been removed from the oven so try not to over-cook them, you don’t want to lose that lovely gooey texture!
Leave to cool in the tin before turning out and cutting into squares. You can store the brownies in an airtight box for a day or two (providing they don’t get eaten within the first 10 minutes!)
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a handful of berries if desired and enjoy!