• Karen Naylor - i CAN cook

Fudgy, Gooey Brownies


Pikelets Recipe
Brownies

Best ever brownies that will remain in your recipe repertoire forever. Easy and quick to make, great for a snack or dessert, no fancy machines needed, not many ingredients, you can make them gluten free, dairy free and vegan. You have to try these - impress your family and friends. This recipe serves 16 and takes about 1 hr to make from start to finish.


If you don't need these detailed instructions and are ready to cook

then scroll down to the bottom of the page for just the recipe.


1) Ok 1st things 1st - Clear the decks and feed the cat – you can’t begin until you have your house in order. What I mean by that is I have found I always make mistakes when I get distracted or work in a mess. Ok so maybe this easy recipe for brownies won’t be a game changer but as you start to build on your cooking skills, getting your house in order is so important to successful and happy baking.

· feed the pets

· make a cuppa

· empty the dishwasher (or load it if you couldn’t be bothered the night before)

· if you have little ones, change their nappy and feed them

· check your mobile and emails if you need to

· make room on your kitchen bench – I learnt the hard way by losing a cake over the edge :( all because I refused to move the fruit bowl

· wipe down the kitchen bench

· place current dishcloth and tea towel in laundry and grab a fresh set

· wash your hands



2) Now - grab all your equipment out

. if you have a set of scales these will be really helpful so get your scales out - optional

· baking paper

. oil spray

. scissors

. a 18cm x 28cm (7" x 11") baking tray

. a cutting board

. small microwave proof jug or bowl

. a large round mixing bowl or a salad bowl or a round plastic container

. a knife

. a whisk or fork

. 2 teaspoons

. a dessert spoon or a set of measuring spoons

. a wooden spoon

. 2 cups

· a sieve

. a cooling rack - optional

· a paper towel

. a serving plate

You can get by easily using this equipment

3) Now - Grab all your ingredients and place them on the kitchen bench –

. plain flour * see dietary substitutions in notes

. brown sugar

. regular sugar

. cocoa powder

. 225g dark chocolate, either in block form or melts - just make sure it contains cocoa butter - check the ingredients on the back of the pack * see dietary substitutions in notes



. vegetable oil

. salt

. vanilla extract

. 4 eggs *see dietary substitutions in notes

. butter *see dietary substitutions in notes


4) So now you are going to prepare your oven

Make sure you have your oven rack in the centre of the oven and remove any baking trays.

If you have an oven with a fan turn temperature to 175 degrees celcius / 350 degrees fahrenheit.

If you have an oven without a fan turn temperature to 195 degrees celcius / 385 degrees fahrenheit.



5) Okay so now you are going to measure out your ingredients and prepare some elements

. ok so your paper towel is there for you to wipe your hands when needed and your scissors are there handy for you to open packages. Nothing worse than ripping open packages with your teeth or using every bit of force to open it only to have the packet explode open and the contents go everywhere.

. grab your cutting board, knife and butter. Open the butter up and you will see a guide in 25g or ozs increments. Slice through at the 225g or 8oz mark. Wrap up your remaining butter and pop this in the fridge.

If your butter comes in a tub you can fill one cup full of butter using your dessertspoon to pack it down. Roughly chop up your measured out butter and pop that into your microwave proof jug or bowl. Place it into the microwave for 50 seconds to a minute depending on your microwave's wattage. I have a 1100w microwave and I do it for 50 seconds. Now using your dessert spoon give the butter a good stir until all the butter is melted. Place to the side your cutting board, knife, cup if you used it and your butter mixture.


. take a cup and your white sugar and fill this cup full to the top. If you have a scale you need 225g or 8oz - place the white sugar in your empty large mixing bowl.



. using this same cup and your brown sugar fill again almost to the top, only this time pack it down using a teaspoon. Keep packing until the cup is almost full. If you are using a scale you need 177g or 6.25oz. With the help of your teaspoon transfer this brown sugar also into the mixing bowl that has the white sugar in it.



. Now you are probably starting to get in a mess with sugar on your bench but don't worry about that for now - there will be time to clean up later.


. take your melted butter and give it one last stir - now pour this into your mixture with the sugars in it.


. using the dessert spoon that you used with the melted butter, have your sugar and butter mixture near you and over the top of this mixture measure out 3 dessert spoons of vegetable oil - 1 dessertspoon at a time tipping each one straight into the mixture.


. Give your mixture a quick mix with your dessertspoon to incorporate the sugars, butter and oil. Put your jug or bowl that had the melted butter in it and the dessertspoon in the sink.


. Ok time for the eggs. You are going to crack open 4 eggs into the mixture. Check the mixture for shells and fish them out if needed. Put your empty shells in the bin.


. Using the teaspoon that you used to press down the brown sugar, grab your salt and over the top of the mixture measure out 1 teaspoon and tip that into the mixture.


. Now measure out 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract and tip that into the mixture. Place this teaspoon into the sink.


. Using your whisk or fork stir this mixture now for 2 minutes until everything is combined and the mixture gets paler. Put your whisk or fork in the sink.



. so now with your 2 used cups and your flour and cocoa powder you are going to fill both cups. Fill the 1st cup with flour so that it is as full as - almost overflowing. If you are using a scale this needs to measure 142g or 5oz.


. Using your last clean teaspoon open up the cocoa powder tin and fill the 2nd cup with the cocoa powder - don't pack this down, just fill it to the top. On the scales you will need 110g or 3.88oz.


. So now you are going to place your sieve over your mixing bowl and tip in your flour and cocoa powder. Shake your sieve from side to side - you may have to use your teaspoon to crush down some of cocoa clumps. Keep going until all the flour and cocoa has gone through the sieve. Place your sieve, 2 cups and teaspoon in the sink.


. Now using your wooden spoon you are going to combine these ingredients by folding the mixture until it is just combined. There are many techniques to folding but I cut through the centre of the batter and then around the outside, tilting your wooden spoon so each time you are increasing the amount of mixture being combined and keep on repeating this until you can't see any flour or cocoa that hasn't been combined. Folding is a technique used to just combine ingredients using the least amount of mixing. You don't want to stir crazily as you will activate the gluten and cause the brownies to be tough. Folding is also used in say a macaron where you have light and fluffy meringue and you need to add almond meal. You need to mix the ingredients together but you don't want to knock all the air out of the light and fluffy meringue - so we fold the mixture.



. Grab your chopping board, knife and chocolate and chop up the chocolate into chunks and fold gently half of these into the mixture - just eyeball half - you can't go wrong. Pop your chocolate paper wrapping in the bin or seal up and back in the pantry if you have chocolate left over.


6) Time to prepare your baking tin

Easy, spray your tin with oil spray and tear off a piece of baking paper and lay this in your baking tin. Trim off any large overhanging pieces. Put away your spray oil, baking paper roll and scissors.


7) Pour your mixture into this prepared baking tin and toss on top of this mixture the remaining last half of the chocolate chunks.


8) Place your baking tin in the oven and set your timer for 35 minutes.


9) While waiting for your yummy brownies put away your flour, sugar, cocoa, oil, salt and vanilla extract, do your dishes and wipe down your bench. You will now have time to chill for a bit - but don't stray to far away from your timer.


10) When the timer goes off carefully remove from the oven and place on your cooling rack or the drainer section of your kitchen sink. Check to see that the brownie mixture is baked by pressing down with your finger in the centre of the tray. The brownie crust should be softish. The outside perimeter of your brownie mixture should be more firm to touch.- if it is soft put back in the oven for 5 more minutes.




11) When baked don't forget to turn off your oven.


12) Let your brownies cool in the baking tin and when the tin is cool enough to hold gently flip over by placing your cooling rack on top or use a chopping board if you don't have a cooling rack.


13) Using a bread knife slice into 16 pieces. For ease of cutting, fill a tall container with boiling water and dip your knife into this. Dry off and then slice - you get lovely clean slices.


14) Eat and Enjoy - Well done – you CAN cook…



NOTES

Simple Ingredient Changes to Suit Your Dietary Requirements


Swap out the dark chocolate for white chocolate - delish


Gluten freereplace the plain flour with gluten free plain flour.


Dairy Free – replace the butter with dairy free butter eg: nuttelex and replace the dark chocolate with dairy free chocolate eg: Sweet William


Vegan -replace the butter with dairy free butter eg: nuttelex, replace the dark chocolate with dairy free chocolate eg: Sweet William and replace the egg with egg replacer using the instructions on the pack for replacing 4 eggs eg: No Egg - Egg Replacer






Baking Pan Hack

Create the size baking pan you require by resizing your large baking pan. Create walls using aluminium foil and then line with baking paper secured with cooking oil spray.





















If you don't get a tight open side, you may need to secure this to stop it leaning over, I used cups when making white chocolate brownies but you can use anything in your kitchen that is oven proof.




Storage Requirements

Room temperature - in a sealed container for up to 5 days. Yummy when reheated in microwave before eating.

Freezer – in a sealed container in squares separated by freezer wrap for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature. Can be gently reheated in microwave before eating.

 


 

BROWNIES RECIPE


Prep time- 25 mins Cooking time – 35 mins Makes - 16


Preheat oven to 175C/350F

Lined 18 x 28cm /7 x 11" baking tray


Ingredients

. 225g/8oz dark chocolate melts or block

· 1 cup/142g/5oz plain flour

· 1 cup/177g/6 1/4 oz brown sugar

. 1 cup/225g/8 oz white sugar

. 1 cup/115g/4oz cocoa powder

. 4 eggs

. 225g/8oz unsalted butter

. 30mls/ 2 tblsp vegetable oil

. 1 tsp salt

. 4 tsps vanilla extract


Method

. in a large mixing bowl combine melted butter, oil and both sugars.

. add the eggs, vanilla and salt then whisk for about two minutes until evenly combined and light in color.

. sift into this bowl the flour and cocoa powder and then gently fold these ingredients until just combined.

. cut chocolate into chunks and fold in half of this chocolate.

. pour the batter into the lined baking tray and top with the remaining chocolate chunks.

. bake for 35 minutes

. remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the baking tray.

. cut into 16 servings

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