For my birthday a few years ago, my friend Ella made me a batch of indulgent chocolate brownies with a mint twist. They were so dense and gooey: they really exemplified what makes a good brownie. So I asked, and my friend delivered: below is the recipe for these yummy brownies.
The best thing about these brownies is that they don’t cost much to make as long as you’ve got the usual baking staples already in your cupboard. I only had to buy the eggs, butter, and the baking tin (the tin I bought was was only £3 from Wilkos!).
350 grams chocolate
225 grams butter
3 large eggs
225 grams caster sugar
75 grams self raising flour
225 grams chocolate chips
Mint extract (add to taste)
Pre-heat the oven to 190C/ Fan 170/Gas 5. Grease a 30 x 23cm (12×9 in) tray then line the base with baking parchment. (The tray I bought was only 20×20, which worked out fine).
Break up the chocolate (350 grams) into pieces and melt slowly with the butter (225 grams). The recipe suggested melting the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, but I decided to finely chop my chocolate and melt it in the microwave. Make sure to stir the mixture of butter and chocolate. When it’s finished melting it doesn’t look very attractive, but mine turned out fine! Leave to cool.
In another bowl mix together the eggs (3 large) and caster sugar (225 grams). Gradually beat in the chocolate mixture. Fold in the self raising flour (75 grams) and chocolate chips (225 grams). If you want to add a mint twist to these brownies, add your mint extract to taste now. Scoop the mixture into the prepared tin.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes or until the brownies have a crusty top and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave the brownies to cool in the tin. The recipe advised me to cut the cake into 24 squares, but since my tin is smaller than the book suggests, I only managed to cut mine into 9 pieces.
Make sure to store your brownies in an air-tight tin to keep them from going stale.
This moist banana bread recipe is a classic that keeps everyone happy. The more bananery the better. Here are the ingredients:
140 grams butter
1 tsp baking powder
50 grams icing sugar
140 grams caster sugar
2 ripe bananas
2 large eggs
140 self-raising flour
Optional: banana chips for decoration
This recipe is so bananery I would not recommend using more than two bananas.
The original recipe recommended heating the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Because the banana bread can take a while, I always set my oven a little higher and keep an eye on it.
Cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is fluffy. I use a stand mixer for this, but a hand held mixer or a wooden spoon will work just as well.
Add in the beaten eggs slowly with some flour.
When the eggs are mixed with the butter and sugar, fold in the remaining flour, baking powder, and mashed bananas. Make sure the bananas are mashed well, as you do not want clumps of gloopy banana in the baked cake.
Butter a loaf tin and line it with baking parchment. (When I got to this stage I found that I did not have parchment paper. Tin foil works just as well providing you butter it.)
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for about 30 minutes. To see whether the cake is done, stick a skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
When the cake has cooked allow it to cool in the tin for ten minutes before taking it out. If you try to take the cake out of the tin immediately after it has been in the oven the cake will crumble.
While you are waiting for the cake to cool, mix the icing sugar with 2 or 3 teaspoons of water. Drizzle the icing across the banana bread.
Usually I do not make the icing, but in the interest of being more photogenic I decided to this time.
This rates as the best banana bread I have ever made. It was perfect after 35 minutes at 200C.
Why not try the same recipe for cupcakes or mini loafs? For both of these I recommend 15 minutes at 200C.