Friday, 8 April 2011

Sweet Temptations

Baking sweet treats is one of my favourite pastimes especially when the weather starts to cool down. It's not for everyone but I find it to be somewhat therapeutic and a fantastic stress release....even better when combined with a secret sing along to some super girly beats! (Britney, lady gaga and katy perry make perfect companions .... part of a playlist especially saved for such occasions!)

Chocolate Brownies are one of the greatest afternoon delights and difficult for many to resist. They are especially good when paired with a piping hot cup of tea. 
So yesterday when the weather was a bit average outside and slightly confused about whether it wanted to rain or shine, I decided to whip up some chocolate brownies to share with friends over afternoon tea.

Chocolate brownies are especially good when they have a firm outer shell and a gooey fudgy centre. My favourite chocolate brownie recipe is by Donna Hay. She is definitely one of my favourite Australian chefs with her 'fresh, fast and simple' attitude to food. I admire her ability to style food in such a way that is simple and incredibly aesthetically pleasing. Her books are filled with beautiful photography and amazing recipes.

 This luscious brownie recipe is sure to please. It's smooth and rich with a sensational texture and has the ability to transport anyone into chocolate brownie heaven!!!

 Chocolate Brownies

250g butter, chopped
200g dark chocolate, chopped (70% cocoa if possible)
1 3/4 (200g) cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1 1/3 (200g) cups plain flour, sifted
1/3 cup (35g) cocoa, sifted
1/4 teaspoon baking powder, sifted

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius or 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the butter and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth.
Place the sugar and eggs in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and whisk until well combined.
Add the flour, cocoa and baking powder and whisk until smooth.

Pour mixture into a lightly greased tin lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 40-45 minutes or just set and allow to cool in the tin. When cooled you could dust with icing sugar or cover with chocolate icing and sprinkles if your feeling a little young at heart....who doesn't love rainbow coloured sprinkles!!
 To make icing combine 40g of melted butter, 2 tablespoons of sifted cocoa, 1 1/2 cups (240g) of sifted icing sugar and 1/3 cup (80ml) boiling water in a bowl Stir until well combined and spread evenly over cooled brownie using a palette knife if you have one :)

Antonia, Jacinda and Grace enjoying tea and baking at Jacinda's cute little abode

When I was in Sydney in February I popped into Donna's gorgeous store on holdsworth street in the super cute suburb of Woollahra and instantly fell in love!!! The Donna Hay general store is filled with gorgeous homewares, books and delectable sweet treats! These are a few pictures I took outside :)
Simran x

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