Hope you enjoyed your holidays and had a fantastic New Year celebration with your loved ones!
I’m starting 2014 with a simple and fuss-free recipe – something that may not be fancy but is the kind of comforting treat you would want to dig into day after day.
Brownies are all about the texture. You would find that brownies that fall under three camps: cakey, fudgey and chewy. I don’t know about you but for me, a brownie has to be chewy to be good. You should always have a nice crust that you crack into and give way to a moist and chewy center.
And the key to a chewy brownie (aside from using dark brown sugar) is largely determined by the timing of the baking. You cannot afford to over-bake it or it will lose its chewy texture. It will still taste good (like a chocolate cake) but it will no longer be a brownie (not in my dictionary at least).
Crumbling some homemade honeycomb add some much welcome crunchiness to this dessert. It brings people back to their childhood and might be great as a conversation starter.
Can you think of the last time you had honeycomb? One of my first memories of honeycomb is in the form of Nestle’s Violet crumble. I remember liking it a lot though I would probably not touch a bar of that now.
I’ll be happy to eat homemade honeycomb on its own and even more so when it is topped on a dark chocolate brownie.
I hope everyone is having a great start to the new year! Keep on baking and cooking!
Recipe: Honeycomb dark chocolate brownie
Makes a 7″ by 7″ square tin and a 11″ by 7″ rectangle tin (about 1″ in height)
This brownie recipe makes quite a bit of brownie. You can freeze a portion of it once it has cooled and heat it up whenever you feel like you need a treat. The brownies are moist and chewy and incredibly chocolatey and they are great on its own (even without the honeycomb).
It is important to use dark chocolate for the brownie or it might be too sweet.
Ingredients for the brownie:
275g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
275g unsalted butter, cubed
265g eggs, room temperature
600g dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
205g plain flour
2 and 1/4 tsp baking powder
200g walnuts (optional), roughly chopped
1. Begin by melting the dark chocolate and butter over a bain marie. Stir with a spatula until just melted. Do not overheat the chocolate.
2. Place eggs and brown sugar onto machine and use a whisk attachment to whisk it at medium speed until pale and light. Add in vanilla extract and whisk.
3. Add in the melted chocolate mixture and whisk until well combined.
4. Fold in the dry ingredients (in a few additions) into the egg mixture until well incorporated. Do not overmix/overwhisk at this point.
5. If adding walnuts, add in after you folded in the dry ingredients. Mixture should be thick, smooth and glossy.
6. Pour the brownie mixture into parchment lined tins (brownies should be about 2.5-3cm in height) and bake in a 180 degrees Celsius oven for about 30 – 40 minutes. You can begin checking on the brownie at 25 minutes. The top should look set and it is normal for the top to have cracks. It should not have wet batter stuck onto a cake tester but it is perfect when some fudgey crumbs are stuck to a cake tester. If a cake tester comes out completely clean, the brownie is over-baked.
7. Allow the brownie to cool completely on a cooling rack when it is done.
8. Use a long serrated knife to cut the brownies into cubes/diamonds when it is completely cooled. Topped with crumbled honeycomb (See recipe below).
Recipe from Gordon Ramsay
Makes about 9″ by 5″ piece (that’s really a lot more than you need for the brownie)
Homemade honeycomb is quick and easy to make and it not only taste great on top of a brownie, it can be crumbed over vanilla ice cream for a delicious dessert!
70g light corn syrup or glucose
200g granulated sugar
10g baking soda
1. Prepare a tray lined with parchement paper and lightly grease it.
2. Combine the honey, corn syrup and sugar into a stainless steel pot large enough to allow the mixture to quadruple in size.
3. Place pot over medium fire. Give it a good stir or two so that the mixture melts uniformly. Brush down the sides of the pot with a clean brush and tap water (to wash down any stray sugar crystals that might be on the sides of the pot).
4. Cook until mixture turns light amber colour or about 150 degrees celcius. Do not stir when the mixture starts cooking or the sugar may crystalized.
5. Take the pot off heat and add in the baking soda all at once and whisk vigorously until it is well combined. The honeycomb will foam up and quadrapule in size.
4. When the baking soda is whisked in, pour the mixture onto the prepared tray and allow it to cool completely for about an hour.
5. Break them up into small pieces and store in an airtight container (with some silica gel sachets, if you have). Honeycomb is hygroscopic so it will become sticky and gooey and lose its crispiness if left out in the open.