Monday, March 30, 2009

Chocolate Brownies with Jelly on the side

My cousin, Mandy, has asked me for my chocolate brownie recipe so I thought you might like a copy as well. Yes, yes I know this is clearly not a picture of a brownie but I am in the middle of painting furniture so cooking will have to wait. However I do have this lovely picture of layered jelly for your consideration; see how it sparkles in the kitchen light. Let me hear you say 'ooooh'; a little louder please I can't hear you.

Well anyway here is the brownie recipe, I hope it doesn't add too many centimetres to your waistline.

Chocolate Brownies

300g butter
2 ¼ cups caster sugar
5 eggs
1 ¼ cups plain flour
1 ¼ cups cocoa
2 packets of chocolate chips or 200g raisins or pecans

Preheat the oven to 180*C and prepare your baking tray (it is best to grease and line it). Cream together the butter and sugar. Once the mix has lightened in colour add the eggs one at a time, beating in between each egg. Please break your eggs into a separate cup in case you get a bad one, as if you break it straight into the mix you will have to throw it out and start again. I never thought this was that important until I got a bad egg. Yuck, yuck and double yuck. Sift in the flour and cocoa. Mix the mixture on high for a minute or so. Add you chosen optional ingredients and mix. Press the mixture into your prepared biscuit tin and cook at 180*C for 40 minutes. Cook the brownies for longer for a crispy top and for less time for a more chewy texture. Cut once the brownies are cool. These keep well in the fridge.

If you like fluffy more cake like brownies use a mixer for this recipe but if you like you brownies more fudgy use your hand to mix everything. You could try a spoon but I find a clean hand gives the fudgiest brownies as it does not put any air into the mix.

Why do I know that mixing this recipe with your hand will give a fudgier brownie? Well when I was first given this recipe I did not own a mixer of any description, so I tried a spoon, but it never creamed the butter and sugar well enough. I'm always impatient to get started on the recipe so I think my butter is probably always too hard, so using my hand gave the best result. Don't worry about the hygiene factor, as long as you wash your hands and clean under you nails, your hand will be just as clean any piece of kitchen equipment you would choose to use instead.

Now I have posted photos of jelly I suppose I should give a few jelly tips. I made this jelly for my daughter's birthday in a large plastic salad bowl. I find plastic bowls are better for jelly (if you intend to turn it out onto a plate that is, as opposed to scooping it straight from the bowl) as the bowl has a little 'give' in it so it is easier to use a spatula to get air between the jelly and the bowl. Once you get some air in there the jelly should come away from the bowl fairly easily.

I mastered making this type of layered jelly last year as I made eighteen, yes eighteen, let me say it one more time, eighteen, packets of jelly for our school's family BBQ. If you intend to turn out your jelly as shown in the top picture you will need to add more gelatine as your standard off-the-shelf jelly will spread too much and not hold much shape; unless you are looking to do a remake of the movie 'The Blob' I strongly suggest more gelatine. I used one extra sachet of gelatine to make the above jelly. There are three packets of jelly in this mould so I you could say a three packets of jelly to one sachet of gelatine ratio should do it. If you want a firmer jelly add more gelatine; as you can see from the photo, even with the extra sachet my jelly still spread. It really is trial and error to see how you like it yourself.

Make each colour one at a time and allow it to set fully before adding the next colour on top. Allow the new colour you are going to add to cool or you will 'melt' the colour layer underneath. Pour the new colour over the back of a spoon to avoid making big gouges in the layer of jelly beneath. This process will take a few hours so do it well in advance of when you are going to need it.

Please read the instructions on your gelatine. You need to dissolve gelatine in cold water. Into a heat proof bowl of COLD water sprinkle the gleatine and whisk with a fork at the same time (now could you please rub your tummy and pat your head just for good measure). Let the gelatine stand for a few minutes, then, place your bowl in another bowl of hot water (this is why it is important your bowl is heat proof) and stir it until the gelatine dissolves. NEVER BOIL GELATINE. Make sure the gelatine mixture and the mixture you want to add it to are about the same temperature or you risk getting lumps, and no mother wants to be known as the maker of jelly with 'booger' lumps - as I am sure my son's friends would call it!

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, aaaah...One can never go wrong with a platter of brownies. However, 18 yes, 18 boxes of gelatine, oh my word...

    Thanks for the plastic bowl tip, gee, I never thought of that:)