Chocolate. Whoever invented it, thank you. You have given hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of women something that can make them feel better, no matter how bad things may be.
Bad day at work? Chocolate brownie.
Found out your simple car service has a £600 bill attached to it? Chocolate Log.
Coffee break after paining the living room, hallway, and banisters for 5 hours solid? Kit-Kat.
Boyfriend/husband/other half has been away in Barbados surrounded by blonde bimbos for a week and you’re home alone? Toblerone.
Gruelling 10 mile uphill trail run in the rain and you finish triumphant but soaked with 2kg of mud attached to each shoe. Hot hot hot chocolate.
So, with my baking craving on, I went to a shop yesterday, innocently looking for bread and smoked salmon to satisfy a sensible lunch requirement, and I walked out with those, and a slab of chocolate.
Looks innocent does it?
Now look at it next to a regular 100g slab of chocolate.
Impressed? I thought you might be. I just couldn’t resist this (reduced) 950g bar of chocolate. It filled me whith chocolatey inspiration. It had to be mine. Now, I keep thinking about the white chocolate version. I am resisting the temptation to go back. Its hard.
So for those of you who are feeling the craving right now, make these brownies. They are loaded with sublime bad things, but they will make you smile when you eat them. I guarantee it. No matter how bad your day has been, how much your boss annoyed you, how much you are fed up with life. You will smile. Heck, I even smiled from a taste of the batter before it got anywhere near the oven.
They are a lovely take on the traditional brownie in that they have a caribbean hint, and I think that they are super flexible too. Pecans don’t do it for you? Fine. Add walnuts, peanuts, no nuts. Whatever floats your boat. Not a huge fan of giner? Thats ok. Add sour cherries, cranberries, chocolate chips, coconut, banana, anything. Juist try to keep the ratios the same and if you add more moisture then add a touch more flour to even out the balance.
I used Malibu but the original recipe used regular rum. So feel free to use either, or neither. its up to you.
I did find that they filled my 22cm x 18cm brownie tin to the brim. I was slightly concerned that they were going to overflow, but as they do not rise very much, it was absolutely fine. So don’t panic. Although a precautionary piece of tinfoil at the bottom of the oven can never hurt.
Caribbean Chocolate Brownies
Adapted from Levi Roots – Caribbean Cooking Made Easy
250g/9oz plain chocolate, minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids, broken into pieces
5 free-range eggs
350g/12oz dark muscovado sugar
3 tbsp Malibu/rum (optional)
150g/5½oz plain flour, sifted
125g/4½oz pecan nuts, roughly chopped
4 x 2.5cm/1in pieces stem ginger (from a jar), chopped
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a 32cm x 18cm brownie tin with greaseproof paper, or grease and flour.
Bring a little water to the boil in a pan, then reduce the heat until the water is simmering. Suspend a heatproof bowl over the water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water). Add the chocolate pieces and butter to the bowl and stir until melted and glossy. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar using an electric whisk until pale, fluffy and thick.
Add the melted chocolate mixture and malibu, if using, then whisk again until smooth and well combined.
Carefully fold in the flour, using a metal spoon. Add the pecan nuts and stem ginger and fold into the mixture, then pour the brownie batter into the prepared cake tin.
Transfer the brownies to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch but a skewer inserted into the centre of the brownies comes out slightly sticky. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly in the tin.
When the brownies have cooled
slightly, cut them into 18-20 squares or triangles and carefully remove from the tin. Pile onto a plate and devour 🙂