Easy (Valentine’s) Brownies
It’s simple to make and deliciously chocolaty, without being overwhelmingly sweet.
Not only that, but it only takes one microwaveable mixing bowl, and very little clean up when you’re through.
With everything it has going for it, these brownies make a particularly nice, though last minute treat for Valentine’s Day – or really any time you want to show some love.
And, because you can freeze this brownie, you don’t even need to wait to spoil someone else, you can simply make it because you want to (or because you know it is time to treat yourself).
Recipe makes 1 sheet of 16 brownies, or several cut outs (as you like it)
3 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Oil
100 g (4 oz) Semi-sweet chocolate (or your favourite chocolate), roughly chopped
200 g (1 cup) Brown sugar, levelled
2 tsp Vanilla extract
½ tsp Salt
2 med Eggs (cold is good, rather than room temperature eggs)
1 tbsp Brewed coffee, cold
30 g (1/4 cup) Cocoa powder
95 g (3/4 cup) Plain (all-purpose) flour
¼ tsp Baking soda
Pre-heat your oven to 160Cº (325ºF, Gas mark 3). Grease a large, deep baking pan and line with parchment paper. Move your oven rack to the lower third of your oven.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the butter, oil and chocolate. Heat, in 30 second increments, until butter and chocolate are melted and ingredients can be mixed easily with a spoon. Stir in the sugar, vanilla, salt, eggs and coffee. Beat vigorously (or use mixer beaters) until all ingredients are combined and the batter is thick and glossy. Fold in the remaining ingredients and mix until just combined (you may have a lump here or there).
Pour this batter into your pan, and bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with just a few crumbs. Cool in the pan for a few minutes. If using cookie cutters to serve in shapes, lift the brownies out by the parchment paper and cut on the counter – not in the pan.
Really good bit
If you’re not a coffee drinker, you can always add a tablespoon of cold water instead of coffee. There’s no need to up the vanilla or chocolate to compensate, the coffee is only there to enhance the natural flavours of this brownie.
This brownie makes a perfect addition to lunchboxes – and you can freeze it if you choose. Simply wrap each square individually in aluminium foil, then plastic wrap. It’s usually best to take it out of the freezer the night before, but if the days are particularly warm, just before heading off to work is just as good.
From the notebook of Katie Schenk
If you make this do drop us an email with a pic. We’d LOVE to see how it turns out.