I have many creative outlets other than making my eco resin treasures and one of them is baking. I love to bake when I have time to spare (which is quite rare!) but when I do, I like to go all out and treat myself and my family to something sinfully indulgent and lip smackingly delicious- there's no other way is there?
I've decided to share two of my best loved recipes; the ones were people fondly recall 'remember those chocolate brownies you made? they were amazing!!' *hint hint*
So here it is in all its glory- my signature Coffee Oreo Brownies and Snazzy Hot Chocolate recipe; a definite chocolate lovers dream come true. I must issue a word of caution: these are very rich and very luscious, so consume in moderation and save for those treat days, it's definitely worth it.
Coffee Oreo Brownies
- Makes: 24 brownies | prep time: 30 minutes | cooking time: 30 minutes | total time: 1 hour
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
7 ounces of good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Lindt 70%)
4 ounces of milk chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used a mix of Dairy Milk and Milka)
1 pack of Oreo cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (I used Starbucks Dark Espresso Roast)
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit / 176 Celsius. Lightly butter the sides and bottom of a 9x13 inch glass baking dish or a baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper to make it easier to release the brownie mix after baking.
2. Lightly whisk the flour, salt and cocoa powder in a medium sized bowl until combined.
3. Set a large glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder into the bowl and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Switch off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room at temperature.
4. Add 3 eggs to the coffee chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Gradually add the remaining eggs and whisk until fully combined. Add the vanilla and stir once more. Try not to over whisk the mixture at the stage to avoid a cakey brownie texture.
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture into the coffee chocolate mix. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until combined
6. Now add in the Oreo cookies into the mix. You can add in fine crumbs or large chunky bits depending on your preference. I went for a chunky mixture this time. Add in half of the Oreos and fold gently into the mixture until evenly combined.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared dish or pan and lightly smooth the top. You can sprinkle over the remaining cookies onto the top. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Close to the 30 mins, insert a toothpick into the centre of the brownies to check if they are ready. If the tooth pick comes out relatively clean with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it, then it's ready! Let the brownies cool completely in the pan, then lift them out carefully using the edges of the parchment paper for support. Rest onto a large chopping board and with a long knife, cut into squares and serve and enjoy. They're especially good with a hot cup of coffee or the Snazzy Hot Chocolate (see below) or a scoop of high quality vanilla ice cream.
8. You can store the brownies at room temperature in an airtight lunch box or wrap in cellophane for up to 3 days. However they will be devoured very quickly, I can guarantee!
Now if that wasn't enough chocolately goodness, here's my special Snazzy Hot Chocolate recipe! This is the perfect beverage to treat yourself to on these colder Autumn days, with the biting Winter fast approaching. I have my hot chocolate in a simple Ikea mug, that allows you to hug it with both hands and absorb all the lovely comforting warmth. This is a very simple recipe that can be whipped up in 5 mins and deliver instant happiness to your day!
Snazzy Hot Chocolate
- Makes: 2-3 Cups | cooking time: 5 minutes
4 cups of whole milk (you can choose a milk of your own choice).
1/4 cups of chocolate buttons/chips (I used Dairy Milk buttons and two squares of 70% Lindt chopped coarsely to cut the sweetness of the milk chocolate).
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I used Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract)
1 Packet of marshmallows (I used Princess Marshmallows as they aren't too sweet and are lovely and fluffy without being too chewy and firm).
1. Heat the milk in a saucepan to boiling point and then switch to a lower heat.
2. Add the vanilla and mix gently into the milk.
3. Turn the heat down to the lowest temperature.
4. Add the chocolate in at this point and whisk into the milk until completely melted and frothy.
5. Serve immediately in large mugs and top with a handful of marshmallows, which will bob and gently melt on the frothy milky surface. Drink, relax and enjoy!
– Gillian x