Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Brownie Bowls

To make this recipe you really need to buy the 6-cavity dessert shell tin. The recipe is from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson, it's just a shame Nigella didn't include a few more recipe variations because baking tins can be quite expensive and using them for one recipe isn't ideal.

I greased my tin with Wilton Cake Release to make sure the brownie bowls didn't stick to the tin and would turn out easily. Next time I make them I'm going to use cake release and then dust the tin with cocoa powder to see if this gives the base of the bowls more eye appeal.

An easy recipe to make and the cooking time is only 12 minutes. They turn out easily, can be frozen and reheat successfully in the microwave.

I made a chocolate sauce to fill my bowls (this isn't a Nigella recipe) and topped them with vanilla ice cream. Nigella says to eat the bowls warm and and then top them with ice cream. It just remains for me to say, delicious!

You will need:

125g unsalted soft butter, 125g caster sugar, 15g malted milk powder (Horlicks or similar), 15g best-quality cocoa powder, 125ml boiling water, 125 buttermilk or runny plain yogurt, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 150g plain flour ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6 and either butter or use Cake Release to grease the tin.
2. Melt the butter over a low heat, add the sugar, keep stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar into the butter. Take off the heat.
3. Put the cocoa powder and malted milk powder into a basin and whisk in the boiling water, whisk until smooth and there aren't any lumps. Add this to the warm pan of butter and sugar, stir well to combine.
4. To a basin add the buttermilk or yogurt, egg and vanilla and whisk together, stir this mixture into the pan. Whisk in the flour and bicarb.
5. Pour the mixture into a jug and fill the 6 bowls.
6. Place in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes. When cooked they will feel slightly bouncy if you press on the surface - sit the tin on a wire rack for 5 minutes before turning out the little brownie bowls. Fill whilst still just warm or when cooled.

The bowls can be baked up to a day ahead and stored in an airtight container, layered with baking parchment. Reheat in a warm oven for 5-8 minutes before serving. I found they reheated well in the microwave oven.
The bowls can be frozen, layered with baking parchment, for up to 2 months. Defrost for 3-4 hours on a wire rack at room temperature. Reheat.

Chocolate Sauce

You will need: 25g butter, 142ml double cream, 75g good quality dark chocolate broken into small pieces, splash of brandy, rum, Amaretto or Baileys.

Place the butter in a pan with the cream and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate pieces to the pan. Stir, leave for 5 minutes for the chocolate to melt into the cream. Add a splash of either brandy, rum, Amaretto or Baileys.

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