I've started to bake every weekend. I don't know how this happened or why this happened (it is not good for the waistline) but it's happened and I'm not going to complain about it. As I still work in a small office (there's only three of us shoved into a tiny room), I have to give my friends my creations to take into their offices because otherwise the three of us sat in our tiny room would become absolutely massive and our room even tinier. I wish I'd done this when I worked in a bigger office which had a designated cake club, but that's by the by.
I have to say that using Pinterest is not helping. Every time I open the app there's a recipe staring back at me that I know I'm going to have to save and I know that I'll be searching for the ingredients to add to my weekly Tesco shop before I even know what's hit me. I mean, I already have Easter recipes planned for god's sake. Ask me about Christmas recipes in July and I'll probably have eight ready and waiting to go.
I completely blame Pinterest for this creation. I kept seeing meringue brownies pop up (I suppose that's half the problem with algorithms) and before too long I was slaving over a whisk whipping up some of my own. And trust me, there is nothing better than mixing brownies with meringue. You get a wonderfully chewy and gooey brownie plus a crunchy and marshmallow meringue, all topped off with a little bit more chocolate in case you hadn't quite had your full sugar hit just yet. I know the mere mention some meringue will strike the fear of god into some people, but it's hard to get wrong when you don't have to pipe or shape it. All you have to do is add it to the top. If you don't like brownie (seriously, who are you?) then you can always make a meringue layer cake instead. I've always liked this recipe.
I'd love to say I had a traditional family recipe for brownies, but I don't. In fact, I use this recipe from the BBC's food website. One of my old interns introduced me to it, it had me and my colleague desperate to know where he got the recipe from. When he said it was the BBC's and it was called "best ever brownies" I could really see why. So this recipe really does just have that one to thank, because, without it, it would be nothing.
And never mind the taste - look how bloody pretty they are!
Make them, scoff them, and let me know what you thought!
- 185g unsalted butter
- 185g best dark chocolate
- 85g plain flour
- 40g cocoa powder
- 50g white chocolate
- 50g milk chocolate
- 3 large egg
- 275g golden caster sugar
- 4 large free range egg whites
- 200g white caster sugar
- 50g good-quality dark chocolate
- 25g butter
- 125ml double cream
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- Put the oven on to 160C.
- Grease a 20cm square tin.
- Cut 185g unsalted butter into small cubes and tip into a bowl.
- Break 185g best dark chocolate into small pieces and place into the bowl.
- Melt both together in the microwave, bursts at a time so as not to burn the chocolate and butter.
- Leave the chocolate to cool to room temperature.
- Sieve 85g of plain flour and 40g of cocoa powder into a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 large eggs and 275g of golden caster sugar, until they turn thick and creamy.
- Pour the cooled chocolate over the egg and sugar mixture and fold together being careful not to knock the air out.
- Re-sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the eggs and butter and fold this in.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and ease into the corners of the tin.
- In a new bowl, make the meringue.
- Make sure the bowl is completely grease free.
- Crack four egg whites into a bowl and whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
- While continuously whisking, slowly add the caster sugar, 1tbsp at a time.
- Eventually, you will have stiff glossy meringue mixture.
- Place the meringue mixture over the top of the brownie
- Whack into the oven for 25 minutes.
- Keep an eye on it to make sure the meringue doesn't crack - if it does the oven temperature may need to be lowered.
- While the brownie mix is baking, make the chocolate sauce.
- Break the chocolate into small bits and then microwave in small bursts.
- Heat the butter, double cream and sugar in a small pan until combined.
- Remove from the heat and stir through the melted chocolate.
- Leave to cool.
- When the 25 minutes for the brownie is up, give the tin a shake and if the brownie wobbles in the middle it is not yet done.
- Slide back into the oven for another five minutes.
- Do not attempt to take the brownie out of the oven until it has cooled!
- Once it has, removed from the tin and drizzle the chocolate sauce all over the top.