Best Dessert Brownies Ever -FACT!

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Howdy Y’all,

Happy Wednesday, I hope your week is treating you well. If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I am on a personal crusade to make sure that Little L feels culturally comfortable living in the US. For those of you who don’t know, she is a dual US and UK citizen, but born and raised here in America. With Mr L and myself both being fully fledged Brits, freckles and all, I wanted to ensure that I didn’t make Little L feel ostracized by cultural differences. Now I say this very tongue in cheek, we are different, as George Bernard Shaw said: “England and America are two countries separated by a common language.” I can do little to change this, and as her teacher has already pointed out, Little L has informed her classmates that we “play in the garden, not outside” lol. One way I am trying to become a more American mom (please note spelling for emphasis of point) is trying to learn some popular local dishes. Mr L would say that I have the pulled pork and ribs down (please let me know if these are recipes you would like me to share on the blog.)  I can’t say that I will ever be one to cook macaroni and cheese or pb and jelly (no, neither of these are popular UK dishes much to the surprise of my US mom friends.) I do however wish to become a connoisseur of the brownie. You may know that a while back I wrote this post, The best brownie ever challenge.  I stand by these brownies – they are remarkably good – but not one to become complacent in my pursuit of perfection, I have discovered another recipe which I think is outstanding.

A blogger I follow TheAnnaEdit mentioned her favorite recipe by Anna Jones called Salted Caramel Brownies (no you don’t have to be called Anna to make these.)  I love salted caramel and, with friends coming for dinner, I had the perfect excuse to give them a try. Now like The Anna Edit, I cheated and bought caramel sauce: I used Trader Joe’s Caramel Sauce and it worked a treat.

Ingredients

150g 70% dark chocolate

150g unsalted butter

250g caster sugar (If you find caster sugar hard to find in US, use regular sugar but blitz in a food processor first to get the correct consistency. This I have found to work well – LL top tip.)

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

100g plain flour.

Method

Heat oven to 180C or 365F.

Grease and line a brownie tin approximately 20x20cm.

Place a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (make sure bowl bottom does not hit the water! That’s important!)

Add chocolate and butter to bowl and allow to melt stirring together so as not to burn.

Once they have melted and combined together, remove bowl from heat.

Stir in sugar (be careful the mix is hot.)

Then add the eggs one at a time, stirring throughout.

After well combined, add the vanilla essence and flour.

Stir until mixture is well combined.

This is where I did not follow the exact instructions and being pushed for time followed The Anna Edit method.

Place mixture in prepared tin.

Then take your bought caramel sauce and spoon several teaspoons into the prepared mixture, I used about 5 oz.

Then use a wooden skewer to feather the caramel through the mixture so it leaves a pretty pattern on the top.

If you like salted caramel, grind a little sea salt on top.

Place in oven on middle shelf for about 25mins.

It will be done when a crust appears on the top (mine took about 30 mins.)

Then take out of oven and let Brownies cool.

I made these in the morning, and reheated in the evening. Ladies and Gents these brownies were to die for. I would say they are more a dessert brownie, especially heated, because as you cut into them out oozes golden caramel. The amount I added was about right because they didn’t become too rich and the fact they are made with dark chocolate doesn’t make them too sweet. They are delicious served warm with homemade vanilla ice-cream (future post.) They are also a marvelous hangover cure but that is another story.

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on Anna Jones’ cookbook “A Modern Way to Eat” (highly recommended), you will note that she provides alternative/healthier ways to prepare the brownies which I want to try. Who is with me? She also gives you details on how to make the caramel yourself which I want to attempt next time. However, if you are stuck for time or baking is not your thing, this method was outstanding. Best dessert brownies I have ever had and my guests agreed. I am well on the way to doing Little L proud on the brownie stakes, it is muffins next! (A mummy’s work is never done!) So my previous post The best brownie ever challenge  produces the best brownies for everyday baked goods and these brownies are best for dessert!

Enjoy the rest of your week folks. Have you tried this recipe before? Have I inspired you to try? If so send me a pic! I would love to see them.

Ta Ta for now

TLL x

 

What’s For Dinner LL? April 11-15 2016

Howdy Y’all,

I wanted to introduce a new post idea, perhaps you could give me some feedback if you like it. I love to cook. I have to cook. I have a family to feed, to stop this becoming a monotonous chore I like to have variety and I like to be organized. I am not the sort of person who can  stand in a grocery store and be inspired, I often find that I would forget an item. I am a planner and a list maker and I do meal plan. This works for my family and I wanted to share with you some of the recipes we love or not. So I introduce What’s For Dinner Lifestyle Lady? This will be pictures and links to recipes we ate the previous weeks, some will be family favorite recipes and others new recipes where I will be giving feedback.

Last week was a relatively quiet one, we were getting over one set of visitors and waiting for the next guests. Just to prove that my household and I are totally normal last Monday I was not feeling totally on par and when Mr L came home I had prepared nothing, so we had an Eatzis Chicken Pie and frozen veg. We did not take any pictures as this did not require cooking just heating up.

Tuesday

Salmon1

Sweet and sour salmon caponata salad This is a Lifestyle household regular. We love fish and this is a great way of incorporating it in a more interesting way, than a simple fillet. Little L is a great eater and what is fantastic is I can get some different vegetables like eggplant, celery, olives and capers down her as well as good fish. If you find fish a little expensive it doesn’t need to be fresh, you could use frozen. I also like it because there is always left overs and it is great for lunch the next day reheated.

Salmon

Wednesday

Greek Chicken 1

Skillet Chicken with Orzo and Olives I am a massive fan of one pot dinners, mainly because I don’t have lots of time to produce a banquet and it saves on washing up (enough said.) This is another family hit especially with Little L she loves Greek flavors. I also like this recipe because it hides vegies and flavors which Little L might screw her nose up at if I served alone. Give this a try.

Greek Chicken

Thursday

Black Bean 1

Black Bean Burgers and Southwestern Potato Salad I do try where possible to eat at least one vegetarian meal a week. I also challenge myself to produce something that will fill Mr L up. This is a yummy recipe. Little L is less keen she doesn’t seem to like black beans, she is such a good eater so perhaps I should try and cut my losses and accept the fact rather than serving it in different ways. (But a Texan who doesn’t eat black beans?) The potato salad has a great bite to it, if heat/spice is not your thing cut back on it. Try its yummy.

Friday

Meatballs

Skillet Meatballs and Marinara Sauce Another family hit, you can vary the pasta to what you have in your pantry, which is great for me who is working her pantry down. You might tell from my pictures I combined the ends of two boxes of different pasta. I also find it produces too much pasta so I keep the rest in the fridge to reheat with a sauce for lunch of another meal. You also have meatballs spare which will produce another meal or are yummy in sandwiches. Fabulous taste and value recipe. A family fav.

IMG_6374

Do you have recipe’s you recommend I try? Are there any here you would like me to do a demo of? What things do your family eat?

Thanks for dropping by.

Ta ta for now.

TLL x

Happy Easter – Making Memories

Howdy Y’all,

Happy hump day! Hope you are all doing well. It is Easter week which I can not really get my head around as it is so early. I feel it has crept upon me, that might be because I have my brain full of other things. If you have been following the blog for a while you will know that I can be a  bit sanctimonious about making memories. I am not sure if it is  because I live far away from family or I am simply a traditionalist but I want to create traditions and memories that Little L can carry into adulthood. I am not sure if it is a British thing but every Easter particularly when I was small I remember making egg nests, this is a very easy tradition I wanted to pass onto Little L. We love to bake, Little L and I. Tbh many of the recipes we have tried to date have relied on me being a hawk eye, mainly because they contain eggs and Little L has a wonderful habit of trying the recipe at every stage. (Although I grew up licking the bowl of raw cake batter which contained eggs and have lived to tell the tale- just!) This recipe contains none of those challenges and is so easy I followed no recipe just created by eye.

Ingredients

Chocolate, I used two bars, one milk and one white, mainly because that is what I had and like.

Butter, about two tablespoons.

Syrup, if in UK you could use golden syrup if in US I used Blue Agave.

Cereal, I used frosted flakes, you could use rice crispies, whatever you and your littlie like.

Cupcake cases, roughly a dozen.

Mini Eggs, tis the season and they are yummy.

Method

Brake the chocolate into small pieces, I let Little L do this in a zip lock bag with a rolling pin. (She was in heaven.)

Place the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl over a saucepan and let it simmer and melt. (Make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the top of the water.)

While the chocolate is melting, place the cereal in a separate bowl, I measured by eye. You want enough cereal so that chocolate covers it when mixed. I don’t like the mix too rich so I added a little more cereal.

I then told Little L that the most important part of the recipe was to mix the cereal with a spoon continually, this is a great way to keep them busy and if a sneaky hand peeks in for a taste, what trouble can they get in to?

Once the chocolate mixture is melted, I added about one tablespoon of syrup, this helps the mixture stick. I then mixed.

While the syrup is warming in the mixture I asked Little L to place twelve cupcake cases into a muffin tin. (Great way to test number skills!)

Once the syrup/choc mix is well combined, remove bowl from heat and pour into cereal mix. Obviously this requires an adult but once the mix is added Little L loved mixing.

Once well mixed, you then spoon the mixture into the cases, pressing down hard, if possible press harder in the center so the sides are slightly raised (like a nest.) Then place three mini eggs in the center. Your littlie may insist on spoon licking.

Then place the tray into the fridge for about 20 mins. The trick is to get the tray into the fridge before your littlie gobbles all the mini eggs.

After twenty minutes, serve and enjoy. They look so cute and kids love them.

 

chopped choc
Preparing the chocolate, the self-discipline required not to nibble I don’t have – sorry!
Head Chef
The head chef – she is a hard task master
Melting
Choc and butter melting
Melting pot
Side profile
Preping the nests
Head Chef skillful mixing
Yummy mix
Personally I don’t like the mixture too chocolaty because it can be a little rich. This for us was perfect.
Tasting
Essential taste testing
Nests
Product pre eggs and fridge
Yummy
The final result – so cute

Final

Happy Easter
Got to love Target and their Easter décor
Love Her
Call me a proud sous chef, but how cute is my head chef? Plus who wouldn’t want to make memories with a happy smiling face like that?

This is such a simple but fun afternoon activity why not give it a try?

From the Lifestyle household to yours, Happy Easter!

Ta ta for now.

TLL x