Brownies are a favourite of my daughter and over the years I have seen her make this treat with varying results. I personally do not like varying results, as consistency is something that I aspire to. When it comes to brownies I rather that the texture be light and airy, rather than dense and stodgy.
When I work on a recipe, I need it to be reliable for me to go back and repeat that bake time and time again. I might alter the recipe time and again, but the fundamentals remain the same. So what do I mean by this? For example, in this recipe I have used flaked almonds to garnish the brownies, but it is still an almond brownie because it contains ground almonds. I could take out the flake almonds and replace it with white chocolate chunks or add it in addition to the flaked almonds, but the ingredients and steps to achieve the texture I described remains the same.
This is what I love about baking, once you have developed a recipe you can experiment with slight variations for a better product, but you do not steer too far from the fundamentals. This principle applies to cooking too. This also brings me to the question of alternative or substitute ingredients, for example you can bake a cake without butter but this might mean you use more eggs whisking the yolks with sugar and also whisking the egg white to create the airy sponge texture, but the end goal is to achieve a texture that is no different to a cake. The same applies when you make a gluten free cake too, because in the end if does not look like a cake, does not feel like a cake and does not taste like a cake, then it is not a cake.
This is where the art of baking becomes very interesting, because it is very experimental and baking with substitutes does not necessarily mean you use a substitute with exactly the same weight. You might need to use more or less depending on the texture of the ingredient. So as you try out this recipe why not experiment, try using flaked coconuts, hazelnuts, white chocolate chunks and post images via twitter and I look forward to seeing what you have done.
- 4 large eggs
- 200g icing sugar
- 200g light brown soft sugar
- 140g double cream
- 160g plain flour
- 140g ground almonds
- 240g unsalted butter
- 270g dark chocolate
- 100 flaked almonds to sprinkle
- Preset the oven to 160 degrees Celsius
- Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- Gently toast the ground almonds in the oven for about 10 minutes
- Place the butter and the chocolate in a heat resistant bowl and melt in a microwave (1 minute to start with, then increments of 30 seconds until completely melted)
- Using a stand mixer place the eggs, brown sugar and icing sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk for about 10 minutes until volume almost doubles
- Add the chocolate and butter mixture to the egg and sugar mixture combining together using a spatula.
- Add in the double cream
- Add the flour and bring it altogether using the spatula
- Add the ground toasted almonds to the batter and combine
- Pour the batter into the lined tray and spread out using a palate knife and sprinkle the flaked almonds on top of the batter
- Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for approximately 20 minutes
- Allow to cool in the tray and then turn out and then cut into the required sizes.