There’s no better way to say it than with a box of homemade brownies. We’ve been baking brownies for the last few months and delivering them across London.
From inception, we’ve had a tradition of sending a box of treats to our candidates on their first or second day at work, we think it helps break the ice and is a small something from us to congratulate them on their success.
Brownies are a great way to introduce yourself to your new team and we always make sure that the boxes are full to bursting. More brownies, more friends we reckon.
We used to buy little cakes from a store down the road in Borough Market but having been treated to Emma’s brownies (Emma works with us as an account manager) we asked her to start making brownies for all of our candidate too.
Emma now has a great little side business and we receive a regular delivery of brownies straight from her kitchen, which are then lovingly boxed and wrapped by Amanda and sent out all over London.
After much cajoling, Emma has agreed to divulge her secret brownie recipe.
Here is the not so secret recipe;
You need all of the following;
¾ of a bar of butter (a normal bar is about 200g)
A slab of cooking chocolate, the darker the better (185g)
A big handful of plain flour (85g)
40 g of cocoa powder (the same amount that you would use for about three hot chocolates)
50g of white chocolate (the equivalent of two Cadbury dreams)
50g of milk chocolate
3 large eggs
275g golden caster sugar
To prepare them;
1. Throw smallish cubes of butter in to a medium sized bowl. Taking care not to eat it all, throw in all of the dark chocolate in small pieces. Quarter fill a small saucepan with hot water and sit the bowl on the top so that it perches on the rim without touching the water. Stir the chocolate over a low heat until it melts and then remove the bowl from the pan to cool down to room temperature.
2. Whilst that’s cooling off, prepare your oven (heating it to 160C/conventional180C/gas 4. Most ovens take 10-15 minutes to heat up). Using a shallow square tin (you won’t be able to get them out if the tin is too deep!), cut out a square of non-stick paper to line the base. Tip the flour and cocoa powder into a sieve held over a medium bowl, tapping and shaking the sieve so they run through together and you get rid of any lumps.
3. Chop the white and milk chocolate into chunks on a board (the bigger the knife, the better).
4. Break the eggs into a large bowl (one handed if you’re an expert) and tip in the sugar. With an electric mixer on maximum speed, whisk the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy, like a milk shake (look is the operative word here, it won’t taste like a milkshake at this stage). When the mixture becomes pale and is about twice the size, it’s ready.
5. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse and gently fold together with a spatula. Plunge the spatula in at one side, take it underneath and bring it up the opposite side and in again at the middle. Continue going under and over in a figure of eight, moving the bowl round after each folding so you can get at it from all sides, until the two mixtures are one and the colour is a mottled dark brown. The idea is to marry them without knocking out the air, so be as gentle and slow as you like. Patience is a virtue in this case as you’ll get better brownies at the end.
6. Resift the cocoa and flour mix from earlier in to the mixture and mix in using the same technique as before. Remember to be gentle. The mixture will look dry and dusty at first, and a bit unpromising, but if you keep going very gently and patiently, it will end up looking gungy and fudgy. Stop just before you feel you should, as you don’t want to overdo this mixing. Finally, stir in the white and milk chocolate chunks until they’re dotted throughout. Now your mixing is done and the oven can take over.
7. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping every bit out of the bowl with the spatula. Gently ease the mixture into the corners of the tin and paddle the spatula from side to side across the top to level it. Put in the oven and set your timer for 25 minutes. To check if it is ready or not, shake the tin from side to side. If the brownie wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done and will need another 5 minutes or so.
8. You’ll need to leave the giant brownie until it’s completely cold (unless you’re serving them with
ice cream). Once cold, you can lift the brownie out and chop it in to little or large pieces. This is a good time to reward the chef with a cheeky brownie of two.