Chocolate brownies are pure indulgence in my opinion, and perfect for chocoholics like me. They never fail to impress and are always first to sell out at the local cake sale. I like to eat mine with a hot frothy cappuccino on the side.
But I keep wondering if I could make those little squares of gooey dark loveliness even better. My mind whirred into action recently when I read about an opportunity on Bakingmad.com to have a recipe published in a new baking book that is being created in partnership with Silver Spoon and Macmillian Cancer Support. The book is called Little Book of Treats and will be sold in Marks and Spencer stores around the country in August and September this year. Fingers crossed my recipe gets chosen to go in the book.
The brief was to be innovative and exciting, but with a touch of luxuriousness. What better excuse to get my thinking cap on and turn my kitchen into a brownie experimentation lab.
I knew right from the start that my experimentation should primarily involve adding ingredients to the brownie mix, and over the next few days my mind was full of ideas. Most thoughts got dismissed straight away either because they had been done before or they just did not seem special enough. But then an idea came to me which I thought was perfect.
Let me introduce to you my ‘Cute as a Button’ Frownies. No that’s not a spelling mistake. A Frownie is my very own combination of flapjack and brownie, bringing the best elements of two popular tea time treats into one delicious square of cake.
The main added ingredients are oats, hazelnuts and dates. The end result is a chocolate treat that is more satisfying and gives the lucky person eating it both brownie gooeyness and flapjack chewiness.
Why are they so cute? Because I’ve topped them with my own homemade chocolate buttons which happen to be my favourite decoration at the moment. These could quite easily be topped with a shop brought chocolate button too.
My Frownies are easy to make, look scrumptious and taste amazing. I don’t think you need any more convincing. Here’s the recipe.
What you need:
- 200g luxury dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 175g unsalted butter
- 250g caster sugar
- 100g plain flour
- 100g chopped dates (mine were pre chopped so I let them sit in hot water for 10 mins before I used them just to soften them up a bit. Don’t forget to drain the water before you add to the mix)
- 50g chopped hazelnuts
- 50g oats
- 3 large eggs
- 50g white chocolate and a button mould (I got mine from the lovely Sew White) if making own or a packet of chocolate buttons
- 21 x 27 cm baking tin greased and lined with greaseproof paper
- Makes 12 medium squares or 24 mini squares
How to make:
- Preheat the oven to 170c/325f/gas 3
- Put the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt together
- Mix in the sugar and stir until dissolved, then add the flour, dates, oats and hazelnuts and give it a good stir
- Finally add the eggs and stir again until completely mixed in then pour into the baking tin and gently smooth over
- Put in the oven for 25-30 mins. I tested mine after 25 mins with a knife and it came out with a bit of residue on, but I think for brownies this is fine as they are meant to be gooey inside. If it is a wet residue then it needs a bit longer
- Leave in tin for 10 mins then cool on a wrack. Cut into desired pieces and decorate with buttons sticking them on with a little bit of melted chocolate
I’m also going to enter this into a favorite blog challenge of mine, Alphabakes hosted this month by Ros from ‘The More Than Occasional Baker‘ blog. Ros shares the hosting of this challenge Caroline from ‘Caroline Makes‘ blog. This month the letter is B and on the basis that my Frownie creation is a variation of a Brownie, I can link to the letter B and enter 🙂
Don’t forget that my Natural Selection baking hamper giveaway is still running until 24th April and it includes chopped dates! Just comment on the giveaway blog post to be in with a chance of winning.
17/04/2012. Tags: alphabake, baking mad, Brownie, button mould, caroline makes, chocolate, dates, easy baking, flapjack, Frownie, hazelnuts, homemade chocolate button, Little Book of Treats, Macmillian Cancer Support, More than Occasional Baker, oats, quick and easy, Sew White. Homemade gifts, Sweet Baking, Uncategorized. 19 comments.