Thursday, 4 February 2016

Valentine's Day Brownies

With its paper thin crust, fudgey centre, rich chocolate, & hidden soft toffee chunks, these wonderful brownies are certainly going to be a big hit with your sweetheart this year!

Rich Chocolate Brownies containing hidden rolos

I'm sure I don't need to give any introduction to chocolate brownies: soft, fudgey, chocolatey, rich....simply heaven on a plate!

As Valentine's Day is fast approaching I thought that a simple brownie recipe would be the perfect nod to it, providing a lovely, easy, recipe suitable for sharing with your sweetheart.  After all, chocolate is synonymous with Valentine's Day alongside roses and teddies.

But these are a little more than a simple chocolate brownies as they each hide a little surprise in their centres!

Rich Chocolate Brownies containing hidden rolos perfect for Valentine's Day

Do you remember the Rowntree Role advert from some years ago (though they're now made by Nestle) which coined the phrase "do you love anybody enough to give them your last rolo?"  I was but a young teenager back then and that year on Valentine's Day I received an anonymous card and small ring sized box containing, not a ring, but a rolo!  I was so embarrassed and honestly wondered if it really was his last rolo :-)


So inside these already deliciously rich brownies is a rolo.  Extra chocolate.  Soft toffee.  Oh my, it's a wonder these beauties successfully made their way to the plate ready for a few pictures to be taken!  In fact it's a wonder that Mr E & I managed to parcel some of these bad boys up for his work colleagues.  Needless to say they'd all been eaten within 5 minutes of him arriving in the office!

Now, brownies are often made from dark chocolate, which I personally find to be too rich.  So, in order to reduce that richness but still retain the wonderful chocolate flavour, which we all love, I have used a 50/50 ratio of milk and plain chocolate in this recipe.  For me that was just right, though if you like your dark chocolate do feel free to replace the milk chocolate with more of the dark stuff.
 

Brownies, although simple in their preparation, need to be monitored closely when the bake nears completion.  As we know, a brownie should be soft and fudgey and too long in the oven can transform them into a cake...but served with some warm custard all is not lost ;-)  When ready, the brownie will no longer wobble when the baking tray is rocked, though soft fudgey crumbs will cling to a skewer when it is inserted into the baked mixture.  A cleaner skewer indicates that the brownie has baked for too long....and the bird's custard powder may need to be dug out of the cupboard ;-)

James Morton (remember him from GBBO a few years ago) shares with us his tip for stopping the brownie cooking further once it has been removed from the oven, in his book 'How Baking Works'.   He advises to submerge the brownie pan for a few minutes in a little cold water to cool it down.  I followed his tip and it hey presto it worked a treat!

With its paper thin crust, fudgey centre, rich chocolate, and hidden soft toffee you're certainly going to be a big hit with your sweetheart this year!

Do you love anybody enough to give them your last rolo brownie? ;-)
Chocolate Brownies with hidden soft toffee pieces


So, let's get to it and bake!


Valentine's Day Brownies  Yum

Yield: 9 Slices
Serves: 9
Difficulty: Easy
Freezable: Sorry, not tested
Time: hands on time about 15 minutes; bake time 40 - 50 minutes; plus cooling time.

You will need:

20cm Square Brownie Tin
Greaseproof Paper
Bowl and small pan for melting the chocolate
Spatula
large Mixing Bowl
Balloon Whisk
Sieve
Large Roasting Tin
Pallet Knife (or similar)
Skewer / Tooth Pick

For the Brownie

200g Butter, plus extra for greasing
100g good quality Plain Chocolate, broken into chunks
100g good quality Milk Chocolate, broken into chunks
3 Eggs + extra Egg Yolk
150g Caster Sugar
125g Light Muscovado Sugar
100g Plain Flour (I used gluten free plain flour)
1 x 52g  tube Rolos (NB Sadly these chocolates may contain traces of gluten so aren't suitable for those following a gluten free diet)

How to make it:
1.  Pre-heat the oven to 160c / 140 Fan / Gas 3

2.   Prepare the brownie tin.  Grease and fully line the brownie tin with greaseproof paper, ensuring there is excess paper beyond the edge of the tin to aid the removal of the brownie once cooked.

3.  Melt the butter and chocolate.  Pour an inch or two of water into the bottom of a pan which is small enough to allow a bowl to be placed on top without its base touching the water. Place the pan on the hob over a low heat.  Cube the butter and place into the bowl.  Add the broken milk and plain chocolate.    Allow the butter and chocolate to slowly melt, stirring periodically with a spatula.  Once the mixture is fully melted and lump free remove the bowl from the pan.  Sit the bowl on a clean cloth / kitchen roll to dry the underside.

4.   Mix the eggs and sugar.   Place the sugar and eggs (including the extra egg yolk) into the large mixing bowl.  Use a balloon whisk to mix until just combined.

5.   Combine the two mixture.  Pour the melted chocolate and butter mixture into the bowl containing the combined eggs and sugar.  Use the balloon whisk to combine.

6.   Fold in the flour.  Sieve the flour into the mixture.  Use a spatula to fold the flour into the mixture.  Fold  until the flour has been combined, paying attention to the bottom of bowl.  Avoid over mixing especially if using a flour containing gluten

7.  Add the rolo chunks.  Pour the mixture into the prepared brownie tin.  Evenly distribute 9 rolos over the surface of the brownie batter, aiming to position them in the approximate centre of where each slice will be once baked. 

8.  Bake.  Place the brownie tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 40 - 50 minutes.  You may need to rotate the tin half way through the bake.   After 40 minutes of baking check the brownie every few minutes to avoid over baking it (see notes below).

9.  Cool.  Pour some water into the base of the large roasting tin, about a centimetre deep.  Remove the cooked brownie from the oven and sit the brownie tin (containing the brownie) into the tray carefully so as to avoid splashing the brownie.

10.  Slice.  Once fully cooled use the excess greaseproof paper to lift the brownie from the tin and sit it on a board.  Slice into 9 equal pieces.  Use a pallet knife to remove the slices from the greaseproof paper.



Enjoy!


Notes:

a)  Cubing the butter and chocolate small will help the mixture melt evenly.
b)  There's no need to push the rolos into the brownie mixture as they will slowly sink into it during the bake and meld together.
c)  It's key to avoid over baking the brownie.  Removing it too soon will result in it being too soft, though over baking it will create something more cake like.  After 40 minutes of slow cooking, regularly check the brownie.  When ready, it will no longer wobble in the centre, though an inserted skewer will still hold onto some fudgey crumbs.  If there are no crumbs the brownie has been over baked.
d)  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
e)  Allow the brownies to come back to room temperature before enjoying any slices which have been chilled.









This post has been shared with:


FiveStar Frou-Frou hosted by Mimi over at A Tray of Bliss

We Should Cocoa hosted by Choclette over at Tin and Thyme


Simply Eggcellent hosted by Dominic over at Belleau Kitchen

Treat Petite, hosted by The Baking Explorer, Cakeyboi and guest hosting this month by Lisa over at United Cakedom
The Mummy Toolbox Life Loving Linkie Charlotte's Lively Kitchen - Food Year Linkup Link up your recipe of the week Gym Bunny Mummy Casa Costello






36 comments:

  1. Delicious brownies Angela, I love the idea of soft toffee inside, my 2 favourite ingredients. Pinned x

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    1. :-) You and me both Sarah! It's a wonder any of them successfully got to Mr E's work place they were so delicious.
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  2. This just looks so tasty... I love chocolate brownies, I've tried making one using nutella but it didn't come out as moist, rich and fudgey as this. Thanks for sharing the recipe! #LifeLovingLinkie

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    1. Ooh a nutella brownie sounds fabulous - you should give it another go as it's Nutella Day today!
      Thanks for your kind comments,
      Angela x

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  3. This looks easy to make, I will give it a try. Please link it up to #overthemoon and #thursdayfavoritethings! Have a great week.

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    1. They really are Marilyn, and you're rewarded with a fabulous brownie for watching the oven so vigilantly ;-)
      Thanks for the invite, I'll pop over,
      Angela x

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  4. I can never say no to a brownie! but the secret rolo is such a cool idea - unfortunately in our house we aren't very good sharers so no one would dare share the last one :p and I think if I make these it will be the same! look amazing though! #YumTum

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    1. Hahaha, you'll just have to make a secret batch Charlotte ;-)
      Thanks for popping by and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

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  5. Did you ever find out who the mystery roll was from? I remember being very careful about not accidentally giving someone my last Rolo when I was younger just in case they got the wrong impression!

    I love the idea of hiding a Rolo inside each one, such a sweet idea for Valentine's Day.

    I've not got that James Morton book but it sounds really useful so I might have to go and get myself a copy.

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    1. Hahaha, that sounds like the sort of thing I would have done too :-) I did ultimately find out yes, he was in the same year group as me at school.
      That James Morton book is really good in my opinion. It's quite different to most other baking books as it goes through certain bakes such as brownies or macarons and explains why we carry out certain steps and then goes on to talk about troubleshooting should the bake not be as successful as it should be. He then shares a handful of recipes for that particular bake. I'd definitely recommend it Charlotte, though he didn't mention wetting the greaseproof paper when making egg white based macarons as we discussed last week ;-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Charlotte.

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  6. Oh my these look SO good! I haven't made brownies in forever, I really need to soon!

    Jasmin Charlotte

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    1. Ooh, you certainly have to remedy that Jasmin! They're really easy to make, and you're rewarded with a seriously delicious treat - (just remember to set a timer so that you don't loose track of time as it bakes).
      Thanks for your kind comments Jasmin,
      Angela x

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  7. These would certainly be a hit with me. How I'd love someone to bake me a batch for Valentine's Day - or any other day come to that ;) Toffee definitely sounds like a good addition. Thanks for joining in with We Should Cocoa.

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    1. You and me both Choclette, I adore chocolate (plus everything I shouldn't enjoy) too. These brownies are beautifully soft and fudgey but the rolo makes for a lovely addition when you come across due to the change in flavour and texture.
      Thanks for your kind comments, and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

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  8. oh my... how utterly stunning do these look? I love them. I love how brownies are so simple but there are so many varied recipes for them! Glorious stuff. Thanks for linking to Simply Eggcellent x

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    1. Aw thank you so much Dominic :-) Brownies are just brilliant to quickly whip up and put a smile on people's faces.
      Thanks for your kind comments, and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

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  9. These brownies would surely win my heart! Thanks for entering into Treat Petite.

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  10. Too rich????? How can a brownie EVER be too rich???? ;-) The richer the better in my book! Love the idea of adding a rolo in the middle - so cute!! Thanks for your brownie making tips. I do love a squidgy brownie but it still feels all wrong to pull them out of the oven when the skewer is not yet coming out clean. I do force myself to obviously, but it just feels wrong! Eb x

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    1. Hahaha, I'm just not a dark chocolate lover...what can I say, I'm simply not sophisticated enough ;-) I know what you mean about pulling the brownie out of the oven when the skewer isn't clean, it does feel wrong doesn't it, but these things have to be done for the love of a soft fudgey brownie :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting Eb,
      Angela x

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  11. They look squidgy and I love squidgy!

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    1. Ooh they were - in a very good way. Brownies just have to be squidgy :-)
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  12. Another triumph Angela! Thanks for sharing at Five Star Frou-Frou. Love, Mimi xxx

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  13. Genius idea! They look so tasty. Loving the roses as well

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    1. :-) Thank you so much Alison, though I wouldn't go as far as to say 'genius'....I'll take it though ;-) The roses are gorgeous aren't they....you'll have to keep your eyes peeled for an up and coming post which features them again!
      Thanks for popping by and commenting,
      Angela x

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  14. If you gave me a slice of this, I wouldn't think twice about eating it (stuffing it down actually) and wouldn't have even occurred to me to share/give it to someone else. This looks so delicious, can you just pop one or two down to me please????

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

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  15. What a great idea! I remember that ad from my childhood too. Now I'm in New Zealand I think rolos are only available at the 'international food' section, and are probably about 5 times more expensive, but I might have to give this a go anyway! Visiting from the #YumYum Linky

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    1. It's funny how some adverts stick in our memory for all of those years - though it probably helps that the product is particularly yummy! I still remember flake being 'only the crumbliest flakiest chocolate ...' with the lady sat on the window sill :-)
      I hope you enjoy it Karen as much as we did given the inflated price of the chocolate.
      Thanks for popping over and commenting,
      Angela x

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  16. I LOVE the idea of adding a Rolo! We love brownies in our house so I'll definitely be trying out this version. Thanks so much for linking up to #SundaySweets, hope you'll be back today

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    1. Soft fudgey brownies are just brilliant aren't they :-) Do let me know how you get on Toni,
      Thanks for popping by and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

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  17. I saw your comment about not having tested their 'freezability' I'd say that they would probably freeze incredibly well. I always find that the chocolate flavour of brownies becomes more dense when they've been frozen. Thanks once again for joining in with #Bakeoftheweek. New roundup now open xx

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    1. Ah, that's interesting. I shall certainly have to have a little more will power next time and pop a slice in the freezer.
      Thank you for popping by and commenting Helen, and of course for hosting. I shall be there for the new linky.
      Angela x

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  18. I wouldn't share my last Rolo with anyone, I would put them in these brownies! Thank you for sharing them with this month's Treat Petite!!

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    1. Hahaha, but would you then share the brownie Lisa ;-)?
      Thanks for popping by Lisa, and of course for hosting,
      Angela x

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