Saturday 15 September 2012

Walnut & Amaretto Brownies

Where have they days gone?! I can’t believe it’s been nearly two weeks since my last blog post. I have been so busy recently that the days have just flown by. I’d rather be busy than bored though.

Today I had arranged to meet someone for a walk round Sheffield in the sunshine. Last night I learnt that there was a large food festival going on in Sheffield city centre today and I really wanted to have a look around and hoped my walking partner might be persuaded to postpone our walk and explore the food festival instead. In order to try and sway them I decided to bake a batch of brownies to use as a bribe. So at 6am this morning I was in the kitchen baking away. Is there a nicer way to start the weekend then the aroma of warm melting chocolate?

I went to add some vanilla extract and found I had run out; remembering that vanilla extract is about 99% alcohol, I decided to add a little amaretto instead. It smelt so inviting stirring it into the molten chocolate that I added a bit more to make the flavour more pronounced. I also added a few chopped walnuts, as I love nuts in brownies, but my siblings don’t, so I never added them when I lived at home. Now I am free to add as many as I like :)

I recently rediscovered my favourite brownie recipe from my pre-gluten free days and decided to bake it again, slightly adapted to be gluten free. It was just as good as I remembered. Paper thin crisp sugar top crust, with a rich, moist and intensely chocolaty interior. Ever so slightly chewy with an occasional soft nugget of walnut. The amaretto wasn’t distinctively noticeable, but I’m sure it added to the flavour. They were certainly very addictive! Yes, I did eat one about 9am this morning – for quality control purposes of course!

I’m pleased to say my walking partner was more than happy to rearrange our walking plans and explore the food festival with me, so the brownies ended up being a thank you gift, rather than a bride. We actually managed to go for our walk as originally planned after exploring the festival. So we ended up with the best of both worlds and some chocolate brownies – a great start to the weekend!

Walnut & Amaretto Brownies
(Recipe adapted from Prue Leith’s Baking Bible)
140g butter
170g dark chocolate, around 60%
180g caster sugar
60g white teff flour (or other GF flour)
10g cocoa powder
1 tbsp amaretto liqueur
2 eggs
¼ tsp gluten free baking powder
40g chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 175C or 160C fan. Grease and line the base of a deep 8inch/20cm square tin and set to one side.
Break the dark chocolate into pieces and place into a large saucepan along with the butter. Melt gently, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter is just melted. Do not allow the mixture to boil or get too hot or else it will seize.  Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the amaretto and sugar. The mixture will be slightly grainy at this stage.
Beat the eggs in, one at a time, until thick and glossy.
Sift over the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and beat until no flour streaks remain.
Fold the walnuts through the brownie batter and pour into the tin.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes until slightly risen and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with a few sticky crumbs attached, not molten batter though.
Allow to cool almost completely in the tin, before removing. The brownie will loose its puffed up look and become level on cooling.
Cut into 12 pieces and store in an airtight container for up to three days. Also freezes well (I know from experience they taste delicious eaten straight out the freezer too!)


Caroline said...

Chocolate brownies and a food festival sounds like the perfect weekend to me. And freedom to add whatever you want to your delicious looking brownies too - even better!

Johanna GGG said...

that texture looks just amazing - rich, fudgy with crackle top - everything that brownies should be - they would make me do anything you asked :-) a food fest followed by a walk sounds just right too

Chele said...

Yes - melting chocolate and booze are always top contenders for my fave way to start a weekend too ;0)
Fantastic looking brownies, happy to hear you got the best of both worlds int he end.

Choclette said...

These look like the perfect brownie Katie, fudgy and chewy and I love the idea of a 6:00 baking session and brownies for breakfast. Sounds like a super day.

Unknown said...

I love melting chocolate. I love how it looks all weird and broken at first, and then POOF! It's magically all silky smooth and delicious.

These brownies look awesome. I love how tall they are and I love a good crinkly crust :)

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

Oh wow these look so tasty, super moist and fudgy just as brownies should be! I bet your friend was delighted!

Chocolate Shavings said...

The texture of those brownies looks just perfect - yum!

Hello said...

Nothing can beat a delish brownie, a perfect start to the weekend x

Chandra Merod said...

These sound delicious! I have been craving brownies lately! Yummm