So this review actually started in November last year, but I wanted to test it in as many ways as possible. (And to date this is still the only recipe I’ve made from this book!)
I’d offered to bake for a friend who’d had to switch to a gluten free diet and who didn’t have much patience in the kitchen, so my first attempt at this recipe was as a gluten free one, which was easy really. I just swapped the flour for Doves Farm gluten free plain flour and perhaps 1/8th of a teaspoon of xanthan gum (though I do believe I’ve made them without the Xanthan gum too). I also used half the amount of chocolate chips required (100g of plain chocolate, not 200g) which was a happy accident (there’s 350g of plain chocolate in the main recipe so it’s not like you miss it, trust me.)
Those of you familiar with aga’s will understand this next bit:
The recipe directs you put the brownies in the Roasting Oven with a cold shelf (this is the hotter oven, the cold shelf cuts the heat to it) OR the Baking Oven (cooler oven, for baking) for 30-40 minutes, however I’ve found with my aga that having cakes in the baking oven without the cold shelf cooks the outside far too fast in comparison to the inside, so you end up with a burnt, undercooked cake. So I put these in the baking oven with the cold shelf. Turned them around about 25 minutes in and took them out after roughly 45 minutes. To be honest I had been expecting longer as the cold shelf often doubles the time of cakes I make.
(Baking time in a conventional oven seems to be the same as your average brownie recipe, or the time provided at an estimated at 160 degrees for a fan assisted, 180 degrees or gas mark 4)
But let me tell you, these bad boys are crazily nice!! I have since made the recipe with the correct amount of chocolate chips and this wasn’t nearly as enjoyable. The brownies had to be cut literally to bite sized pieces because they were far too rich and this kinda spoilt the fun of a handful of yum.
I’ve made this recipe by the book, gluten free, gluten and dairy free, with mixed chocolate chunks, the normal amount of chunks and with only half (pretty sure I forgot the vanilla once too) and it’s pretty hard to make them taste bad! (Though I have yet to try them with cappuccino flavoured chunks. I’d love to know where to get them from.)
So yes, buy this book!!!