I’ve never thought about having a blog before as I thought it would be too much of a hassle and I didn’t seem to have anything to write about. But recently I’ve been uploading a lot of pictures onto Facebook about my baking which led to requests from many of my friends to put up recipes. At the same time I have been reading a really good blog by my friend (Sid that’s you!) which finally got me thinking that I should enter the world of blogging! What better way is there to present your random ideas to the world? So welcome to Bittersweet haven (‘other random things’ at the moment is for any non-cooking/baking related activities I might start doing, more on that later)!
To start off, I’m putting up one of my favourite recipes for brownies. This is a special nut/chocolate brownie recipe, ideal for people who don’t really like the deep chocolaty taste that make up brownies as the nutty layer sort of mellows out the taste and also adds great crunch. Feel free to use any nuts you like; I prefer almonds.
This recipe may seem to be long because it consists of baking two different parts- first a nutty crust followed by a chocolate brownie layer. But trust me, once you get the hang of it, it’s actually a great dessert recipe. And for some reason I never seem to have chocolate at home (some always raids the fridge 24/7) hence I love the fact that this recipe doesn’t need chocolate, just cocoa powder and no one even notices the difference. Finally its absolutely delicious and you will get loads of compliments!
So here goes:
1/2 cup almonds (peeled and chopped)
3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
4-5 tablespoons cold butter or margarine
For the topping (chocolate layer)
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
In a bowl, combine the chopped nuts, (You can grind them if you feel like less crunch in the brownie), sugar and flour. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Grease an 8-inch square pan and pat the nut mixture into the pan in an even layer. Bake this for about 20-25 minutes in 180 C oven heat. When it is done, allow to cool.
Meanwhile, make the topping by melting butter with water in a saucepan over low heat. Add the cocoa and sugar using an egg beater to get rid of the clumps of cocoa powder. Remove pan from heat, allow to cool and then add vanilla extract, salt, and beat in the eggs until blended. Pour this topping over the baked nutty crust and return it to the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the chocolate layer sets. After cooling, cut into little bars and dust with icing or powdered sugar. To do this, use a sieve and sprinkle the sugar over the top of the brownies just before serving. Sorry for the crappy pictures, will use a better camera next time!