With nothing for me to do the other day when I was off school feeling sorry for myself, I decided it was time I made some chocolate brownies. I had a massive craving for them and thought it would be a nice surprise for Ben when he got home to see and smell freshly baked chocolate brownies. Then it hit me, we had no chocolate. On top of that, I’d been told not to drive, and living around 7 miles from the closest shop, I wasn’t exactly likely to be getting hold of any chocolate very quickly! So I decided I needed to something – we had all the other ingredients, so I googled ‘chocolate brownies without chocolate’, and yep…I could do it!! Unfortunately nearly every recipe I found was American. Now that sounds a little silly, considering that American is, um, English. Well, not the amounts!! All the recipes asked for ‘sticks’ of butter, and ‘cups’ of flour. I’m afraid that’s not how our measurements over here work. So I very loosely followed a couple of recipes, switched them up a little, and came up with what I think is pretty close to a perfect chocolate brownie, albeit without chocolate. A chocolateless brownie has many pluses, the main one being that it’s a lot cheaper to make, considering it has no chocolate in. Plus, it’s perfect for people like me who have spur of the moment ideas to bake brownies since any chocolate I have in the house will be eaten before it’s over the threshold. Although mine had a tiny cheat in that I grated like a teaspoon of the cacao in the picture above into it, just because I found it at last minute in the cupboard. It’s 100% cacao, with no sugar, so extremely bitter, and not chocolate at all, but it barely made a difference, so I won’t even add it to my recipe! Without further ado, my chocolateless chocolate brownies recipe:
For those of you that love a quick chocolate Brownie at the end of a long day but struggle to keep chocolate in the house (because it's gone before it's even over the threshold!), this is the perfect recipe for you. It tastes just as good as a real chocolate one!
Keyword: chocolate brownie
large pinch sea salt
Preheat your oven to 160c (around 320f). Line an 8 inch square tin (okay, I used a circular one...) with butter and greaseproof paper.
Melt the butter in a bowl of water over a pan of just boiling water (don't let the bottom of the bowl touch the water). Once melted, add the sugar and cocoa powder and stir until you have a thick paste.
Add the sea salt (it helps, trust me!) and vanilla extract.
Allow the mixture to cool, then add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. The mixture should now be a glossy mix (like the first picture). If you add them before the mixture is cooled enough, the eggs will scramble, so be careful!
Fold in the flour, then mix vigorously again. Pour into your lined tin, then place in the preheated oven for around 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Try to use proper bitter cocoa powder; if not you can use drinking chocolate and reduce the amount of sugar you use.
And the finished product, nom. Okay, yes, I ate some before I managed to get a picture, sorry!! I left mine in the paper because it was easier to store, but you can cut it into slices to serve if you like. Enjoy!
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