As if I needed any encouragement to get baking, yesterday was World Baking Day. A day in which people worldwide pledged to bake for loved ones in a bid to show them how much they care. Whether it be for friends, family or loved ones, its always nice to share something baked over a nice cuppa.
These brownies were a little mix of two recipes I'd been eyeing up, although they only came together due to one not quite going to plan. There's nothing more disconcerting than the first bake of a new book you've bought not coming out right.
In this instance, cookie dough swirled marshmallows from The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook I made earlier in the week. There's nothing better than a plump homemade marshmallow, but I think a combination of not enough or old gelatine leaves from the back of the cupboard made for not very firm marshmallows. They tasted great, but couldn't be sliced so I boxed them up and saved them until I found a way of using them. After watching over molten sugar and whisking away from a long time, I couldn't bear to waste them.
Brownies are probably my most favourite thing to make, pretty straightforward but can be so versatile. I enjoy trying out different brownie recipes to compare and to hopefully find the best ever recipe. Lisa Faulkner's Tea and Cake is another recently new book of mine so I was intrigued to see how her brownie recipe went.
Without a doubt, the recipe itself was the most straightforward I've tried with the least number of ingredients in. I shall definitely be bookmarking it for future for when I'm short of cupboard ingredients, i.e. don't have 4 bars of fancy dark chocolate in to spare. 500g of sugar probably ranks in at the highest sugar content out of other recipes I've tried, however.
And so became the base of my weekend brownies, cookie dough marshmallows swirled into dark chocolate brownies.
I used half of the batch of marshmallows which melted in to form the most chewy, gooey, fudgy brownies I've ever made. Due to the golden syrup in the marshmallows they tasted caramel-like and very dense.
You could definitely get away with using more than half the batch of marshmallows though. Try pouring two thirds of the brownie mix into the pan, dollop a layer of marshmallow on top and swirl over the remaining brownie batter.
Other options: use your own regular cookie dough, shop bought marshmallows or alternatively a bar of your favourite chocolate chopped into chunks to fold through the mix. Brownies are versatile!
Cookie dough marshmallow brownies
For the cookie dough marshmallows:
(makes about 24 marshmallows)
Butter an 8 x 8 inch baking tray using 2 tbsp unsalted butter and sprinkle over a few generous spoons of icing sugar ensuring to coat the sides and corners.
To make the cookie dough, combine 80g softened unsalted butter with 30g caster sugar and 50g soft light brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add 2 tbsp milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and a pinch of salt and mix well. Add 55g plain flour and continue to mix until well incorporated.
Pour 75ml of cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle in 2 packets of unflavoured gelatin. Leave to soften for 5 minutes.
In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt together 50g soft light brown sugar and 215g caster sugar with 170ml golden syrup. Stir the mix continuously until the sugars dissolve and start to boil. Stop stirring, cover with a lid and leave to boil for 2 minutes. Uncover and continue to boil until the mixture reaches 238 Fahrenheit / soft boil on a sugar thermometer. Do not stir. Once it reaches this temperature, remove from heat.
Turn on the stand mixer with the gelatin to a low speed with a whisk attachment. Slowly pour the hot sugar down the side of the bowl to cool. Increase to a medium-high speed and whisk until the mixture is thick, shiny and slightly cooled. This should take 13-15 minutes. Beat in 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Dollop in spoons of the cookie dough and fold in gently by hand.
Pour into your prepared tin, smooth over the top with a warm buttered knife. Sprinkle with a handful of chocolate chips and leave to set in the tin for 4 hours (or overnight).
To enjoy as regular marshmallows, lift out of the tin once set and use a rolling pizza knife to cut into bite-size pieces. Marshmallows will keep in an airtight container for up to one week.
For the brownies, grease and line an 8 x 8 inch baking tin and heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Grate 125g dark chocolate into a medium saucepan and add 150g unsalted butter cubed, melt on a low heat until smooth and combined.
Whisk together 4 large eggs and 500g caster sugar until pale and smooth. Stir in melted chocolate pouring down the side of the bowl to help cool slightly.
Sift in 175g plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt and gently fold in. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin.
Dollop in drops of cookie dough marshmallow and use the end of a spoon to gently swirl a little brownie mix around.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the top firms. Once baked, leave for an hour to cool before slicing.
Brownies will last for a week stored in an airtight container.