Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Giant Sticky Chocolate Brownies - Edible Gifts

        What's better than an edible gift made with love? Especially when it's a box of deliciously soft and gooey brownies. Last month some good friends of ours got married. The bride was a great fan of my Sticky Chocolate Brownies and I had been meaning to make up a batch for her but just never got around to it. I also didn't want to be the cause of her not fitting into her wedding dress before the big day either. It's quite customary to give monetary gifts at Vietnamese weddings but as a last minute decision I decided I wanted to bake some brownies for them (her) as a little extra gift on the side. I also had another friend with a birthday the week after so thought that I would make some extra to give to her too.

        Cookbooks also make awesome presents. I received this chocolate cookbook for my 25th birthday a couple of years ago which is where this Sticky Chocolate Brownie recipe comes from. It is an awesome brownie recipe and not like your regular chocolate brownies. If cooked properly it should be soft and sticky and gooey (hence it's namesake). I did miss the mark a bit this time around, overcooked them slightly so they wern't as soft and gooey but still had a slight sticky chewiness to them. They're not as dense as regular brownies either and can get quite addictive.

Sticky Chocolate Brownies
(Adapted from Love Food - Chocolate Box, book pictured above)
• 85g butter
• 140g sugar
• 100g brown butter
• 125g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
• 1 tbsp golden syrup
• 2 eggs
• 1 tsp chocolate or vanilla essence
• 100g plain flour
• 2 tbsp cocoa powder
• 1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Lightly grease and line a shallow 20cm square cake tin.
2. Place the butter, sugars, chocolate, golden syrup in a saucepan and heat on medium low, stirring continuously until well blended and smooth. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
3. Beat the eggs and essence then whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture. Sift together the dry ingredients and fold into the chocolate and egg mixture.
4. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes until the top is crisp and the sides start to shrink away from the tin. The inside should still be stodgy and soft to the touch.
5. Leave to cool, then dust with cocoa powder and cut into squares then serve.

        I doubled the batch and used a roasting pan to bake the brownies. I also decreased the heat to 170 degrees and baked it for a bit longer just to make sure the middle cooks properly without overcooking the edges. Perhaps I cooked it for a little too much longer. I left it overnight and cut it up the next day, it wasn't as gooey as the other times I had made it.

        Instead of cutting them into smaller squares (or rectangles) I decided to cut them into slabs to resemble cakes and to fit into some pretty gift boxes which I had bought. Also had to cut off the edges because they wern't pretty enough. I mixed some icing sugar with the cocoa just to lighten it up a little. Brown is not a very pretty colour, though when associated with chocolate I think it's delicious.

        I then proceeded to melt some chocolate to do some writing on the brownie slabs however the chocolate didn't want to stay on to the cocoa icing sugar surface when I started dragging along my piping bag to write so I decided to stick some sugar decorations I had in the pantry on instead (used the melted chocolate as glue).

        I lined a gift box with some cellophane and baking paper and then placed the brownie slab into it. Looked so pretty I just wanted to keep it for myself. This reminds me of the giant cookies and cookie cards you can buy from Mrs Fields cookie shops. I think giant brownies are just much more awesome than giant cookies though ;).

        As it was last minute I didn't have enough time to shop around but managed to pick up these two pretty boxes from The Reject Shop. I just wanted to keep them too.

        Leftover brownies and edge pieces because they were too ugly to include in the slab. They really are the best bits though ;).


Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

The edge pieces are the best bit! I'm always eating them first. lol. I bet your friends must have loved these!

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Great idea - I'd love this as a gift - but with the edges!

Anonymous said...

What lovely gifts. Wish I was on the receiving end :p

john@heneedsfood said...

Agree with Helen, love the edges! If you gace me the off cuts I'd be more than happy with that!

Anonymous said...

Edible gifts rock! Where do you get chocolate esence? (never heard of it)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

You're such a great friend! Hehe now I should have put home baked brownies on my wedding registry list :P

Maria said...

Great idea Angie! They look so scrumptious - anyone receiving this would be over the moon! :-)

Gianna@TheEmptyFridge said...

Oh and it's perfect hot gooey brownie weather too! I've been craving some chocolatety baked goods and brownies are just so easy to make. They also bring such a huge smile to anyone.. Ill find the time soon!

sugarpuffi said...

awwww such a sweet finishing touch with edible flowers and butterflies :) your brownies look awesome!

penny aka jeroxie said...

A very lovely idea. you friend must be so happy. super jealous!

Georgia said...

Wonderful and delicious gift idea there! Those brownies look divine!

Gastronomy Gal said...

you are such a nice friend! The boxes look just gorgeous - very thoughtful of you Angie.

Vivienne said...

awwww how thoughtful as an extra gift for your friend!! no one can say no to a gooey and sticky brownie!

shaz said...

Really gorgeous gifts Angie. Great to finally meet you in person tonight, and sorry I ran off, my ride turned up and I forgot to say good-bye!

Ladybird said...

Edible gifts are the best gifts of all!

heart and spoon said...

these look great and such a sweet idea for a friend

Charenn29 said...

very tempting brownies! :)