Every now and then in life, you have An Idea. They can be at the most random of times & be to do with the most random of things, but all of a sudden you'll be completely unable to think about anything else. Last week, I had the idea for toffifee brownies. Do you guys have toffifee in other countries? We only have them at Christmas time over here in the UK, and without fail every Christmas my Nan buys a box for my whole family & they're such a treat. They're basically these little sweet things with are a whole hazelnut encased in a caramel shell, with a little disc of hard milk chocolate on top. And yes, they're as good as they sound. On Monday it occurred to me to chop them up & put them in a brownie, and I've not been able to get the thought out of my head since. Unfortunately I had an essay to do for Thursday, but as soon as Friday morning arrived I rolled straight out of bed and into the kitchen. And it was totally worth the wait.
If you can't get a hold of toffifee, or if you just don't like them, this brownie base is a fantastic canvas for, well, everything. I'm definitely going to remake these with Oreos sometime soon, but they'd also be great with chopped up mars bars, hazelnuts, white chocolate, or anything else you can think of! Or if you'd a total brownie purist they'd be fantastic alone. I mean, seriously, this recipe has almost 4 bars of chocolate, an entire pack of butter, half a pack of sugar, three eggs, and then a teeeeny tiny bit of flour. This is, by far, the densest & chocolatiest brownie I've ever made. I actually had immediate toothache after eating a piece for breakfast this morning, and if that doesn't sell them to you then, well, I don't know what will.
This recipe makes 8-12 brownies, depending on the size of the plan/how greedy you are. You will need:
- 350g dark chocolate.
- 250g dark muscovado sugar.
- 3 eggs.
- 250g unsalted butter.
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
- 85g plain flour.
- 18 Toffifee pieces - so one & a half packs.
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C. Rest a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water & melt together your chopped up dark chocolate and cubed unsalted butter. Water is the enemy of melted chocolate so make sure that the bowl completely covers the pan & no hot water gets in during the melting process.
2. Once only a few pieces of butter remain unmelted, take it off the heat & stir until it's all completely melted together. Leave to cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 3 eggs until pale & fluffy. This can take up to 10 minutes, so be patient with it.
4. Add in the dark muscovado sugar, and whisk until thick & glossy - as in the above picture.
5. Pour in the melted chocolate & carefully fold together. This makes such pretty swirls, so don't refrain from "ooh"-ing and "aah"-ing at the bowl & taking lots of pictures, like me.
6. Sieve in 85g of plain flour & 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and stir until just combined.
7. Chop up 12 toffifee pieces, either into quarters or just in half, depending on preference. I went with quarters to spread them out more evenly within the mix. Stir these into the brownie batter.
8. Pour the batter into a pan lined with baking paper, and dot the remaining toffifee pieces over the top. These will melt down into the mix during cooking, and become little molten pools of caramel/nut/chocolate goo. What a shame.
9. Place in the oven up to 40 minutes, though check them from about 30 minutes on because, of course, everyone's oven is different. The brownies are done once you can place a knife or skewer in the centre & will come out clean.
10. Leave to cool completely before eating. The mix will sink down whilst cooling & get that lovely, cracked & flakey top which all the best brownies have. Also, I really do urge you to let them cool before diving in (though I know it's difficult, believe me) as it gives the toffifee a chance to reharden a little.
These brownies couldn't be easier, but they are not to be taken lightly. These guys are serious business - dense, squidgy, rich in flavour & moist throughout, with little added hints of caramel & hazelnut in every bite. They are, to be honest, more than a little filthy. If I thought that brownies were ever the sort of thing a person should apologise for, then I would be dreadfully sorry for giving you this recipe. Fortunately, I am not. And you shouldn't be either.