Dessert, simple and easy, Snacks

Chocolate Chip & Cashew Brownies

cashew brownies
What happens when you’re staring at a large jar of healthy unsalted cashews that do not taste all that great?

You pull out a baking pan and brownie-fy them.
When mum bought a huge bag of salted peanuts home, she intended them to be primarily used for when I made peanut mochi desserts. Instead, dad was slowly going through the jar of peanuts, eating a handful everyday until there was practically none left. A handful a day might not seem so much, but when you total it up, it was a really unhealthy amount of salt.

When mum voiced her concerns, dad said, “Oh, alright then! How about we buy some of them healthy unsalted cashews?”
Mum and I made faces of dislike, but dad imperiously said, “Don’t worry! I’ll eat them all if they don’t taste good!”

It was painful watching dad trying to eat them cashews just like that; the amount of cashews in the jar just didn’t seem to go down.

All in all, those cashews needed to go- and quick. Eating them as they were clearly wasn’t working, so it was time to find a way to give them a pleasant farewell down the oesophagus.

Best solution and easiest solution I thought was: BROWNIES. If you know what type of brownies you’re trying to make and you’re following a good recipe for brownies, it’s hard to go wrong. These brownies are easy to make and should be pulling out delicious fudgy brownies from the oven if all goes according to plan!

Oki doki- so! First thing to do after preheating your oven to 170°C/338°F, or 150°C/302°F fan forced:

Melt 200g dark cooking chocolate and 150g butter in a bowl. Here, you want to place this bowl over a saucepan of hot simmering water, so then you’ve got a bain-marie/double boiler thingy happening. While I don’t believe there’s much of a chance of the butter and chocolate burning, do remember to give the mixture a stir now and then, just to make sure everything has melted together properly.

butter and cooking chocolate making nice

As the butter and cooking chocolate are making nice, line a baking tray (mine was approximately 28cm x 18cm x 3cm) with baking paper, remembering to leave some baking paper hanging over all the edges  so then when the time comes to lift your brownies out of the tray, it will be easy to do so. After your melted butter and chocolate mixture appears to have achieved a lovely smooth consistency, take it off the heat and allow it to cool slightly.

As the chocolate mixture is cooling, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together. After all those ingredients are well incorporated, add in your chocolate mixture!

egg mixture combined with chocolate
Give the mixture a good stir to incorporate everything.

cashews, chocolate drops and cocoa powderThis is just a snap of some of the dry ingredients! The cashews were roughly broken into pieces by squashing them with the flats of a kitchen knife. The chocolate drops are of the dark chocolate variety 🙂

sifted cocoa and flour
Sift the cocoa powder and flour together, to get rid of any lumps, before adding it into the wet chocolate mixture.

Gently work the sifted cocoa and flour into the egg and chocolate mixture! Operation brownie is all coming together! : )

Into the oven now!Ba Dum! Chocolate chips and crushed cashews all mixed into the brownie mixture and ready to bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Brownie out of the oven…And what it looked like out of the oven! I stuck a skewer into the middle of the mixture at 30 minutes to see whether the skewer came out with a few crumbs sticking to it. You should not be drawing up any ‘wet’ mixture with your skewer. If you are, let the brownie cook for 5 more minutes and then test again. Let the brownie mixture cool in the tray because lifting it out of the tray and cutting it into squares. I managed to get 24 even slices out of mine.

Happy baking and eating!

Wall of brownies!

========================================
Chocolate Chip & Cashew Brownies

Recipe adapted from a recipe printed on the packaging of the flour I use (White Wings)

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time:30 minutes
Makes approximately 24 slices of brownie

Ingredients

  • 200g good quality dark cooking chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 150g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar/granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 100g dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup unsalted cashews (optional, or whatever nut you’d like to add in) roughly chopped

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to  170°C/338°F, or 150°C/302°F fan forced. Line a 28cm x 18cm x 3cm pan (or just a nice long rectangular pan) with baking paper, allowing the baking paper to extend about 3cm over all the sides to allow for easy lifting of the brownies when they’re done.
  2. Place dark cooking chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl (or just a bowl that won’t melt/explode upon contact with heat) and place over a saucepan of simmering water, so you make a double boiler. If you have a bain marie, then use that. Stir until the butter and chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Once done, take mixture off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Place eggs, sugar and vanilla into a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium until the mixture is thick and pale. Add in chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Sift cocoa powder and flour together, before adding into chocolate mixture. Add in nuts and chocolate chips and fold everything together. Pour your mixture into the prepared brownie pan and smooth surface with the back of a spoon or spatula. Baking for 30-35 minutes, until the edges come away from the side of the pan or a skewer placed through the middle of the brownies comes away clean with a few crumbs. Do not overbake! The centre should still be a little soft when you take the brownies out.
  5. Allow brownies to cool in the pan before lifting the brownies out and cutting into pieces.
    Enjoy and eat responsibly! : )
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