I have decided that brownies are my nemesis. For a start, I don't even really like them that much! But also, I'm just not really comfortable baking things that I can't use the trusty skewer test on. Undercooked food is one of my issues - I'm sure that nobody wants to eat things that aren't cooked properly, but I can get a bit unhinged about it. I think most of my cakes end up being overdone because I have to blast them a bit longer "just to be safe..."
So you can see why something containing eggs that is actually meant to be a bit squidgy could be a bit of a problem for me. But I had some eggs that needed using and my cousin coming to stay and I thought that brownies would be the perfect thing to have in a tin to be offered alongside cups of tea.
I picked a 'best ever brownies' recipe from a BBC Good Food book, thinking, well they're the best ever, so they've got to be good right?
200g plain chocolate
175g dark muscovado sugar
140g caster sugar
50g ground almonds
50g plain flour
1. Preheat oven to 180c, and grease/line a 20cm/8in square tin.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a pan and then stir in the sugar.
3. Leave to cool for 5 mins, then stir in the eggs until even. Stir in the almonds and flour then pour into the tin.
4. Bake for 30-35 mins or until just cooked through in the middle.
Erm, I'm sorry, but no. Just cooked through in the middle? What does that even mean? How are you meant to know? After 30-35 mins, it was still wobbling all over the place and so I hurled it back in, red mist descending, still none the wiser about how long I was meant to give it. After a very long while I just annoyed and just took them out, thinking they weren't going to get eaten anyway so I might aswell just save myself the electric bill. I left them to cool and then tried to cut them into nice perfect squares like the picture in the book, but they were just so squidgy I thought all hope must be lost. Along with my temper.
So I let my anger loose on the brownies and had a bit of a stab away at them, venting my frustrations and thinking I might aswell get something out of it at least...
...until Mike dared to try a bit (with me half cringing at the thought of him being ill and half in awe at his bravery) and declared them "actually quite nice". And then I felt a bit stupid, so we managed to salvage some half decent looking ones from around the edges.
They didn't look great, so we made brownie sundae desserts out of them with ice cream, marshmallows and chocolate sauce and they actually were quite nice! They were quite squidgy and fudgy in the middle and stuck to your teeth a bit, but they were OK. And nobody died from food poisoning, which is always a good thing.
So I'm not sure if I'll be making brownies again because I don't think I can handle the stress. So can anyone tell me, what a perfectly cooked brownie is meant to look like? And if you have a failsafe brownie recipe, I would love to hear it, try and tempt me out of brownie retirement!