Having recently discovered my very own baked goods nirvana in the form of B Is For Brownie’s incredible bean-to-brownies (those gorgeous things pictured above), you might imagine that my oven had been rendered redundant – certainly where brownie-baking was concerned.
But not a bit of it. I’m impatient, imprecise, and I’d make a horrible GBBO candidate, but I do like to bake; and, for that matter, scoffing raw batter – as much if not more than the end result. I’m not a religious follower of recipes and, like a follower of a multi-deity faith, I don’t worship just one domestic goddess (or god).
My completely (un) failsafe method when I want to make a particular bake is to JFGI it. Failures are forgotten; various triumphs end up scrawled out on scraps of grease-stained, chocolate-smeared paper – their recipes recorded for posterity but rarely revisited.
But this one, pulled from the interweb when a bunch of overripe bananas begged to be brownie-fied, is a keeper. Rich, fudgy and chewy, these start pretty darn dense and just get better with age. The banana flavour doesn’t over-announce itself; rather, merely intensifies the already-incredibly-chocolatey character and adds a few tropical tones.
Of course I was tempted to tinker with the original, cooking the butter and sugar to a butterscotch for a tasty toffee-d note, and introducing a supporting cast of malt (Horlicks powder) and salt (in the butter) to add structure and savour.
I hope you enjoy them; and if you don’t, send them my way, ’cause I definitely will. And no apologies for failing to click a pic – you only have to look at my Instagram to know camerawork is not my strongest suit. You are spared, and you are welcome.
Best-ever banana brownies
Makes 16 (or fewer if you cut ’em into big chunky hunks)
- 175g salted butter (Butter Culture‘s is worth the pilgrimage to Druid Street market)
- 180g light brown soft sugar
- 200g bean-to-bar dark chocolate (try Blanxart’s Dominican Republic 72% – ‘chocolate pudding in bar form’), chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 large, over-ripe bananas, mashed
- 100g self raising flour
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp plain Horlicks powder
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, and grease and line a 9-inch square baking tin. Sort out another tin of similar size which fits inside the lined tin – you’ll need this for the magic step which yields super-dense brownies.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, bananas and vanilla essence, then set aside.
- Place the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan and set over a medium-low heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring, until the sugar has melted and the mixture is thickened and butterscotch-y.
- Remove from the heat, allow to cool a little, then add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and save the dirty saucepan for licking.
- Add the egg mixture to the chocolate mix and stir to thoroughly combine. Sift in the flour, cocoa and Horlicks powders, and fold in.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes (or less if you like them fudgier).
- Remove from the oven, cover the brownies with a sheet of foil, and immediately compress with the second tin, adding extra weight with a couple of cans of beans or whatever else you have to hand. Allow to cool completely like this before cutting into cubes, squares, or great big slabs.
- For more on B Is For Brownie’s bean-to-brownies, click here
- For the recipe for my Bombay Bad Boy cheesecake, click here
- For Will Torrent’s recipe for Mississippi banoffee mud pies, click here
Images: B Is For Brownie