17 Sep 2010

caramelized almonds + nut and crunch brownies

brownie cake
I do feel I have an attachment to the melt and mix method whether for cookies, muffins and cakes and making scones with either the rubbing in method or "whisking" method (for cream scones). Reason being, scones were the very, very first baked food I made by myself at school, 4 years ago. As for the melt and mix method? was because of this very brownie recipe.

All I can remember is that this brownie "cake" we made at school won the hearts of many, that day. Even the guys like it! I wouldn't see why we didn't. The cake had a crunchy crust, a moist and soft innards. Dusted with unlimited amount of icing sugar, we became sugar-high after a first bite. Good times!
I recently asked Heolin for the recipe (because I lost mine, very organised I know :P) and 4 years later, it's still a winner in my books.

This time round, I tweaked the recipe just a bit!

Unfortunately I did not have any walnuts in the pantry, and didn't like the idea of almonds in the brownies so I decided to roast some almonds. I was thinking of caramelizing them with hard caramel, but decided not to as making hard caramel is the most disastrous thing that can possibly ruin my mood and leave me with a pot hardened with caramel. Fortunately, I came across two recipes which saved me from chaos :)

almonds
Dagmar's recipe was another winner! The almonds were crunchy and slightly sweet. It reminded me of the warm honey roasted cashews and peanuts my dad used to buy. I loved them, but always ended up with a coughing fit eating them as they got stuck and irritated my throat. These almonds were no exception, but I had a mug of water in one hand and a small plate of these in another hand ;)

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caramelised almonds
adapted from A cat in the kitchen

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nut and crunch brownies
adapted from food tech class and Heolin's email

oven:190°C conventional

ingredients:
makes a 20 cm cake
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa
  • 3/4 cup self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional
method:
  1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Grease a cake tin with butter or line with baking paper.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar.
    Leave to cool. Meanwhile sift the flour and cocoa powder.
  3. When the melted mixture is cool, whisk in the eggs and vanilla essence.
  4. Add the sifted flour and cocoa powder and mix to combine.
    Add in the chopped walnuts, if using. Mix well.
  5. Pour the contents of the pot into the greased or lined tin.
    Bake for 20 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when inserted.
    (If baking time increases, tent (cover) cake with aluminium foil if necessary)
    Invert cake and cool.
Happy 18th Birthday Thangstahh!!