THE EXPERIMENTAL BROWNIE!
It’s a rather cool Saturday with spit spots of rain and it shouldn’t be this cold. It’s the middle of May for god’s sake! I should be in short sleeves, basking in the sun, not shivering and thinking that maybe I shouldn’t have turned off the heating.
I’m bloody cold and that makes me grumpy so what better way to a) keep warm and b) cheer myself up than by baking. Then into the kitchen to experiment with my basic brownie recipe by adding peanut butter and bananas.
I used a peanut butter that didn’t have anything but the nuts in; hindsight tells me that was a mistake. The resulting brownie has subtle hints of peanut but the salt and sugar in something like Sun-Pat would have lifted and heightened the flavour. Also, the nut pieces are bigger than the wholefood one. And make sure the bananas are really, really ripe; you know the sort – the ones that are festering in the fruit bowl with a halo of fruit flies. The pungency of overripe bananas add a more intense flavour.
For a gluten and dairy free version, I used Flora Cuisine and GF flour.
Therefore, without further ado, here is my adapted brownie recipe for The Experimental Brownie!
Peanut Butter and Banana Brownie
9oz dark chocolate (I use 64% cocoa)
5oz unsalted butter (or dairy free alternative like Flora Cuisine )
4oz crunchy peanut butter
2 very ripe bananas
4 large eggs
4oz caster sugar
2 ½ oz plain flour
Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Line a 9-inch square tin with baking parchment and put to one side.
Break chocolate into smallish pieces (while it’s still in the wrapper, I wallop it on the work surface to smash it up). Cut butter into small cubes and put into a bowl along with the chocolate. Dollop in the peanut butter. Pop over a pan of simmering water, but don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Stir occasionally until it has melted into a glossy mess. Leave to cool slightly.
Mush up the bananas then add to the chocolate, peanut butter and butter mulch.
In a separate bowl beat the eggs and sugar until it is a thick creamy mass and when the beaters are lifted, there is a ribbon trail. Normally I’d just poor the molten gloop into the bowl and whip at hyper-speed, but as it has peanut butter in this time, I folded it in using a large spoon.
Sift the flour over the mix and gently fold in, making sure that there is no flour left at the bottom of the bowl.
Plop the whole lot into the tin and throw in the oven on the middle shelf. Bake for about 20 minutes; it should wobble slightly in the middle.
When cooked, leave to cool in the tin. Don’t worry if it’s a bit gooey it’ll taste fab anyway. The longer you leave it the firmer it will be. The crust may sink and fracture, that’s fine.
If you’re serving it warm have it with a crackingly good vanilla ice cream or clotted cream. Come to think of it, even if it isn’t warm be a glutton and have it with cream or ice cream.
Makes 9 very large squares for greedy-guts or cut into 12 for a more dignified portion.
© Lea Harris, Off the Eaten Track, 2013.