Monday, 17 June 2013

Peanut Butter Brownies

As I sit here writing this I'm deliberately not thinking that it is approximately 20 hours until I get my results for  the second year of my MChem degree. Nope, I'm not thinking about how I will be either elated or utterly ashamed of myself come 4pm tomorrow at all. I've only narrowly avoided being told off by my mother this evening for mentioning it. There really is no point in wondering how badly going blank in one of your exams, specifically over a question you knew was going to be on there, will affect your grade. If anyone reading this has ever been in a similar state of mind then may I suggest a recipe such as this as a form of distraction?

Peanut butter is much like Marmite in that it has the fantastic ability to divide a room into two sides hissing and spitting insults at each other, half because they can't fathom why the others like the stuff and the other half vice versa. Personally I love both and because I love chocolate even more, I was very eager to try peanut butter brownies. About a year ago I printed out a load of recipes from the BBC Good Food website to help pad out my recipe (leaver arch) file that sits alongside my 27 and counting recipe books. My aim was to slowly work my way through them and one of the first to catch my eye was for peanut butter brownies. I was so disappointed that I vowed to make my own at some point but then other recipes and ideas got in the way so it is only now that I've made something that is worth it. My mum was a little unsure of the idea but when she arrived home from work to find these cooling I think she may have changed her mind. The recipe is so easy as well, I just adapted my original brownie recipe and kept my fingers crossed that it would work. I was also really surprised at the number of people who liked the idea when I popped a photo on Facebook. It almost makes me feel guilty for having a pile of cakes and not being able to share them with those who showed such positive support. I really would have shared them if I could. Though not the centre square which is the absolute yummiest. Mum gets that one if I'm doing the original brownies but I felt like I had earned it on this occasion.

In case anyone is wondering how I got on with working my way through my collection of loose recipes the I'm sorry to say that it isn't going well. The trouble is that I seem to accrue them faster than I can use them especially as more often than not now I'm trying out my own ideas. Well, where is the fun in following something that you know works?! I'm that obsessed that I check and every morning for the daily featured recipes in the same way that most people check the daily papers. Does that make me sad? I hope that bakers and other foodie people will understand but even if it is true then I'm not sure that I'm even bothered.  I have too much fun inventing ideas and testing out being theories. Heaven forbid I actually get to go to the BBC Good Food show like I have been wanting to for yonks, you won't see me for a month outside of the kitchen with all the gadgets and baking paraphernalia I'd come back with to test.

About 20 hours to go!

135g Bournville type chocolate
100g ish milk chocolate 
50g butter
120g peanut butter split into 2 lots (not the reduced fat stuff)
3 large eggs
175g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
50g plain flour
50g self raising flour
35g cocoa powder

  1. Melt the Bournville type chocolate with the butter and 60g peanut butter in a bowl over gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir occasionally to mix then set aside to cool once it is all melted together.
  2. Grease and line a 8 inch square tin with greaseproof paper. Set the oven to 170C/150 fan.
  3. Chop the milk chocolate and set aside. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk together until slightly frothy. Not too much though because if you incorporate too much air you will end up with a cake, not a scrumptious gooey brownie. Once the chocoalte mix has cooled enough so it is not more than slightly warm to your finger then mix it into the eggs and sugar.
  4. Sift the flours and cocoa into a bowl then fold into the chocolate bowl in two batches. When nearly incorporated, fold in the chopped chocolate then pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Warm the second lot of 60g peanut butter for around 30 seconds in the microwave then drizzle over the mixture surface. Use a skewer or spoon handle to swirl it into the mix but not so much that it disappears. 
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35mins ish. When it is ready it will have a slight wobble in the centre, where a cake tester can be inserted and withdrawn with a small amount of the mixture clinging to it. Cool in the tin on a wire rack then turn out and cut into 9 squares. Or place in the centre of the table in one piece and let everyone dig in if you are that way inclined.
Hope you enjoy!!


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