Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Chocolate & Date Brownies - Baking with Kids

It's half term this week which means I have the children at home with me. Luckily I don't have any cake orders this week! The boys always show a great deal of interest in my baking, so I thought they would probably enjoy having a go at making brownies and decided to make it our 'project' this morning. So after a bit of a protracted amble down to the village shop (sucessfully fending off the numerous pleas for a 'special treat' - obviously making brownies wasn't a special enough treat in itself!) I managed to install them in the kitchen.

It's fitting that the gorgeous little apron and chef's hat set that we have says 'I love Santa' as it seems to be Christmas all year round in our house...after 12 months of trying I still haven't managed to sucessfully remove the Postman Pat Christmas Stories CD that tortures me every morning in the car, and the boys are frequently known to be humming and singing 'Jingle Bells' in the height of summer. The recent snow had them utterly convinced that Father Christmas was going to be putting in a reappearance at any minute because 'It always snows at Christmas!'

This is the recipe we were following:

Unsalted butter (250g/9oz)
Dark chocolate (275g/10oz)
Caster sugar (275g/10oz)
Three large eggs
Vanilla extract (1 tsp)
Plain flour (225g/8oz)
Salt (0.5 tsp)
Chopped dates (a 'handful')

First we melted the chocolate and the butter together and set the mixture aside to cool slightly. In the meantime, we beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract together in Mrs B my trusty mixer (named after none other than Mrs Beeton).

Mrs B causes no end of fascination to my eldest - he could spend all day watching things whizz around in there!
We kept mixing on a medium speed until the mixture was pale and fluffy. Then we added the slightly cooled chocolate mixture

and mixed it all in. Finally, we stirred in the flour using a metal spoon. We cooked the mixture for about 30 minutes at 180C until it was just set. We left it to cool in the tin for about 10 to 15 minutes and then turned it out onto a cooling rack to finish.

We were all delighted with the end result - despite the concerns of the boys that I was somehow contaminating their creation by insisting upon the addition of the dates!

Of course then, as far as the boys were concerned, it was the best bit - licking out the bowl! And the worst bit for me - the washing up...

 Thankfully he took his hat off first!!!