If you’re following me on Twitter, you may have noticed that, a few days ago, I announced I would come up with very exciting news. And indeed, the time to share has come!
As you may remember from my posts earlier this month, I’ve been taking part in Chobani‘s #CHObrunch Challenge. Chobani sent all participants a kit with product samples and baking accessories, and the challenge consisted of creating a brunch recipe using their fat-free yoghurt. The prize was a free pass to Food Blogger Connect 5 on 5, 6 and 7 July; Chobani also offered to cook the winning recipe for the brunch they will be hosting on the Sunday.
So the very exciting news is that I won the contest! If you’re familiar with the “Is this really happening to me?” kind of sensation you get when something great and totally unexpected comes your way – well, that’s exactly how I feel right now. But this is no dream: I’m really going to FBC5 in less than two weeks. Better still, Chobani won’t just be making one of the recipes I’ve submitted: they’ll be cooking all three of them!
It’s the first time I hear about someone replicating my recipes, and at such a large-scale event. I hope fellow food bloggers will enjoy them, as I enjoyed creating and making every single one. If you’re not planning to be there to have a taste, you can try them yourself; drop me a line if you do, and let me know what the results are.
I’m beyond happy, and really looking forward to FBC5. I hope to meet many inspiring people with whom I can share my passion offline, as well as on the internet, and from whom I can learn lots of new things. I will arrive at Battersea Arts Centre alone but for the usual, unfounded paranoia that fills my head every time I dare do anything social on my own (“I don’t know anyone in there!”; “They won’t like me!”); I hope to get out, at the end of the last day, with at least one new friend – and a lot of ideas on how to become a better baker, photographer and writer. Until then, as no good news is truly good without a chance to celebrate with a sweet treat, I’m leaving you with a new recipe. Spoiler: it involves chocolate. Not bad for a celebratory bake, eh?
Chocolate Almond Brownies
(Makes 6 – 8 brownies)
This was my very first attempt at baking brownies. Can you believe I never made brownies before? Neither can I. Given how much I love chocolate, I felt this was a wrong I absolutely had to right. I’m now very happy I did, as I fell in love with these soft, chocolatey brownies at first bite. The only aspect that may need refining is the topping, which I improvised with the sliced almonds I had in the cupboard – but that only looks to me like a great excuse to make them again soon!
- 55g dark chocolate
- 70g butter spread (such as Lurpak or similar)
- 225g caster sugar
- 55g plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 115g blanched almonds, chopped
- Put a heatproof bowl on a saucepan filled with simmering water, and use it to melt the chocolate and butter spread. Remove from the hob when completely melted.
- Put the sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs in a bowl, together with half the chopped almonds.
- Pour in the chocolate and spread mixture, and stir well.
- Pour the mixture into a square 20cm baking tin, lightly greased with butter.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°, and bake for 10 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, briefly remove the tin from the oven, and sprinkle the top of your brownie base with the remaining chopped almonds.
Baking Tip: Use chopped whole almonds at this stage. As in the picture, I used almond flakes, which were a little too thin, and slightly overbaked while in the oven. That didn’t affect the taste of the brownies much, but is definitely worth keeping in mind for the next time.
- Put the tin back in the oven, and bake for another 25 minutes. You’ll know your brownies are ready when the mixture is firm to the touch; if it still looks a little soft, don’t worry, as it will set while cooling down.
- Set aside for 10 minutes, until slightly cooled down. Then remove from the tin and let cool completely. Finally, cut into squares and serve.