Sunday, February 24, 2013

OTT chocolate brownie cookies (with caramelised white chocolate)

One of the greastest pleasures in life is a good midnight snack. It’s not often I wake up with the urge to visit the kitchen but I’ve always loved the idea of creating a culinary masterpiece in the dim light of the open fridge door. This weekend I found myself baking a batch of totally OTT (over the top) brownie cookies at 11pm on a Saturday night (don’t judge me), not because of insomnia but rather because my neighbours were throwing what felt like the biggest trance party in the Southern Hemisphere. And I’m not exaggerating. Okay maybe I am but still. And BTW it had nothing to do with the fact that I wasn’t invited okay? The occasion warranted a totes innapropes (totally innapropriate) amount of chocolate because that was all that was standing between me and dialling the po-po (police). The caramelised white chocolate filling is honestly the best thing that has ever graced my taste buds. How I have lived this long without it in my life, is a mystery and if I ever meet the person responsible for its glorious creation, my brain will explode from wonder. The white chocolate turns a beautiful golden brown in the oven and develops a toasty flavour. A pinch of sea salt flakes is all that’s standing between this stuff (I’m nicknaming it white chocolate crack) and a stint in rehab. Caramelised white chocolate FTW (for the win). Now smother gooey dark chocolate brownie cookies with the chocolate crack (warning: this will annihilate your diet but, hey, YOLO [you only live once] and all that) and you have a midnight snack that will solve all the world’s problems. After all, my neighbours will tell you that it contributed to the best party ever. True story.

Chocolate brownie cookies with caramelised white chocolate
I've used Fairtrade chocolate in honour of Fairtrade week - nothing better than eating chocolate with a clear conscience! 
Makes 12

Caramelised white chocolate
300g Fairtrade white chocolate, chopped*
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil

200g Fairtrade dark chocolate, chopped
50g Stork Bake
2 eggs
2/3 cup Selati castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup Sasko cake flour
¼ tsp baking powder
pinch of sea salt

To make the caramelised white chocolate, preheat the oven to 120C. Spread the chocolate on a baking sheet and drizzle with the oil. Place in the preheated oven for 10 minutes then remove and stir with a clean, dry spatula. Continue to cook for 30-60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Don’t worry if the chocolate looks lumpy and chalky at some stage, it will smooth out and caramelize.
Once the chocolate is golden brown, stir in a pinch of salt. If it’s still lumpy you can place it in a food processor to smooth it out and add a little cream or oil if necessary. Store in a jar at room temperature.
To make the brownie cookies, melt the chocolate and Stork Bake together gently.
Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer for 15 minutes or until pale and creamy.
Fold in the flour, baking powder, chocolate mixture and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
Spoon tablespoons of mixture onto a lined baking sheet and bake at 180C for 8-10 minutes or until puffed and cracked.
Allow to cool completely then sandwich together with the caramelized chocolate.

*use a white chocolate with a minimum of 30% cocoa butter content for the best results

Caramelised white chocolate aka 'White chocolate crack'

And here's the clip of me making these yummy cookies on Expresso Breakfast Show this week:

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