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Emma x

Pecan Praline Brownies

Pecan Praline Brownies

Finding the time to write a new post this week was a balancing act. I’ve just started a new job, my course requirements are growing, and drama rehearsals are kicking off, and yet I think this just shows how easy and quick these are to knock up. When looking for an old favourite to fall back on these were definitely the ones to go for. These are the things I make most often, and almost everyone who knows me will have, at some point, been offered one. They’re simple, satisfying, and great for sharing – so if you’re a uni fresher, or just starting somewhere new, these are perfect for making friends. I also use the base mix (without the praline topping) as my chocolate cupcake mix, as they produce chewy, indulgent cakes, with a lot more chocolate flavour than most other chocolate cake mixes. So if you prefer your cakes cupcake-style you can use this recipe for that as well.

The original recipe for this came from the back of a Hersey’s Cocoa Powder pot from when my parents lived in America. Since then it’s been memorised, prodded, and tweaked by my family until we’ve got to the one we see here. Slightly unusually I use oil instead of butter – but don’t let this put you off. In the original recipe it said take a cup of butter and melt it, so I just cut out the middle man and went straight to a liquid fat source. Somehow it works really well to make the brownies moist, and technically it’s healthier as it’s got a lot less saturated fat in it than butter (not that anyone eating these will be THAT calorie conscious, but every little helps). I’ve also slowed down the cooking time to make the finished texture gooey and delicious, which also has the benefit that it’s harder to overcook them.

I usually make my brownies plain, without the praline top, but if you want to make them extra special you can go the extra mile and finish them with this crunchy nutty topping like I do here. The crunchy, nutty, sugar hit on the top just takes the whole thing one step further and makes them truly decadent.

Recipe

Makes 20 squares

Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 420ml Vegetable oil
  • 640g Light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 8 Medium eggs
  • 160g Cocoa powder (not drinking chocolate, as it has added sugar and less cocoa, and so has much less flavour)
  • 260g Plain flour
  • 75g White chocolate, chopped
  • 75g Milk chocolate, chopped

Topping:

  • 75g Butter
  • 150g Caster sugar
  • 225g Pecans, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170˚C. Line a large rectangular tin (mine was 30×25 cm ) with butter and baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the oil, sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs and whisk until fully combined. Add the cocoa and whisk again (go slowly here as the cocoa will go everywhere if whisked too fast). Add the flour and the chopped chocolates and whisk until fully mixed.
  3. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and smooth out with a spatula.
  4. Now make the praline topping. In a pan melt the butter over a medium heat. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Then bring the sugar mix to the boil, before adding the nuts. Stir to coat the nuts and then leave to boil until caramelized (around 3 minutes).
  5. Spoon the pecan mix over the brownies, making sure they’re evenly distributed over the whole tray, and bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes. Be careful not to over bake here, as you want brownies to be slightly gooey in the middle. If you’re used to baking cakes I’d say take them out 5 minutes before you’d think it’d be ready if you were making a cake.
  6. Cut into 20 squares and serve. (They’re really good with raspberries and double cream!).

 

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Emma x

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