I love my weekends. I love my weekdays too but the weekends come with family time, long lie-in's and lots of snuggling with my boys. Perfection. And it also comes with weekend baking. Making lots of comfort food that we eat straight from the oven. Trying new combinations of ingredients because we happen to love them all and wonder what they'll look like together.
We didn't need any more sweet delights this week. We had Mini Almond Lemon Lamingtons to celebrate Australia Day, a big birthday chocolate cake to celebrate hubby's birthday, freshly baked Nutella Brioche for hubby's birthday breakfast and Pumpkin Dutch Pancakes. But what's one more chocolate delight amongst friends?
My little one and I decided to bake brownies and pair it with some of our favourite things - Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter and Popcorn Frosting. Three things we tend to eat a lot of in this house!
The brownies are lovely and squidgy. We got them out of the oven a little sooner than most would choose so they are *very* squidgy. That's just the way we like them. They were still warm when we frosted them so the peanut butter started to melt a little bit around the edges. That was okay. Then we sprinkled them with toffee popcorn and dusted them with icing sugar. And inhaled them.
The Chocolate Brownies are simple to make. I love that brownies are so quick to get in the oven and these ones promise a huge chocolate hit. The recipe is adapted from Hummingbird's Chocolate Brownie but I decreased the sugar a little and switched to golden caster sugar. I also decided that we'd bake it in a bread tin and make a slightly smaller batch. This is a one bowl recipe which when you do as much washing up as I do, is always a big win! Chocolate and butter are melted over a bain-marie until smooth and the sugar is added and mixed until smooth. Then the flour is added and mixed until smooth. Finally the eggs are added and mixed until smooth. Once poured into a lined baking tin (in our case, a bread tin lined with baking parchment) it goes in the oven for around 35 minutes. We baked ours for 30 minutes (when we put a cocktail stick in the middle, it was still slightly damp) and the brownies, even cooled, are pretty gooey so I'd suggest baking them for at least 35 minutes.
Whilst the brownies were cooling, we made the frosting, The butter is beaten for a couple of minutes and then the icing sugar and milk added. When these are lovely and smooth, add the peanut butter and beat until combined and smooth. We chose smooth peanut butter but you can use a crunchy one as you like. This is also the time to customise your own topping so you can add more peanut butter to taste.
When the brownies are cool and the frosting has been spread liberally over them, scatter the top with toffee popcorn and then dust with icing sugar to finish.
The boys absolutely loved these. What's not to love about a totally chocolatey and squidgy chocolate brownie covered with the sweetest frosting and finished with our favourite kind of popcorn?
Totally a weekend hit and one that can easily be made with the little ones and enjoyed by them. It won't last long!
Chocolate Brownies With Peanut Butter and Popcorn Frosting
adapted from Hummingbird's Chocolate Brownies
- 150G DARK CHOCOLATE
- 120G BUTTER
- 200G GOLDEN CASTER SUGAR
- 2 EGGS
- 90G PLAIN FLOUR
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (fan)
- Grease and line a bread tin
- Melt the chocolate and butter gently in a bowl placed over a simmering pan of water - remember not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl
- Once melted and smooth, remove from the heat
- Stir in the golden caster sugar until fully combined
- Stir in the flour and mix until smooth
- Mix in the eggs until you have a smooth batter
- Pour the mixture into the prepared bread tin and make sure that the batter is level
- Bake for around 35 minutes until the top is flakey and the centre should still be a little wobbly - but if unsure, then test it with a cocktail stick that should come out clean
- Leave to cool and carefully remove from its tin
Peanut Butter Frosting
- 100G BUTTER
- 200G ICING SUGAR, SIFTED
- 2 TSP MILK
- 130G SMOOTH PEANUT BUTTER
- A BAG OF TOFFEE POPCORN (we used Butterkist but you can choose whichever brand you like)
- Beat the butter in a stand mixer for 2 minutes
- Add the icing sugar and milk and beat until smooth and fully combined
- Mix in the peanut butter until smooth
- Once the brownie is cooled, spread the frosting over the top
- Sprinkle the popcorn over the frosting
- Dust the top with icing sugar
- And enjoy :)