There are very few people who will say no to a brownie. Especially if you have got the consistency right. They need to be lovely and soft – and yet slightly crisp on the outside! To bake the perfect brownie, you need a good recipe and the right ingredients. Just as well that we can offer both!
Café Royal is out on a mission – in the service of good taste! Today’s mission is to bake the perfect brownie. And that is not as easy as it might sound. Because far too often, it is a bone dry brick you’ll find on your plate, rather than a moist, mouth-watering, naughty treat. So what is the key to producing the perfect brownie, and how in particular can you make them so mouth-wateringly gooey inside? First of all, the timing is crucial. For that extra “gooeyness” you do, however, also need a very special, royal ingredient ... For our autumnal brownie variety, you need:
150 g chocolate
180 g butter
200 g sugar
100 g spelt flour (wheat flour if preferred)
1 pinch of salt
1 Café Royal Espresso (40 ml)
1 tsp cinnamon
50 g roughly chopped walnuts
a little butter to grease the tray
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 30–40 minutes at 180°C top and bottom heat/160°C fan oven
Portions: 10–12, depending on the baking tray
Kitchen equipment: medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk/kitchen machine, sieve, square baking tray, baking paper, wooden skewer
Step 1: time for a chocolate bath
So that you are as well prepared as possible for “Mission: Brownie”, we recommend that you first make sure you have all the ingredients to hand in the relevant amounts – in bowls, jars or any other suitable containers you find in your kitchen cupboards. You can put the Café Royal Espresso capsule at the ready in the “starting position” in your bean-to-cup coffee machine – because when you are baking, you sometimes need to act quickly. As soon as you have got everything ready, you can begin!
First, put the chocolate and butter into a bowl together. Put the bowl in a water bath and allow them to melt. To speed up the process, stir the ingredients from time to time with the whisk until you get a homogeneous, smooth mixture. This seductive chocolate mixture should then cool for a few minutes, but without losing its creamy consistency. It may be hard to do, but no licking of fingers! Use the time instead to preheat the oven to 180°C if you are using top and bottom heat, or 160°C if using the fan.
Step 2: the secret ingredient
If necessary, tip the chocolate and butter mixture into a (larger) bowl and stir in the sugar slowly using an electric mixer or kitchen machine for at least 3 minutes. The sugar should dissolve completely. Now add 2 eggs and mix them in, too. Ideally, you should then sieve the flour into the mixture. If you do not have a sieve to hand, make sure you add the flour carefully and in gradual stages. Spelt flour will give your brownie a slightly nuttier taste. You can however also use standard wheat flour if you prefer.
Then add salt and cinnamon to the creamy mixture and finish it off with our secret ingredient: just a single (not a double or triple) shot of our Café Royal Espresso! The espresso will give your brownies their incredibly moist, mouth-watering texture – and an irresistible, distinct hint of coffee. The classic Café Royal Espresso is particularly good for these autumnal brownies, as its spicy cardamom aromas harmonise perfectly with the cinnamon.
Step 3: it’s all in the tray
In a final step, now mix the walnuts into the mixture and pour it into a baking tray lined with baking paper. The tray should be rectangular or square. A classic baking tray or roasting tin is ideal. Make sure you grease the lined tray at the edges with butter so that it is easy to remove the brownies once baked.
Please note: the brownies will be thicker or thinner depending on the size and height of the tray. This can also affect the baking time. If the tray is very large, you can always double the ingredients.
Step 4: pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man, bake me a brownie as fast as you can
As we said at the beginning, when it comes to baking brownies, much depends on the timing. So that you can be sure that your brownies are neither too dry nor too gooey, there is a simple trick using a wooden skewer. From 20 minutes into the baking time at the earliest, you can check whether the brownies are ready or need a few more minutes by inserting the wooden skewer into the mixture. The latter is the case if any of the mixture sticks to the skewer. If there is no trace of the mixture on the skewer, on the other hand, you can safely take the brownies out of the oven.
Now comes the hardest part. You’ll have to be patient until the brownies have cooled down! They can of course also be eaten warm – indeed, many people would swear by this. They may however lose their shape if you use a knife to cut them into squares when they are this fresh. If you are expecting guests or simply like them to look beautiful, you can sprinkle them with a little cinnamon or garnish them with a few walnuts. However you serve them, you’ll enjoy your walnut-cinnamon espresso brownies most – you’ve guessed it – with a Café Royal Espresso. Bon appetit!