Friday, 30 April 2010

Tarts on Thursday: The Hummingbird Bakery Chocolate Brownie

We will never ever accept things for free or payment on this blog. It's all about Passion. Whether its chocolate, cakes, fonts, shoes or olives - its about the best and beyond. We often discuss the merits of different chocolate and whether it adds to the mix or there's no difference when cooking.

We were all pretty neutral about the benefits of Premium or Smart Chocolate for Cooks until we tried Green and Black's Dark Cooks' Chocolate (Organic). This truly does make a difference. It's also worth looking inside the wrapper at the recipes - White Chocolate and Rosemary Panna Cotta. Grown-up version of Willy Wonka Recipes.

We've tried several versions over the past couple of months and this is definitely way and beyond the best. (thank you Zar) This is based on The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook P100 (Published 2009). There are lots of theories about their cakes, more another time but this is the best Brownie we've ever, ever made (and we've made a lot). 

We use a smaller baking tray and bake for 20mins in our ovens it would be burnt to a crisp if we'd baked for the rec time of 30-35 mins. Using a microwave to combine the two main ingredients is our contribution to time-saving.  They also rec dusting with icing sugar at the end. Obviously this is optional. However, for us it's a waste of a good Brownie, it also makes us sneeze.



200g dark chocolate
175g unsalted butter
325g caster sugar
130g plain flour
3 eggs

a 33 x 23x 5 cm baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper

1 Preheat the oven to 170C (325F) Gas 3

Put the Chocolate and butter in two microwave friendly bowls and melt (combine once melted to a smooth consistency).

Add the sugar and stir until well incorporated. Add the flour and stir. Finally, stir in the eggs and mix until thick and smooth.

Spoon the mixture into the baking tray (remember the greaseproof paper) and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes (our experience tells us 20-25 mins if you want the gooey centre). It should be flaky on top but soft in the centre. Be careful, otherwise the edges become hard and crunchy. Leave to cool a bit (preferably completely).

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Tarts On Thursday - Hotel Tresanton

As the seasons shift we still tend to think of cake but travelling too. Especially, if we can fit Afternoon Tea in. There are numerous obvious examples of great or innovative service. Our favourite by far is at the Hotel Tresanton on the edge of St Mawes. There aren't many hotel staff who greet every guest as if they are truly special.

After years of searching we've found one and they deserve to be lauded for it.  Is this what visiting a Four Seasons Hotel is like? We don't know yet, all we know is that the Afternoon Tea is reasonably priced and sitting in such effortlessly chic, serene surroundings is utter BLISS. We travelled miles for this and it was worth every penny or pound in this case (£10.00 - tea, slices of lemon drizzle cake, brownie and scones with jam and clotted cream).

If you go tell us what you think - you won't be disappointed and if the sun is out you may even get to sit on the Terrace. Bellex