All of us are big fans of Junior MasterChef Australia so it was no surprise that on a recent quick trip to Sydney on work, The Lovely Wife bought me a copy of Gary Mehigan's cookbook. Over the weekend, I was in the mood to bake something and was rifling through Gary's book. I came across his Brownies and although I have my own tried and tested recipe, I thought why not try his out and see how it compares?
The kids also love watching Bobby Flay's 'throwdown' and so when I suggested that I make the Mehigan Brownie, the kids were game and likened it to a 'throwdown'! Okay, not quite the same as a real throwdown but it would be a fun thing to do. In any case, I really wanted to see how Gary's brownies would turn out.
Looking at the recipe, it uses a lot of chocolate whereas I only use about 100g of chocolate chips. The chocolate also really melts and melds with the brownies whereas in my version the chocolate chips kind of maintain their shape. Maybe its the type of couverture you use.
The pictures in the book also show the brownie as being really dark and almost gooey. Gary even mentions that the brownie should be a little gooey in the centre. The original recipe also calls for peanuts but I used chopped walnuts instead.
This is the recipe as it appears in the book:
250g butter, chopped
515g caster sugar
90g Dutch process cocoa powder plus extra for dusting
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
175g dark couverture chocolate, chopped
75g unsalted peanuts, chopped
preheat a fan forced oven to 160C (I preheated a normal oven to 180C). Grease and line a 24cm x 21cm pan with baking paper. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place sugar, cocoa powder and butter in a mixing bowl and beat with hand held electric beaters. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl, sift flour and baking powder together then fold through the cocoa mixture. Mix the chocolate and peanuts togehter and fold them through the batter.
Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. (Gary says it can take up to 40 minutes depending on your oven)
The brownie should be soft and gooey in the centre. Leave to cool in the tin a little to firm before slicing. Dust with extra cocoa powder and serve warm or at room temperature with a nice dob of cream or ice cream.
I have to say that the Brownies were rather tasty. It was perhaps a little too rich and a little too gooey for my liking but it was still very delicious. These brownies went better with ice cream rather than on their own. Another thing about these brownies were that you cuouldnt eat too many at one sitting, unlike mine where you just wanted one after another.
The kids enjoyed the Mehigan Brownie too but they too agreed that they preferred mine. I guess the proof of this was that they didnt want to take any of the Mehigan Brownie to school for their snack, preferring instead to just eat it as a dessert with ice cream. As for The Lovely Wife, she liked the Mehigan Brownie as well but also admitted, somewhat begrudgingy, that she preferred mine!
So I guess if this was a real Throwdown, I would win! Regardless, the Mehigan Brownie is really easy to make and will make a stunning dessert anywhere. It made a nice change from making my usual brownie too and gave us a little bit of fun with this 'virtual throwdown' challenge. Sorry Gary, but I think I trumped you this time. Then again, to each their own and I'm sure my family has a little bias in them as well!