It’s Good Friday, and tomorrow I’m going to spend the rest of the Easter weekend up in Edinburgh with two of my best girlfriends from school. I can’t wait. As two of us are lucky enough to be able to stay with the third who’s a student in the Scottish capital, naturally I am taking baked goods as a little thank you for having me. As far as I’m concerned giving a gift to your host is a must, even if only a little something. And what better than a home-baked present? Easter is a great time of year for baking and the perfect excuse for whipping up something decadently chocolatey – step in, chocolate banana brownies. These are also a great way of using up super ripe bananas, and the riper they are the sweeter they’ll be (and thus the better!) In my opinion, brownies need to be delightfully squidgy and moist – isn’t it sad when what’s called a brownie has the texture of a cake? If I’d wanted cake I would have asked for cake, thank you very much. But I digress… The bananas in this recipe help ensure the resulting gooey texture of the brownies. Make sure you don’t overbake them though.
Squidgy on the middle, with a slight crust on top, and then the crunch of the decorative mini eggs… These brownies are just a little bit good, if I do say so myself. For even more of a texture sensation, you could add some chopped nuts too. Warm from the oven, and maybe with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side, who could resist? (Not me.) I used an 11″x7″ tin, and that gave me 15 (not overly huge) brownies. The challenge for me will be not devouring them all on my train journey up to Edinburgh tomorrow… Arriving with a tin empty apart from a few chocolatey crumbs could be marginally embarrassing.
175g unsalted butter
180g light brown sugar
200g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
2 bananas (super ripe)
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g self-raising flour
2 tbsps cocoa powder
a handful of mini eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line your baking tin with greaseproof paper.
2. Combine the butter, sugar and chocolate in a large glass bowl resting on top of a pan of gently simmering water (but make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water), stirring until melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat when the mixture is smooth.
3. While the chocolate mix is melting, mash the bananas into a large bowl, then add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk them all together. Stir in the melted chocolate mix. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and stir until all combined.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes BUT scatter the mini eggs as evenly as you can on top after about 10 minutes of baking (so that they’ll stick on top but won’t sink down.)
5. Allow the brownies to cool in the tin before lifting out on to a board using the baking paper and cutting into squares. Watch as people come running down to the kitchen from all corners of your house (maybe even your neighbours) as the smell wafts out.