This evening, we are going to a meeting of the local home brew fraternity. Please don’t ask – only know that as far as I am aware, no one in attendance sports a beard.
My activities with alcohol largely consist of either drinking it or adding to it – sloe gin, blackcurrant vodka, that sort of thing – but the Husband has had some success in the homebrew department, with cider and beer, and it appears that he is not alone. This is the first of these events that we have gone to, and the general idea is to bring along some of your finest brew and everyone will have a try.
After a brief discussion on the school run with the hostess, I have decided that my own contribution to proceedings will be some brownie. I wasn’t sure what would be a good match to beer, but when I googled ‘cake to eat with beer’, the results mostly steered me in the chocolate direction. There was also a carrot cake idea, but I couldn’t be bothered with all the grating today, and really, brownie is very easy.
In view of the occasion, I thought I ought to contribute something with at least a whiff of alcohol about it, so rather than automatically reaching for my tried and tested Nigella favourite (the one in Domestic Goddess) I decided to see what Dan Lepard had to offer in ‘Short and Sweet’. Some interesting suggestions, and these adult treats are inspired by his Bourbon Pecan Brownies.
Rum Hazelnut Brownies
200g dark chocolate, 125g unsalted butter, 2 eggs, 100g soft brown sugar, 100g caster sugar, 75ml white rum (I used Havana Club), 2 tsp vanilla extract, 175g plain flour, 1tbsp cocoa, 130g hazelnuts, roughly chopped.
Line a 20x20cm square tine with foil and pre-heat the oven to 190C/170fan/375 F
|Check out the cake testing hole...|
Melt the butter and chocolate together, and leave to cool slightly. Sift together the flour and cocoa, then beat together the eggs and sugar till light and creamy. Beat the chocolate and butter into the egg/sugar mixture, followed by the rum and vanilla extract and finally, the flour/cocoa, then stir in the nuts, scrape it all into the prepared tin and bake for 25mins/until a skewer/toothpick (or whatever your cake testing implement of choice s) comes out barely clean. Leave to cool then cut into squares. I got 16.