Once again, my kids taught me a lesson this week! They showed commitment, persistence and determination beyond their years and I am suitably proud of their efforts (they did get a great deal of help from their marketing-savvy father I must admit). It started a few weeks ago when one of the twins and her brother announced that they would like to start a business. Baring in mind they are four and a half and six years old, we were surprised to hear them so keen. Granted, they are growing up in a household where business is the norm, but we’ve never spoken directly to them about our businesses or the fact that they should consider this in the future. They really are sponges!
Eventually we settled on selling brownies on the sidewalk. We’re just off a fairly busy road so we had a captive audience. The short story is that we’ve had two sales that went extremely well. The first was on a Sunday afternoon and we sold out in twenty minutes. As the kids’ supplier, I was expected to double the quantity for Thursday afternoon and we almost caused a traffic hazard when an ambulance pulled over! A sell-out once again. One lady asked for our next sale date so she could Facebook it! The lessons for the kids covered maths, advertising, organisation, teamwork, food safety, people skills and customer service, banking and restraint! Needless to say I have perfected my organic brownies down to the last detail. I had requests for the recipe – so here it is. I used the Thermomix, of course, but it would be fairly easy to do this in a regular food processor or just by hand.
You can of course substitute the ingredients for non-organic options but the reason these taste so good it that I always use the best available ingredients – it makes a huge difference. The customers are happy too!
Organic Rich Chocolate Brownies
200gms good quality organic dark chocolate or Lindt dessert chocolate – at least 70% Cacao
70gms raw cacao powder
230gms organic butter
380gms organic raw sugar
1 tsp baking powder
100gms Imported French flour
large pinch good quality organic sea salt
4 organic eggs
1 tbsp organic vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 160 degrees and completely line a 20cm x 5cm deep slice tray. Ensure you use enough baking paper that it comes up the sides and slightly over – this will help you easily remove the brownie slab from the pan when cool.
Mill the raw sugar on speed 9 for 5 seconds.
Add the baking powder, flour and raw cacao. Mix on speed 10 for 5 seconds. Set aside in a bowl.
Add the dark chocolate, broken down into 2-square pieces and roughly chop for 4 seconds on speed 5. If you’re chopping by hand, don’t be afraid to have big chunks left in the mix – these are the best bits once cooked! Set aside in another bowl.
Melt the butter for 3 minutes on speed 2 at 60 degrees with the sea salt. Allow to cool to 37 degrees before continuing. To speed this up, remove the TM bowl and set on the bench to cool quicker.
Add the flour/cacao mix to the TM bowl, followed by the 4 eggs and the vanilla extract. Mix for 30 seconds on speed 3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue for another 5 seconds.
Add the chopped chocolate and mix on reverse speed 3 for 10 seconds or until combined. You may need to finish by hand.
Pour the mix into the tray and smooth with a spatula.
Cook for 1 hour or until completely set. This takes a little intuition … the middle pieces will always be a little moister than the outside pieces and this provides good variety! Some like it super gooey and others like it chewier so you can cater for all tastes. The worst mistake is to overcook the brownie slab … don’t go over 1 hour 10 mins or it will be overcooked.
Leave to cool completely in the tin (overnight is best) before removing (use the paper sides to pull up and out evenly so as not to break the slab). Cut into 6 large or 8 smaller pieces.
N.B. For best results, I double the mixture (made in 2 batches though) and use a 34cm tin that is 5cm deep. I smooth the first batch and pour the second on top and smooth again. I cook for exactly 1 hour 7 mins (yes I must be superstitious!) and it works beautifully. Makes 12 large pieces.
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge but for best results, return to room temperature before serving. Dust with icing sugar. Serve with fresh raspberries and double cream.
With grace and gusto