Money Can’t Buy You Happiness Brownies
Makes 18 squares | Prep 40 minutes, plus overnight chilling | Cook 55 minutes | Best kept in the fridge for 3–4 days
For the brownie base:
250g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
250g dark chocolate
4 medium eggs
280g soft dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon instant coffee mixed with 2 teaspoons hot water
120g plain flour, sifted
30g cocoa, sifted
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon plain flour
150g dark choc chips
For the nutty centre
1 x 450g jar of dulce de leche
200g chopped mixed nuts or hazelnuts
½ teaspoon salt
For the top:
300g full-fat soft cream cheese
100g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon plain flour
cocoa powder for dusting
I don’t think I need to elaborate too much on these, do I? I am always in search of the best brownie, and I figure if you can’t find it, make it. So here it is: a triple chocolate brownie, with a layer of toasted chopped nuts encased in dulce de leche, then topped with a zesty cheesecake mixture and baked again. I rest my case.
Put the butter and chocolate in a small pan and melt gently, stirring occasionally until the mixture is liquid. Set aside to cool.
Line the base and sides of a 20 x 30 x 5cm brownie tin with some baking paper so that it comes 1cm above the top of the tin, and lightly grease.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 60°C/gas 4.
Add the eggs, sugar and cooled coffee to a large mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture is light, thick and fluffy. This should take 5 minutes with an electric hand whisk. (Adding the coffee really enhances the flavour of the cocoa and you won’t even be able to taste the coffee itself.)
Pour in the cooled melted chocolate and whisk until the mixture no longer has any streaks in it.
Then add the sifted flour, cocoa and salt and mix until you have a glossy batter.
Mix the teaspoon of flour with the chocolate chips in a bowl before mixing them into the batter until they’re well dispersed – this trick will stop them sinking to the bottom when you bake the brownies. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level off the top. Bake for 25 minutes.
While it is baking, toast the nuts in a large non-stick pan, stirring until they are a deep golden brown.
Put the dulce de leche in a bowl along with the toasted nuts and the salt, mix and set aside.
As soon as the brownies are baked, take them out of the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin. As soon as they have cooled, spread the sticky nut mixture over the top and pop the whole thing in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Adjust the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3½.
Make the cheesecake top by mixing the cream cheese, sugar, egg, almond extract, orange zest and flour together really well.
Spoon and spread into an even layer over the nut mixture and pop into the oven for 30 minutes.
As soon as the cheesecake is set in the centre, allow to cool totally and leave in the fridge overnight. The wait will be worth it!
Dust with the cocoa, take out of the tin and cut into squares. Eat, eat, eat!
Orange and Lemongrass Meringue Pie
Serves 8 | Prep 30 minutes, plus chilling | Cook 10 minutes
For the base:
250g sugar-frosted cornflake cereal
125g unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
2 large oranges, juice and zest (you will need 200ml juice)
4 sticks of lemongrass
250g caster sugar
6 large egg yolks
For the meringue:
4 large egg whites
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
255g caster sugar
Meringue pie is a classic, especially the familiar lemon variety. But it’s also a recipe where there are so many variations possible and this is just one of countless ways to mix it up. Instead of biscuit or pastry I’ve made the base with sweet crisp cereal and instead of lemon curd I’ve gone for orange and lemongrass. The only bit that hasn’t changed is the top, as I think meringue needs no improvement.
Line the base of a 23cm loose-bottomed tin with a circle of baking parchment.
Pop the frosted flakes into a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and whizz till you have a mixture that resembles wet, clumpy sand. Tip it out into the tin and, using the back of a spoon, cover the base and sides, making sure to pack it all in really tightly. Pop into the fridge to chill and set.
Now for the curd. Add the orange juice and zest to a non-stick pan. Bash the lemongrass to release all the flavours, chop into little pieces and add to the pan.
Add the cornflour, sugar and egg yolks and stir everything together. It will be lumpy and not look
great at this point, but pop it onto the hob on the lowest heat and mix till you have a smooth curd that coats the back of a spoon.
Take off the heat and push through a sieve, to remove lumps and extract more of that lemongrass flavour. Leave to cool completely. As soon as it is cool, add to the crispy tart base, level off and pop into the fridge.
For the meringue, put the egg whites and cream of tartar into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
Mix the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then bubble until the syrup reaches 110°C. When that happens, start beating the egg whites in the stand mixer until they reach stiff peaks. Once the syrup reaches 118°C, pour the syrup slowly onto the egg whites with the motor still running at a slow speed.
Once the syrup is mixed in, increase the speed to medium−high and beat for another 3–5 minutes
until thick and shiny.
Take the tart shell out of the tin and put on a serving dish. Dollop peaks of meringue onto the curd. The more swirls you have the more beautiful it will look. Grill the top for just long enough to toast or use a blowtorch to colour the meringue.
Seekh kebab toad in the hole
Serves 4 | Prep 30 minutes, plus chilling | Cook 50 minutes
For the seekh kebab
500g lamb/beef mince
1 small red onion, very finely diced
a small handful of coriander, chopped
2 tablespoons garam masala
1 tablespoon gram flour/ cornflour
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium egg
For the tray
90g clarified butter
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed
2 medium red onions, quartered
1 medium red pepper, cored and cut into 8 chunks
2 tomatoes, quartered
For the batter
140g plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 medium eggs
175ml whole milk
This is toad in the hole, Asian style! I’m a big fan of the original, but even with my favourite recipes sometimes I like to mix things up and do what I call ‘desi style’, so instead of sausages this contains meatballs, made from mince that’s spiced gently and cooked with chunks of onions, then enveloped in a simple Yorkshire pudding-type batter.
Start by making the seekh kebab mixture. Add the mince to a bowl with the onion, coriander, garam masala, flour, salt and egg, then get your hands in and mix the whole lot together until you have an even mixture.
Divide into 12 equal mounds. Using wet hands, create small even neat rounds, pop them onto a plate and leave to chill in the fridge while you prep the rest of the recipe.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7. Put the ghee into a medium ovenproof roasting dish (about 25 x 30cm) and pop into the oven to melt. This should only take 5 minutes.
Drop in the coriander seeds, onion, red pepper and tomatoes, mix through, then return to the oven to cook for 10 minutes. The perfect time to make your batter.
Add the flour to a bowl with the salt and mix. Make a well in the centre, add the eggs and milk then, using a whisk, bring the thick batter together.
Take the roasting dish out of the oven and carefully place the kebabs in it. Put back into the oven for 10 minutes – just enough to seal the mince.
Take the tray out again and gently reposition everything so there are 3 kebabs per portion and all the veg are nicely placed, before pouring in the batter.
Bake for 20–25 minutes. The batter will puff up and envelop the kebabs as it cooks. Leave for 10 minutes before serving.
by Nadiya Hussain
All recipes taken from Nadiya Bakes.
The book we've all been waiting for: Nadiya's return to her true love, baking!
Discover all the delicious and mouth-watering recipes from the BBC2 TV series in Nadiya's Sunday Times bestselling cookbook, Nadiya Bakes.
From classic baking staples to dazzling show-stoppers, deliciously sweet to sumptuously savoury, Nadiya Bakes has it all . . .