Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cappuccino Brownies in an Easter Care Package

The sad part of about letting your children have wings, is they usually end up using them!  Of course, this is what parents do and when they do use them, it is their right and our privilege to send them out into the big wide world.  However, no one ever said we had to like it!

My children are both mid-20's now and I have been privileged to keep them nearby much longer than most.  But my oldest has moved back and forth to London a few times and this time he just might stay there.  You never know, but one day he will put down roots somewhere.  At least he lives in a very interesting, and relatively near place so it could be worse.

However, this is the first time he will not be home for Easter.  And this came as a real shock.  Not that there were ever long term plans for him to come, not at all!  He keeps planning on coming home and then plans change due to work and he postpones. So one postponement found him potentially coming home for Easter weekend.  Then, work appeared and he was not able to come.  Luckily, he let us know in time for the Easter Bunny to get something packaged and posted to him!

The idea was for my grandson and I to bake him something wonderful.  And we thought we had - little darling chocolate cupcakes with chocolate chips and chocolate icing.  They looked wonderful. But after forcing ourselves to eat 3 (each), both my grandson and I agreed, these were not good.  I had over baked them and they were very hard to eat.  So sad too, with all that chocolate......

After he left for his Daddy's, I became a woman possessed in the need to have something home baked to post to my son for his Easter package!  And I only had self raising flour so the obvious option of cookies was out.  So I got the "1001 Cupcakes, Cookies & Other Tempting Treats" to find a recipe.  The Cappuccino Brownies caught my eye and this is the one I decided to do.

The recipe calls for an 11 by 7 inch rectangular pan and I did not have one.  Not to be deterred though, I googled cake pan substitutions and came up with a great website and learned I could substitute a 9 inch square pan.

Another hurdle was that these brownies need to be iced.  The white part on the top of a cup of cappuccino was required.  But I didn't think until they were finished being baked that icing on top would be too messy to mail.  So I took my bread knife and cut the brownies in half, poured the relatively warm icing, too late to let it cool completely, and watched it seep into the brownies.  I am still waiting on the verdict if they were too gooey. But then, they are Brownies, so gooey is ok!

Apologies, I packed all but one when I realised I had not taken a picture!  This last one went to my husband, who does not really like coffee flavoured things.  He actually enjoyed this one!  You can see the icing seeping out of the middle!

My son received the package today, there were other things than just the brownies, and he says they were delicious!  Judging from the picture he sent, it looks like the Easter Bunny's efforts were worth it!

So here is the recipe as it should be, not as I did it!  I have attempted to convert the measurements into cups, but this is very approximate and I cannot guarantee it will be exactly correct.

Cappuccino Brownies  Makes 15  ( in the square pan, I got 20)

225g/8oz butter, plus extra for greasing
225g/8oz self raising flour  (a little bit less than 1 1/4 cup)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
225/8oz caster sugar  (just over 3/4 cup)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp instant coffee granules, dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water, cooled

White Chocolate Frosting

115g/4 oz white chocolate, broken into pieces
55g/2oz butter, softened
3 tbsp milk
175g/6 oz icing sugar (powdered or confectioners sugar) 3/4 cup

Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.  Grease and line the base of a shallow 28 x 18 cm/ 11 x 7 inch rectangular baking tin.  Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa into a bowl and add the butter, sugar, eggs and coffee.  Beat well until smooth, then spoon into the tin and smooth the top.  

Bake in the preheated oven for 35- 40 minutes, or until risen and firm.  Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and peel off the lining paper.  Leave to cool completely.

To make the frosting, place the chocolate, butter and milk in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the chocolate has melted.  Remove the pan from the heat and sift in the icing sugar.  Beat until smooth, then spread over the cake.  Dust the top with sifted cocoa and cut into squares.

"Easter gives hope for tomorrow, As after the winter comes Spring. Our hearts can be filled with gladness As hearts rejoice and sing."