{sshh} Killer Brownies

You know those great recipes that keep you tagging along reading a ship-tonne of personal blah before you get to the good stuff?. Not here.

Click the button above to jump right to the recipe if you can’t wait – these are so good, I can’t justify holding you back.

WARNING ⚠️ once you have made and tasted these, you can’t un-know them. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Killer Brownies is the name given to them by my buddy at our regular girls’ night get-together. The first time we had them, I had cut them into the regular size for brownies and quickly discovered they are fudgey and rich. By rich, I mean RICH. A 3cm square size is more than enough [EDIT: Hubby says man-size 5cm is still okay 😜] You can also mess about a bit with the dry ingredients to your liking.. more on that later in the Variations list.

It begins with the usual Brownie line-up…

why {sshh}?… there is one secret ingredient…🌿

The richness comes down to using both chocolate and cocoa, and one secret ingredient 😎 – a herb (no, not THAT herb 🙄🤣) – a very common one. The cute little mauve flower on top in the picture is the clue. The secret ingredient changes everything. Seriously, folks. Go there. You won’t be sorry. We highly recommend though that you don’t give away the secret before your guests eat these (though of course always check what folks are allergic to first) as before you know what it is, the bang-up-tasty-intrigue is delicious.

Something else we discovered during our girls’ night… despite chocolate and lemon not usually going well together, these are mind-blown-yum with a little dollop of lemon butter on top. Who knew. Do it. 🍋✨

Killer Brownies

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WARNING – once you have made and tasted these, you can't un-know them. Don't say you weren't warned.
It begins with the usual Brownie line-up – butter, sugar, eggs, chocolate and dry ingredients. It departs from the usual with the secret ingredient – Rosemary.
Yes, you read that right – rosemary. About a tablespoon full of finely chopped succulent rosemary tips in with the chocolate. I like to pop an edible rosemary flower on top as a clue (just be sure to check folks' dietary restrictions first of course)
The richness comes down to using both chocolate and cocoa, and that one secret ingredient 😎. It changes everything. Seriously, folks. Go there. You won't be sorry.
*This recipe can be made by hand, with a mixer or with your Thermomix
Section: Cake, Dessert
Hero: chocolate, herbs
Features: Easy, unique, Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 200 g chocolate buds or chopped dark is better for this recipe
  • 200 g butter
  • 200 g sugar castor sugar melts quicker
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 120 g plain flour
  • 30 g cocoa raw cacao is even nicer
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped soft rosemary tips {sshh, this is the secret}

Instructions

  • Line or grease a shallow Brownie tin (approx 20x25cm) and preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (340 F)
  • Melt chocolate and butter together over gentle heat or in microwave ( or 4min-60C-speed2 in TMX)
  • Add sugar and stir to combine (or 5sec-speed4 in TMX). This also cools down the mix before the next bit..
  • Add eggs and mix well. (or 5sec-speed4 in TMX)
  • Add dry stuff and mix BUT DO NOT OVERWORK as overbeating makes the mix fluffier – ending up with a less fudgey more cakey result (unless that is your preference)
  • Pour into the lined tin. Bake for about 15-20 minutes depending on your oven – but WATCH IT and pull out when the top is not sticky but still soft to touch. It will harden as it coolsThis is not cake. If you cook it til it bounces back, it loses fudgey goodness and you end up with a sad stiff biscuit 😕

Notes

FEATURES: easy, unique
EQUIPMENT: Thermomix (TMX) or electric mixer or easy hand mixing, average size cake  or brownietin, whichever you have.
STORING: keeps on the bench in a cake tin for a few days, but please don’t refrigerate, as it will go hard.
VARIATIONS: We like these not too sweet, as we have them warm with ice cream. You can adjust the sugar to your taste. Melting the wet ingredients first makes it more gooey-yum. You can also fiddle about with the dry ingredients – substituting the flour with a portion of almond meal, or alternate flour.. experiment as we have. Oh my, served with lemon butter or ice-cream.

Naked Citrus

I love Manadarins, but in the spirit of using everything I can that we grow, I have started peeling the yummy zest off my mandarins BEFORE I use and eat them. Naked citrus is just as useful, but we then have the peel to use as well. Seriously folks, you can’t un-know this.

Peel can be frozen for later. Totally love this for reducing food waste.

Whether you are eating citrus whole, juicing it or slicing it, there’s no reason not to peel first. It can still be used exactly as before, but naked. 🤭

peel your citrus before you use them
ta-daa – one naked mandarin – with pith but no peel.

That’s it – haha – short n zesty, but too good a tip not to share. We dry and mill the peel for flavouring, or freeze it and use it for all sorts of yummies, like citrus sugar!!

gently cooked apple with muesli and yogurt

Apples for breakfast

It’s apple season. We got apples coming out of our whatsitz. Apple crumble, apple sauce and freezing apples for later are all on the schedule. For me though, nothing beats a freshly cooked apple for breakfast. By ‘breakfast’, those who know me know that’s more likely a lunch substitute at about 10am.

it is apple season

Small lattes start the day.

small lattes start the day

Coffee does first at 7am. Everyone has their vice, and mine is caffeine. Days without my man making our morning brew are… ‘depresso’.

True story.

On our last holidays, we actually took Barney Breville with us. Yep, that’s a true story too haha.

By mid-morning though, I’m ready for something fresh, substantial, home-made, toasty and FAST. Apples, muesli and yogurt is all that. So, enough chat, here it is.

apple, muesli and yogurt

The muesli is our own ‘bits n pieces’ mix – about 2/3 rolled oats and 1/3 whatever we have left over. That includes boxed cereal crumbs (eg. weetbix), dried fruit, seeds, nuts – whatever we are using up – it all goes into the muesli tin. It is a great way to reduce food waste and makes a truly scrumptious breakfast. I also use this mix as the base for our apple crumble. 😉

Apples for breakfast

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gently cooked apple with muesli and yogurt
Apples for breakfast. Why not. With home made muesli and yogurt, it's a bonza start to the day.
Section: Breakfast
Hero: apples
Features: Easy, left-overs, Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 1 whole apple organic, washed and cubed
  • 1 spoon yogurt ours is home made Greek, see notes
  • 1 serving muesli home made 'bits n pieces', see notes
  • 1 tsp honey

Instructions

  • Put chopped apple with honey in a small pan on medium heat, with a spritz of water to speed things up if you like. Cook til just softened, but not mushy – about 5 min.
  • At the same time, measure out your chosen bowl serving size of meusli, put into a dry pan on low heat to toast. Watch it and stir/move so it doesn't burn. When you can smell it and the seeds begin to 'pop', you are close – about 5 min.
  • When muesli is ready, pour into a bowl, and swish the hot pan with water. It'll be clean and dry in no time as there were no oils – easy clean-up. Winner. The apple n honey pan is a quick swishtoo if not overcooked. Winner again!
  • A lovely big dollop of yogurt on top (even more if you have teenagers – haha).

Notes

Notes
  • Apples can be replaced with just about any fruit in season. We have this easy breakfast with peach, pear, plums, berries – whatever is in a glut.
  • Muesli we use our own ‘bits n pieces’ mix. It is the same mix I use to make apple crumble, with butter and sugar added of course. Super easy and yum. 
  • Yogurt can be any flavour, but we think Greek or natural is best. The Thermomix Basic Green book recipe for yogurt – the pot set variation – is our favourite.