Having grown up in a family where my mother loved to bake, brithdays were synonymous with lovingly crafted cake, which we got to decided exactly how it would be. Nothing rivalled our Mother's cake, and she has succeeded in passing her love of baking on to all four of her children.
Now, as an adult, I relish in taking on this responsibility for providing loved ones with home made cake on birthdays. However, I have managed to marry a man who doesn't really like cake. (Although, I would like to add that our first encounters with each other invariably involved cake, baked by my own fair hands, and he never once complained...)
So, when it came to deciding what to bake for John's birthday this week, my options felt rather limited. He made the suggestion of brownies, so I granted his wish with a chocolate brownie stack.
I have a few go-to brownie recipes, but my current favourite is the Divine Chocolate recipe. Once the brownies had cooled, I removed them from the tin and used a circular cutter to make 5 circles.
I then whipped up some chocolate frosting using the Hummingbird Bakery recipe to sandwich all the layers together and smother over the stack. Due to my elaborate method of slapping & smothering on the frosting to the sides of the brownie, the tower ended up a little wonky, but truly sturdy all the same!
John's verdict on his birthday brownies: wow, you really know what you're doing with brownies.
200g Divine dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
100g unsalted butter, very soft
250g caster sugar
4 free range eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
60g plain flour
Pre-heat the oven to 180C / Gas mark 4 & grease and line an 8" square tin.
Break up the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt gently either over simmering water or in the microwave.
Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool until needed.
Beat the butter and sugar until nice and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then beat in vanilla essence.
Pour the cooled mixture into the prepared tin.
Bake for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch but still fudgy.
Leave to cool in the tin on a cooling rack.