Sticky Toffee Brownies

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In the last month or so we have moved in to our first home (no more landlords!), I started a lovely new job in the heart of Cambridge and we’ve enjoyed a fabulous long weekend in Dublin. I made these brownies after we’d unpacked the essentials and my bigger, new kitchen was screaming bake something!

Sticky toffee brownies are the best a way to christen a new pad! The smell of baking certainly makes a house feel like home, and taking a break from unpacking to melt chocolate, weigh flour and set a kitchen timer was much appreciated. 

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This recipe is based upon my favourite brownie, by the ever reliable Smitten Kitchen, given extra rib sticking richness with a swirl of dates. The all American brownie a British twist. They’re rich but not overpowering and such a treat. Make sure to use dark chocolate, at least 70%, milk will be much too sweet. Be generous with the sea salt – it will give the brownies a savoury edge to counteract both sweet elements.

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I make the original recipe a lot, it’s my idea of a perfect brownie – a fudgy middle with a crackly crisp top. I tend to reduce the sugar in the original recipe to 200g for ordinary brownies as it can be overpoweringly sweet otherwise, and I’ve reduced it further (and added a bit extra flour) for this sticky toffee recipe.

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For the sticky toffee date sauce:

boiling water
80g dates, roughly chopped
1 tbsp ground almonds
2 tbsp golden syrup
1tsp cinnamon
1 tsp of melted coconut oil or butter

Soak the dates in the boiling water for 15 minutes until they are soft. Drain, but reserve a few teaspoons of water. Whizz up the dates with the rest of the ingredients in a small food processor (or stick blender) until it resembles a thick caramel-like sauce. Set aside whilst you make the brownies.

For the brownies:

85g 70% or more dark chocolate, roughly chopped
115g butter, cut into cubes
175g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
100g of plain flour

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 / 180c. Grease and line a 20cm brownie or square cake tin.

Set a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water (about 2/3 full) on a medium heat. Put the butter and chocolate in the bowl and stir until melted through. Add in the sugar, and then the eggs one at a time, mix well. Then add in the vanilla, salt and flour.

Transfer to the prepared tin, then dollop the sticky toffee sauce over the top. Swirl with a tablespoon. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until a few crumbs come off a skewer when inserted.

Leave to cool and cut into squares, eat immediately, do not share.

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