- Food & Drink
I know what you’re thinking: Bonfire Night is over. You don’t need Bonfire Night recipes any more. What you need are recipes for aspirational homemade gifts, chutney and festive spirits. Then you can file them away till a week before Christmas, when you’ll remember your good intentions, panic and sweep round the shops buying novelty socks, Branston’s and Baileys. It’s an annual tradition.
Too bad. I’m going backwards in time to give you a recipe for something that is vaguely related to November 5th. The connection is the marshmallows.
A marshmallow that hasn’t been toasted over a bonfire is a pillow of disappointment. A bland, claggy, clod of sugar. But stick ’em on a stake and toast ’em like a heretic and all of a sudden, they’re delicious.
I’d seen recipes for marshmallow brownies kicking about the internet in the run up to Guy Fawke’s. I had a Bonfire Night party to go to. And, amazingly, I had everything I needed to make a trayful of brownies, including mini marshmallows. God knows why. I don’t remember buying them. I think mini marshmallows are a bit like desiccated coconut: no one actually buys the stuff, the bags just break out of supermarkets and invade kitchens on the sly.
The brownies were described as ‘crack brownies’ at the party, which I think is positive. I put their moreishness down to the layer of mini marshmallows in the middle of the brownies, which melt while they’re baking and fill the brownies with extra sugary chewiness.
I like my brownies with a soft, fudgy middle and ice-bathing the tin as soon as it comes out of the oven helps achieve this. It seizes the cooking process, so they don’t bake in the tin as they cool. Freezing them means you can slice them neatly the next day, and then watch as they soften into squishy brownie perfection.
Bonfire Night Brownies with Mini Marshmallows
250g salted butter, softened, plus a little extra for greasing
200g 70% cocoa chocolate
250g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
1 egg yolk
100g self raising flour
60g cocoa powder
75g mini marshmallows
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 30cm brownie tin and line the base with baking parchment. Set aside.
Break the chocolate into chunks and melt it in a heatproof bowl set over, but not touching, a pan of simmering water. Or melt it in very short blasts in the microwave (check and stir every 15-20 seconds because chocolate burns like hell in the microwave).
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and the egg yolk, beating well between each addition. The mix should be shiny and thick.
Fold in the melted chocolate, then sift in the flour and cocoa powder. Add a pinch of salt. Fold it over and over to mix it together.
Spoon half the mixture into the tin and scatter over 2/3s of the marshmallows. Cover with the rest of the brownie mix. Bake for 20 minutes. Scatter the rest of the marshmallows on top. Bake for another 10 minutes. Test with a skewer; it should come out sticky, but not coated with raw mixture. If it does, put it back into the oven for another 3 minutes, then test again.
Add a handful of ice and some cold water to a roasting tin to make an ice bath (don’t overfill it: you don’t want water slopping into your tin of brownies). When the brownies are ready, remove the tin from the oven and place in the ice bath. Leave to cool, then freeze over night. Slice into 12 (or 24 small) brownies to serve.