What’s in the Box, the Cardboard Box?

My favourite time of the month is when I get my e-mail to say that my next baking box is on its way and what ingredients I need. This month’s e-mail came through on Friday 14 July. I needed to buy medium eggs, unsalted butter and double cream. I added the eggs and butter to my shopping order but decided against the cream. I could buy that when I decided to do the bake.

I didn’t have a clue what it would be. Most bakes need eggs and butter. Double cream didn’t help at all.

My box was delivered on the following Monday when I was in Cardiff for Kathryn’s graduation. After having a fantastic afternoon tea, I couldn’t even think about baking cakes. It really was a lovely tea, mini carrot cakes (I am going to find a recipe), apricot frangipani tarts (must make these too), milllionaire shortbread, macaroons, scones and welsh cakes (not to forget the sandwiches and lemon posset with raspberry coulis), I couldn’t think of eating anything for a couple of hours.

Graduation Afternoon Tea

I did open the box as soon as I got home, and maybe it was because I was still full by the lovely tea, but I didn’t get so excited by what I saw.

What’s in the Box?
Rocky Road Brownies Box

I think the reason I wasn’t so keen was because I have found the perfect brownie recipe. It is a Mary Berry recipe which I bake in my traybake tin; an all in one method with lots of cocoa powder and chocolate chips added. The cake has just the right amount of squidginess about it and is lovely served warm. When you find the right recipe, why change it? As for rocky road: never appealed to me at all. That said, I think the recipe is still brilliant and I think it comes at the right time. I belong to the Facebook group and a lot of the people there bake the boxes with their children. With summer holidays here, this is so ideal.

As I had both Jordan and Kathryn home at the weekend (my grown up children), I thought I would get this bake made. I decided to bake on Saturday and started early. The bake needed an 8 inch (20cm) tin. I had one of these. It is actually a freebie I got when buying lurpak butter a few years back. I got a great loaf tin on one of these offers too so they are really worth looking for. Oven on, tin prepared and I just had to measure out the butter. As well as the bagged ingredients, greaseproof paper and recipe, the boxes always include a butter measure and a skewer. Even though butter comes with a measure along the side, I still get out my trusty scales out to weigh and have never used the butter measure. I thought I would this time. I still had the scales and I don’t know why I should have been surprised to find that the measure was correct!

 

Now for what was in the bags. The first step was making the brownie mixture and there was three bags for this:

Bag 1 – caster sugar
Bag 2 – self raising flour and cocoa powder                                                        Bag 3 – dark chocolate chips


This process was very easy. I just needed to cream the soft butter together with the caster sugar. I opted for my wooden spoon and used a bit of muscle here. Next was to add bag 2 and 3 plus three eggs and mix until combined. As the recipe said pour the mixture into the tin I needed to get a good dropping consistency. My normal recipe is an all in one method so I normal use my food processor. I have got an electric hand whisk and think if I were to make this again, I would use this to get a quicker result. Recipe said that it would take 35 – 45 mins to bake and that the skewer should come out nearly clean as they should be gooey inside. I was satisfied with the cook after 50 minutes so I set about making the topping.

Cooked Brownie

I had the following bags for this:

Bag 4 – caster sugar
Bag 5 – marshmallows
Bag 6 – chocolate malt balls


First of all, I had to make a caramel sauce. This is something that I had done before when making eclairs and I had been quite successful. I had to heat the sugar on a low heat, stirring continuously until the sugar is smooth and light brown. Next step is to move from the heat and add double cream and unsalted butter. The sugar did not cook as smoothly as the last time as making them but I did carry on and managed to save enough caramel to pour over the cake. The pan did take a bit of scrubbing! Last steps were sprinkling with marshmallows and bashing up the malt balls before sprinkling on top too.

Very pleased with the result and 11.30 a.m. on a Saturday morning found myself and Jordan tucking into a slice. Well it was the weekend!

Can’t wait to find out what’s in the next box.

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