17 June 2007

You know what it's like

You get a thought into your head and you can't shake it. Regardless of time's passage, regardless of other distractions, that one notion has firmly ensconced itself into your brain...and you can't shake it.

I'm sure you do.

My latest distraction (well, apart from Daniel Craig) can easily be traced to our fabulous Myriam and her marvellous Browniebabe events.

For weeks I've pondered my options. At first it was an ice creamy concept--a luscious, creamy white vanilla ice cream with loads of chewy and chocolatey treasure. As I pored over my options the idea morphed from a classic chocolate brownie, studded with buttons of bittersweet chocolate and pecans to a peanut butter brownie.

Easier said than done. I must admit that in my household, peanut butter is a sandwich spread, something with which I attempt satay sauces, or is simply eaten straight out of the jar...sometimes with a spoon. I exhausted my books and pored over online recipes. I just couldn't find what I wanted: a swirly brownie that married chocolate and peanut butter, not a layer of chocolate iced in peanut butter. I wanted the peanut buttery batter baked into the treat, but not as a homogeneous, all-over pb&c treat...I wanted variances with every bite. I didn't want to read about how I could tweak a packet mix. I also wanted a treat that was fudgey and dense, but not reminiscent of uncooked batter that, um, so many brownies I've had are.

That's not too much to ask, I'm sure.

I saw I wasn't alone in my quest...which led me to this. If I can't find a recipe that gives me what I want, I'll just have to put a couple of recipes together.

As luck would have it, my copy of the UK imprint of Nigella's How To Be A Domestic Goddess arrived (more on that at a later date). I opened it to her brownie recipe and adapted it, thanks to Laura Rebecca's tips.

These are fudgey and dense and have a lovely papery top crust...and quite addictive. My friends and colleagues all came back for seconds...some came back for fourths.

I will warn you. This makes a lot of brownies...a lot of brownies. In its purest state, Nigella's version fits a 33cm x 23cm/3L (13" x 9"/3qt) pan. For these, I used a 38cm x 27cm/4L (10" x 15"/4qt) glass lasagna dish. That's a lot of brownies...thank goodness I have several brownie fiends in my life. The peanut butter batter will not be as loose as the chocolate, so you won't be able to do lovely feathering effects, but that's okay as the mottled caramel and cocoa top is beautiful in its own right.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies
adapted from Nigella Lawson's Brownies (How To Be A Domestic Goddess) and Laura Rebecca's Peanut Butter Swirl

375g softened unsalted butter
375g bittersweet chocolate
7 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla paste
560g granulated sugar
225g plus 2 Tbsp plain flour
1 tsp vanilla salt
200g creamy peanut butter
55g unsalted butter, melted

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F. Butter and line a 38cm x 27cm (10" x 15") tin.

  • Melt together 375g butter with chocolate until glossy and set aside to cool slightly.

  • Beat six eggs, 500g sugar and two tsp vanilla. Sift together 225g flour and salt.

  • Beat the chocolate into the egg mixture. Add the flour mixture and combine until smooth. Set aside.

  • Blend together the peanut butter, remaining 60g sugar, melted butter, two tablespoons flour, remaining teaspoon of vanilla and egg.

  • Pour two-thirds of the chocolate batter into the prepared pan, then dot the pan with spooned blobs of one-third of the peanut butter mix. Cover with the remaining chocolate batter. then spoon the rest of the peanut butter batter over top.

  • Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is papery and the sides pull away from the tin.


  • I rarely recommend brands or other such things, but I highly suggest using organic peanut butter and organic chocolate, as they have far less sugar and salt than many other brands.

  • If you are using a glass pan, you'll need a longer baking time--mine was closer to 45.


PS: If said Mr. Craig happens to find this post and wants to try some of these wondrous treats (or, I suppose anything else I've posted about), I am more than happy to oblige him...


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Anonymous said...

Peanut butter. And chocolate. Together. In a brownie.

I will have sweet dreams tonight!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

This sounds so decadent and luscious! Now I have dreams of Daniel Craig feeding me these moist gooey brownies .... thanks Jasmine!!! Hugs!

K and S said...

two of my favorites, chocolate & peanut butter...delicious goodness :)

myriam said...

oh, they look lovely! thanks for joining. browniebabes 3 is coming very soon - i will try to post about the new round sometime this week. your will be part of the 3rd round- lets see if its gonna win that apron. thanks for joining!

Anh said...

I'm not sure how I will react to peanut butter brownie... That combination is not very popular in Australia where I live, but a lot of US friends swear by it! Your recipe sounds very tempting though! :)

Lis said...

Fantastic! I heart peanut butter brownies.. so good! I like the height you got on yours.. they look fudgy and fantastic. =)


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

A perfect and fantastic combo - chocolate and peanut butter should bring Mr Craig to your door begging!

Shaun said...

Jasmine, darling - I never allowed myself to get on the brownie bandwagon, knowing of their ability to turn people into addicts. This recipe has twisted my arm, though...I may just give this a go but will reduce the quantity! As for Daniel Craig, not my cup of tea, but he was great in "Enduring Love" with one of my favorite actresses, Samantha Morton.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous brownies, Jasmine!

Unknown said...

Hi Jasmine,
I wandered over from Ivonnes to find gorgeous brownies! Nigella's brownies are the ones I always turn to when in need of a brownie fix, in fact I probably owe her a commission as I sell these to my local delis 5 days a week, but shh...
I have recently begun using cardamom in my cooking and baking so I'll be back to visit soon for inspiration from a true addict.

Elle said...

Classic flavor combination and it sounds so decadent and good. Mr. Craig should have arrived by now and eaten a pan of them, right? Well, he should.

Anonymous said...

I know a lot of people who'd love these brownies, too!

Paz ;-))))

Anonymous said...

Peanut and chocolate =
me and daniel craid =
Match made in heaven
LOL :)

jasmine said...

Hello all

Glad you like the brownies.


No, Mr. Craig has not contacted me...yet.