Saturday, September 22, 2012

Random Recipes #20 combined with a Tea Time Treat

This month Dom at Belleau Kitchen has teamed up with Karen from Lavender and Lovage and Kate from What Kate Baked to create the fantastic idea of a "tea time random recipe".  As Dom says, tea can mean different things to different people.  To me, a girl from Devon, tea is most definitely something you have mid afternoon - cup of tea and maybe some cake or biscuits or something grander, high tea, lots of tiny cakes and sandwiches.  But certainly not your evening meal. that, to me, is dinner.  The usual rules apply, randomly select a book from your collection, this time only select from books which are tea time based, then from that book randomly select a recipe.

So I stacked up all my cake/biscuit/teatime recipe books (there were over 30 of the lovely things) and used a random number generator which gave me... Fat Witch Brownies by Patricia Helding (with Bryna Levin).   I know Brownies aren't necessarily what you would associate as a British tea time treat, I think they're far to good to miss out on, plus this is one of my favourite "treat" books.  I've cooked quite a few of the recipes already, the basic Fat Witch Brownie is fantastic, as are the PB & J Bars, oh, and the White Chocolate Bars and Banana Bread Brownies...  To pick a recipe I hadn't tried before was going to take a bit of luck but the first page number I picked gave me Hazelnut Cream Cheese Brownies which was new to me.

Hazelnut Cream Cheese Brownies

3oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts

Brownie Batter
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
5tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached flour
1/4tsp salt
3/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts

Grease a 9x9inch pan with butter and dust with flour.
Preheat the oven to 350F

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese and sugar together in a medium bowl until smooth.  Add the egg, lemon juice and vanilla.  Beat until well combined.  Stir in the hazelnuts by hand.  Cover the bowl and place in the fridge.

To make the brownie batter, melt the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over a low heat.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Add the cooled chocolate mixture and continue beating until well combined.

Sift the flour and salt directly into the brownie batter, mixing gently until well combined and no trace of the dry ingredients remains.  Stir in the hazelnuts.

Spread half the brownie batter evenly into the baking tin.  Spread the chilled filling over the batter, then refrigerate for 10 minutes.  Gently spread the rest of the brownie batter on top of the filling.

Dip a butter knife into the pan and lift straight up, creating a marbled effect in the batter.  Repeat to create a pattern. (I didn't really need to do this as spreading of the batter gave mixed it slightly with the filling to give it a marbled look)

Bake for 33 minutes.  Let it cool for 1hr on a rack.  Cut just before serving.  Uneaten brownies (as if!) should be covered and stored in the refrigerator.

Another yummy recipe from this book!


  1. Wow, those look really great. Never heard of the Fat Witch!

    1. I can confirm they taste as good as they look! If you like brownies and bars it's definitely a book I would recommend, not great for the waistline though...

  2. Those do look great. Fat Witch is very popular here in NY - there was quite the debate if the recipe in the book is really the recipe she uses in the shop. I have yet to have a real Fat Witch brownie - I will have to fix that and then try her recipe and we'll know! I love the random recipe idea!

    1. Sounds intriguing, I wasn't aware of any debate over the recipes. You now have an excellent excuse to eat lots of brownies so you can let me know if they are the same as the book - I would love to be able to do that by they're a bit far away for me!!

  3. Fat Witch is a bit of a legend and I'm starting to see why. These do look lovely - I'd definitely be happy with one or two at teatime.

    1. Thank you! Yes, they're certainly worthy of their fame.

  4. am so sorry I didn't see this... It missed me entirely and for this I am so very sorry. We had set up a linky tool on the site to avoid this but I think a few people missed it... these are amazing looking brownies, I love them and am so glad you took the time to take part... i've added you to the post now and do hope you take part in October x

    1. Not to worry! I did see the "linky tool" thing and thought it was a great idea, but it then took over 20 mins to upload each photo so I think I lost the will to live and forgot all about it - sorry! Fortunately the brownies had been shared with friends at this point or I would have scoffed the lot while I waited! Am dreading what I might find at the back of my cupboards for October...

  5. I am so sorry I didn't see these, but I have added them to my round up now! LOVELY LOVELY entry! Karen

    1. Thank you! Am going to try to enter Tea Time Treats too this month - it looks like an excellent excuse to bake up a treat!

  6. These look and sound absolutely sublime! And what an intriguingly titled book!

  7. Thanks Ruth! The book explains about the name, the author (and owner of the Fat Witch Bakery) Patricia Helding, used to work on Wall Street where she says everyone has a nickname. One of her best friends, and biggest brownie fan, was called "the Witch". She would regularly come back for 2nds and 3rds when Patricia took her brownies into work so she joked she was going to turn her into a Fat Witch!