So it’s been a little frantic here at English Towers. First we had A level results, and then within a week it was GCSE results. Honestly, I really should have planned my children a little better.
Still, it was all good. I used the hashtag #noexamswerefailedonthisday on Instagram but in truth, one exam WAS failed. But hey, it didn’t matter. Sam got what he needed to head out into the big wide world of university, and Charlie’s off to sixth form.
If there’s one thing I always insist upon, it’s a celebration when someone’s done something brilliant. As parents, we spend plenty of time enforcing rules, cajoling, counselling (okay, and occasionally moaning), so when something amazing happens, I always think it redresses the balance a bit to celebrate. Everyone loves a pat on the back when they do something great, don’t they?
So obviously all this exam success called just such a celebration, and what better celebration is there than a whopping great warm, chocolatey, squishy brownie cake smothered in lashings of chocolate ganache? None, that’s what…
You will need:
200g dark chocolate (I tend to use Bournville for cooking – but anything similar)
170g salted butter
3 free range eggs (room temperature is always better)
200g soft brown or golden caster sugar
110g plain flour
For the ganache:
200g dark chocolate
About 125ml double cream (plus extra for serving)
First, make sure you have all your ingredients ready and weighed out, a medium cake tin buttered (I use a silicone one but if you’re using a traditional cake tin, line it well) and the oven preheated to gas 4/180 degrees.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of just-simmering water – don’t let the bottom of the bowl come into contact with the water. Turn the water off when it’s just bubbling and stir the mixture gently until it’s combined.
Take it off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature (if you pour very hot chocolate into the egg mixture, you risk getting blobs of scrambled egg in your brownies.)
While that’s melting and cooling, whisk the eggs and sugar together until they’re nice and light and frothy.
When the chocolate mixture is cool enough that you can stick your finger in without scalding yourself, pour it in to the egg mixture and stir well, then add in the flour. Stir just until the flour is incorporated.
Pour the mixture into your cake tin and bake for 30 minutes, no more if you want the middle to be squidgy and moist.
Now for that ganache:
Break up the bar of chocolate and melt it in the same way, in a bowl over some simmering water. When it’s just melted, remove it from the heat and slowly pour in the cream, mixing until you reach the right consistency (remember, it will set as it cools) to pour over the cake in an oozy, glossy fashion.
Decorate with chocolate chips – if you do it while the ganache is still warm, they melt prettily into it – or M&Ms… ooh, or Smarties – I love a Smartie. Sorry, I digress. Shove in a few candles and present to your loved one with a flourish. Scoff it while it’s still warm with more double cream, or ice cream. Or both. What? We’re celebrating!
You’ve NO idea how long it took me to get this picture. They messed about, made faces, swapped glasses, you name it. Lunatics.