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The Brownie Diaries by Leah Hyslop is out now       Bloomsbury Absolute, £14.99

The Brownie Diaries

Filled with humour, inspiration and cocoa-dusted tips and tricks, this book will give you the perfect recipe for any occasion...

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Spoil yourself brownies with Salted Caramel Truffles

Ingredients

250g salted caramel sauce, plus extra to drizzle if liked

9 large chocolate truffles

(I used Lindor)

150g unsalted butter, chopped into rough cubes, plus extra for greasing

200g dark chocolate

(around 70% cocoa solids), roughly broken into pieces

250g golden caster sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

100g plain flour

Method

At least two hours before you want to make these brownies, put the caramel and truffles in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 20cm square tin with a little butter and line with baking parchment.

Put the butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over a low heat, stirring now and again, until melted together. Stir in the sugar, then take off the heat. Leave to cool for ten minutes or so, until warm to the touch rather than hot.

Add the eggs and mix in thoroughly. 

Sift over the flour and gently fold in.

Transfer half the mixture to the prepared tin and smooth it out to make an even layer. Use a teaspoon to evenly dollop over the caramel (you should get around 16 splodges). Add the rest of the brownie batter, so it completely covers the caramel.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until set on top; a little wobble when you shake the tin is nothing to worry about. Let it cool in the tin for a few hours, then gently push the truffles into the top, in three rows of three. Divide into nine plump squares; eat luxuriously, perhaps in a dressing gown or bubble bath.

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First day on the job  - blondies with chai latte spices, milk chocolate puddles

Ingredients

150g white chocolate, chopped into small chunks

100g unsalted butter, softened, chopped into rough cubes, plus extra for greasing

130g light brown soft sugar

50g demerara sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

100g plain flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed with a pestle

and mortar

¼ teaspoon salt

80g pecans, roughly chopped

80-100g milk chocolate, roughly chopped into large shards

(triangles look good)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 20cm square tin with a little butter and line with baking parchment.

Melt 100g of the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended
over a pan of barely simmering water (alternatively, microwave in
20-second blasts, stirring in between, until melted).

Set aside to cool slightly. 

Put the butter and both sugars in a large bowl, and beat together for a few minutes, ideally using a handheld electric whisk, until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, adding a little at a time, until combined. 

Add the cooled melted white chocolate and beat briefly to combine. 

Sift in the flour, spices and salt, and use a spatula or large metal spoon to gently fold in.

Mix in the pecans and the remaining 50g white chocolate chunks.

Transfer the mixture to the lined tin. 

Place the milk chocolate shards on top of the blondie. 

Bake until set on top and nicely golden - around 25-30 minutes

(I usually take them out at the point when you shake the tin and

they don’t have much jiggle). 

Leave to cool before slicing.

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Emergency brownie

Ingredients

3 tablespoons self-raising flour

2½ tablespoons caster sugar

1½ tablespoons cocoa powder

1 tablespoon melted butter

or vegetable oil

4 tablespoons milk (ideally whole) 

handful of milk chocolate chips

Method

Put all the ingredients in a large mug, except the chocolate chips. Stir together until you have something resembling a batter, making sure to scrape down the sides of the mug.

Stir in the chocolate chips. 

Microwave until set on top - this usually takes between one minute and one minute 30 seconds. (Microwaves vary in power, so it’s best to cook this for one minute, check, then blast again in 30-second increments if needed.)

Enjoy in pyjamas on the sofa, perhaps with a scoop of ice cream

on top.