Everything about brownies is good. It’s a place to make new friends, try out crafts and earn badges. We’re kidding, we know National Brownie Day on December 8th wasn’t really about that kind of brownies – mainly because we can’t stop thinking about thick, gooey, fudgey wedges of chocolate melting in our mouths.
But brownies aren’t just about chocolate. There are also blondies (brownies made from white chocolate instead of dark or milk), and all kinds of varieties from biscuit brownies to cheesecake brownies and from sweet potato brownies to courgette brownies – and we want them all.
Here’s our pick of five brilliant brownie recipes for those days when just adding a packet of chocolate chips won’t quite cut it. Unleash your inner Nigella and get experimental with your brownies to take them to the next level.
Chocolate brownies with rum and coconut
If you’re the person who happily scoffs all of the leftover coconut chocolates in the tin after everyone else has ignored them, these are the brownies for you. Belleau Kitchen has put dark chocolate, desiccated coconut, actual Bounty bars and RUM in these amazingly decadent brownies to create the perfect blend between a sweet/chocolatey/alcoholic treat.
They’re so good that even the coconut haters in your house will be jealous, especially when they find out you’re munching away on a chocolate brownie that contains RUM. They can’t suddenly crawl out of the woodwork now – it’s tough luck.
Avocado chocolate brownies
Older generations will remember the avocado as an exotic salad ingredient of the 1970s, while younger folk are more likely to regard avocado as just as important as oxygen. The world has gone crazy for the humble #avo in recent years, with Instagram users in particular apparently forgetting just how great cheese on toast or beans on toast can be, instead pretending that avocado is the number one thing to put on toast. We’re team beans – shh.
Of course, chocolate is the number one ingredient to put in a brownie, but we were pleasantly surprised to see the effect that adding avocado to your brownies can have.
The Runner Beans uses them in a great chocolate brownie recipe that’s fudgey, rich and tastes nothing like those salads of the ’70s, but instead like a really excellent brownie with a bit of a difference. Get your avocado fix here and go back to the beans for brunch.
Custard cream blondies
Can’t decide on a biscuit or a cake to have with your afternoon brew? Have both! These custard cream blondies from Crumble and Crunch feature all of the best things in the world: white chocolate, custard creams and happiness. So soft, so sweet and unbelievably moreish with a bite of melty custardy, creamy goodness.
Blackberry cheesecake brownies
Should fruit be eaten with chocolate brownies? You might have the odd strawberry and a dollop of clotted cream on the side in the summer, or you might think there’s not much point if you’re having an indulgent treat.
But we beg to differ, as does The Bearded Bakery, who has a gorgeous recipe for blackberry cheesecake brownies that melt in the mouth. These are basically really great rich chocolate brownies with added cheesecake topping and a vibrant berry burst that pops in your mouth.
Is it a cheesecake? Is it a brownie? We’re not too sure, but we do know it’s excellent.
Chocolate and chilli brownies
Our final brownie recipe is from The More Than Occasional Baker, who has livened up the classic chocolate slice with a kick of hot chilli. She’s used tweaked it to incorporate white chocolate, but dark would work just as beautifully.
Chocolate and chilli is a winning combination in all kinds of desserts and in savoury meals too (chilli con carne with a square of melted dark chocolate is simply divine). You don’t have to worry about whether your taste buds can handle the spice, as the chilli provides more of a warming tingle, bringing out the rich flavour of the chocolate all the more.
We hope we’ve helped to open your mind to a world of new brownie ideas. Don’t be afraid to experiment, grating in vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, courgette and even parsnips, different strengths of chillis and as many different types of fruit or biscuits as you like. You’ll be earning your brownie badge for traybake-making in no time.