Whenever I head back to the UK I always take a list of things I ‘need’ to buy. There’s always a list. It’s usually fairly extensive. Sometimes its made up of practical items. A trip to M&S for example to buy some decent knickers, or a tracking down shoes that actually come in my size. Mostly though, the majority is made up of food. It usually contains such crucial items as proper cadbury chocolate and real kit kat chunkys. There’s usually an array of baking ingredients too. All the things that are either ridiculously expensive here, or impossible to track down. I pull jars out of my case and Andy looks on baffled. My last trip’s special purchase was a big jar of speculoos biscuit butter.
Biscuit butters, if you haven’t tried them yet, are a wonderful product. I now have a half empty jar in the kitchen and i’m finding it very hard not to keep going back to it with a spoon. They’re a thick pale spread, looking very much like peanut butter, but made from caramelised biscuits. Little thin biscuits made in the Netherlands, Belguim and Germany, stamped with pretty designed and eaten around christmas time. You probably know them best as those little individually wrapped lotus biscuits you get given on the side of coffees.
To me, it reminds me of visiting my Dad’s office when we were very small. Of spinning around in swivel chairs, probably for the first time ever, and being given these little caramelly biscuits to munch on.
Speculoos is the perfect accompaniment to brownies. These brownies are made with lots of brown sugar making them deep, dark and sticky with a rich, fudgey texture. The speculoos stays smooth and creamy, and crisps up just a little on the top for a delightful bite.
The brownies are really easy to make. Butter is melted together with lots of dark chocolate. Then we beat together eggs and sugar. Mix them together, stir in a bit of flour and we’re done. They’d be delicious on their own, but the speculoos just lifts them up. The beautiful swirl, marbled and cracking on the surface, tops them off perfectly. The wonderful, biscuity, caramelly taste just can’t be beaten.
Chocolate and Speculoos Swirl Brownies
200g dark chocolate
85g brown sugar
95g granulated sugar
115g plain flour
4 tablespoons speculoos (or any other biscuit butter spread)
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Grease and line a 9X7 or 8×8 inch shallow tin.
In a large pan, melt together the butter and chocolate over a low heat. Once melted, take off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a separate jug, beat together the eggs and sugars. Pour into the chocolate and butter mixture and beat to combine.
Add the flour and mix to a smooth batter.
Pour into a prepared tin.
Spoon the speculoos across the top of the brownie mixture. Using a knife to swirl it into the brownie.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the brownie is cooked on top, but still a little wobbly in the middle. It will continue to cook a little as it sits in the tin, so its best to take it out just before you think its done if you want a nice gooey brownie.