When I started baking almost 10 years ago now, I used to completely ignore recipe instructions to preheat the oven. I had no idea what mise en place was. I’d never bring my butter or eggs to room temperature before baking a cake. I hardly ever measured dry ingredients accurately. I was often so eager to start baking that I didn’t take these steps… and often didn’t read the recipe all the way through either.
More than once I had to run to the supermarket in the middle of baking, because I realised I didn’t have enough buttermilk or something. I’m totally cringing as I tell you this. I realised that all these weird instructions in the recipe were there for a reason and researched what those reasons were. It’s through practice (hundreds of cakes and cookies over the years) and some serious baking fails that I learned my lessons and ditched these bad habits!
But, I’m still learning all the time, and until recently I had no idea there was a difference between baking chocolate and ‘eating’ chocolate. I always use quality chocolate that I’d be happy to nibble on in my cooking, but specialty baking chocolate has been formulated with heating, melting and pouring in mind. And while normal chocolate obviously tastes good, it sometimes doesn’t pass the test for baking. Nestlé is re-launching their new and improved Bakers’ Choice products and I was invited to test them out in a fun baking challenge.
The range includes products I was already familiar with and use often – Cocoa Powder and Choc Bits – my go to for chocolate chip cookies because they hold their shape when baked. But there are also Chocolate Chunks that can be melted and poured on top of slices and Chocolate Melts that melt beautifully and set hard and glossy without the need to temper or even refrigerate your chocolate. Tempering chocolate scares me, so I call this a win!
To road test the new products, I decided to make some individual Triple Chocolate Brownie Skillets with homemade no churn chocolate chilli ice cream (already sitting in the freezer) and a quick and easy hot fudge sauce to take this to pure decadence. Why are they triple chocolate? The brownie has a mixture of milk and dark chocolate chunks, with white chocolate chips stirred in and sprinkled on top.
I have to admit, I had to have a bit of a think about what I was going to do in each step of the recipe to make sure I picked the correct product for the job. If you aren’t sure, just know that the most versatile of the bunch is the Chocolate Chunks as they melt wonderfully or taste good as they are, perfect for stirring into brownies, cookies or muffins.
I might only ever bake brownies in skillets from now on. I love how the edges get crispy while the middle remains gooey and molten. Underbaking slightly is encouraged with brownies like this, especially when you can just pile ice cream and fudge sauce on top and dig straight in with a spoon.
They look so cute as individual servings in these mini cast iron skillets. These brownies are a blank canvas – you could of course add your favourite nuts, chopped up candy bars or a swig of your favourite booze but I love the contrast of white and dark chocolate.
For the hot fudge sauce I used the dark chocolate Melts, and you can see that perfect drizzle consistency when it’s warm, and then it sets just slightly once it hits to cool ice cream. I would usually use a really high quality chocolate to make this sauce since it’s the dominant flavour, but I’m happy to report that it still tasted amazing. Since the recipe makes a little more than you need, I also tested how well it re-warms in the microwave later on and it was perfect.
Thank you again to Nestlé for letting me test out these new products and create something delicious with them. I am looking forward to using the products in my every day baking – I think the Melts would be excellent to make Sprinkle Bark!
This is not a sponsored post, but all Nestlé products were gifted to me. All opinions are my own.
Double Chocolate Brownie Skillet with Hot Fudge Sauce
Brownie Skillet (adapted from Ina Garten)
- 60g unsalted butter
- 60g milk chocolate chunks
- 20g dark chocolate chunks
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup white chocolate bits
- Ice Cream, to serve
Hot Fudge Sauce
Note: This recipe will make more than you need, but it will store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
- 90ml thickened cream
- 100g Nestlé Dark Chocolate Chunks
- 25g brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Melt the butter, milk and dark chocolate chunks chocolate together in a medium bowl set over simmering water. Set aside for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, vanilla and sugar. Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, the baking powder and salt and add to the chocolate mixture. Add 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and stir through to distribute evenly. Spoon the mixture between the mini cast iron skillets and place them on a sheet pan. Scatter the remaining chocolate chips over the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
In the meantime, make the Hot Fudge Sauce. Place ingredients into a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a metal or wooden spoon until chocolate is almost melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to stir until chocolate melts. Serve warm or transfer to a clean airtight jar or container. Store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.
Serve brownie skillets warm with a scoop of ice cream and hot fudge sauce on top.