Monday, 3 September 2012

Product review: Littlesweet Brownies

Dark Belgian Chocolate - hoorah!
I have never had to go looking for Littlesweet Baking’s brownies – they have always come to me.
The first time, a dear friend brought some to my house for morning tea. “Try these,” she said, pushing a boxful of sweet brown deliciousness across the table, “They’re amazing.”
They were, and it was as a result of this that I decided to back a sure winner by putting some dollars into Littlesweet’s crowdfunding project.
Then through the magic of Twitter, I made a suggestion that Littlesweet Baking and the guys at the awesome Urbanlocavore company really needed to talk to each other. My second batch of Littlesweet brownies came to me in an Urbanlocavore box a couple of months later.
And a week or so ago, when Littlesweet asked, “Who wants to try our brownie mix?” the answer was a resounding, “Me! Me!” and sure enough, a packet of brownie mix appeared on my doorstep soon after.
Of course, the difference this time was that I was going to have to do the mixing and baking myself.
Luckily, this is as straightforward a recipe as anyone could wish for. A couple of eggs and a 75g wedge of butter are all that you need to pull from your fridge to make these brownies happen. You can add vanilla extract as well, if you like, and that is what I did.
On-hand ingredients make this a very easy recipe.

The instructions are on the back of the label (mine got a bit smudged with butter)...
As soon as you add the wet ingredients to the dry, the mixture darkens to a brown so deep it verges on black. I hadn’t noticed that there were chocolate chips but these surfaced as I stirred. The smell was glorious and it was all I could do not to eat the mix straight from the bowl. (Well, maybe I just had a tiny taste – to make sure that I was doing it right...)

I had put my square cake tin into use for another project, so I greased and lined a circular pan, reasoning that no one that I know has ever turned down brownies on the basis of shape.
Round brownies! I'm such a maverick...
Then it was into the oven for about 40 minutes. There is always a critical stage with brownies – they should never be cooked through the middle, nor can they be too raw – ‘just set with the potential for gooeyness’ is what I was aiming for and 40 minutes worked for me.
"Just-set" goodness.
We were having guests over for afternoon tea, so I sliced my brownie cake into wedges. Every single piece was eaten.  Yes, they tasted just as I remembered, even though they had been produced in my kitchen rather than Littlesweet’s. Next time, I would definitely consider adding nuts or cranberries or coffee essence to the mix, just to personalise the brownies to my taste (or my guests’). I could also imagine these warm with icecream, or chocolate syrup, or caramel sauce. I think I’d better stop there before I get all excited.
I put my money into Littlesweet's Pozible fund because I honestly believe that they will ‘deliver the goods’ in every sense. The one time that I tried to buy Littlesweet products when I was out at Perth Upmarket, I got there too late and almost everything had sold out.  The trajectory of this Fremantle-based business (I love the fact that they are true locals!) seems to know no limits and I am enjoying waiting to see what happens to them next.
And whatever happens next, I hope it involves more brownies for me!
***I received the packet of brownie mix with Littlesweet Baking's compliments. However, I have not been asked to write this product review by Littlesweet Baking. I do have some interest in the company, having donated to their Pozible crowd-funding project in the past – as described above***