I intended to follow Nigella's recipe to the letter, but as usual when the ball got rolling I made a few tweeks. It's only fair that I share all these tweaks with you all, more than anything to prove my point that YES baking is a science, but don't be scared to replace things here and there, as long as the ingredients are similar.
This recipe is made of three parts, so allow yourself some time. I've written the recipe with only the necessary detail, so as to make it as quick and simple as possible!
Chocolate Brownie Bowls125g unsalted butter/stork or a similar baking margarine
125g caster sugar
Melt in the pan.
125ml boiling water from the kettle
30g cocoa powder
Mix together til smooth and then add to pan.
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk together and add to the pan.
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
Whisk in with the rest of the ingredients (in the pan) until smooth.
Fill your tin so it is 3/4 full of batter. If, as I suspect, you don't have the bowl tins, then use yorkshire pudding tins, or muffin tins (cupcake tins will be too small) and when they're cooling press down with a teacup to make an indentation.
Alternatively you can make cookie cupcakes/cupies which serve the same purpose. Here's how.
*I used a mix of Muller Light Vanilla with Chocolate Sprinkles and Fat Free Natural Yoghurt. Nigella also suggests buttermilk.
If you don't have any of the last three ingredients never fear. If you measure out 125ml of milk and add a tablespoon of lemon juice (or vinegar) then the milk will start to thicken and this can be used in place of buttermilk or yoghurt etc. It's a good tip to remember for other recipes as it will avoid an extra trip to the supermarket or a hunt for buttermilk. You also won't end up with wasted ingredients in your fridge! Parfait.
Pop digestives in a bag and bash to fine breadcrumbs with a rolling pin/heavy object. Add to bowl with butter. Microwave for 10 seconds until the butter is melted and mix until evenly combined. Don't worry if the mixture seems too crumbly - it sits in the bowl anyway.
Spoon biscuity mixture in to your cooled down brownie bowls.
Meringue Peaks1 egg white
50g Caster Sugar
Enough water to cover
A pair of observant eyes
Prepare a bowl of very cold water with a few ice cubes if available (this helps to determine when the syrup reaches soft ball stage - see the explaination in the link below).
Whisk egg whites until foamy and turn off.
Put sugar and water in a pan. Bring to the boil. WATCH LIKE A HAWK. You want the sugar to reach soft-ball stage. The most important thing is that the liquid should still be clear and not golden, as then you know it has definitely gone too far and the sugar has started to caramelise. Check out the link to soft-ball stage and don't be daunted by it.
Immediately take the syrup off the heat, start the egg white whisking up again and slowly add the syrup. You want the egg to look like a smooth shaving foam.
Pipe on top of biscuity mixture in peaks.
You may very well see a cheat version appearing on the blog in the future, but as always I share this via Google+ and most probably Instagram.