My chocolate brownies were a success and I have to give a lot of credit to a key ingredient. Chocolate buttons, dairy free of course.
I have always loved chocolate buttons – the Cadbury’s version. I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth but when I need a chocolate fix, nothing hits the spot like a packet of chocolate buttons, straight from the fridge. They have to be cold enough to ‘snap’.
When we worked out Zac was intolerant to dairy, we were so pleased to find alternative chocolate buttons. They are not a major part of his diet, obviously we are very careful about the balance of his diet, but I still believe little ones need the odd treat and I think ‘chocolate’ is better than sweets. I have also found myself snacking on them from time to time and think they are just as good as the real thing.
The first ones we discovered were the ‘Dairy Free’ brand, which appeared in most supermarkets. They disappeared from the shelves recently but apparently are coming back soon. I hope.
Asda have an own brand of chocolate button and they also have a chocolate orange variety. Zac really loves the chocolate orange ones, so we usually have several packs in the house. Good job too. When I started baking the brownies, I realised that I didn’t have enough of my dairy free dark chocolate slab, so started rummaging around the cupboards to see what I could find. That is when I had a happy accident. I found two packets of the Asda chocolate orange buttons, so decided to throw them in too.
When you are using non-dairy chocolate you are obviously in the realms of seriously strong dark chocolate so do need a fake milk chocolate to take the edge off the bitterness. These chocolate buttons worked a treat and gave the brownies a really lovely faint orange flavour, which everyone who has tasted them, has noticed and loved.
The other reason I love working with chocolate buttons is that they melt easily. Melting my chocolate and butter was another challenge. Just recently my beloved range cooker was condemned by the gas man who came to fix our broken boiler. Not a good month for us. Anyway, he disconnected the hob from the gas, as it was unsafe! Thankfully, it is a dual fuel cooker, so I can use my ovens.
I had originally promised to make the children my special ‘fake’ pancakes, then remembered that would be impossible – unless there is such a thing as an oven baked pancake?! So that is how I came to cut a deal and agreed to make brownies instead. My brain was clearly having an off day, because I had forgotten you also need a ‘flame’ to melt the chocolate and non-dairy butter together.
The oven was already on and that is when it occurred to me, I could just put the bowl of chocolate and ‘butter’ in the oven for a few minutes. It worked. The little buttons melted down so quickly and infused the rich dark chocolate with a gentle orange aroma and flavour. This was the first thing my sister noticed when she had a taste of the brownies this evening. She declared them delicious and had another one. So I have to call this batch of brownies a big success. I hadn’t planned to make them, I hadn’t planned for them to be chocolate orange brownies, but thanks to my love of chocolate buttons, and Zac’s intolerance, a new recipe was born, along with an alternative method for melting chocolate.