Chocolate Fudge Bars

Hey everyone! So, as Google tells me, summer is over. It’s now officially autumn which means, for the people of Britain at least, an onslaught of rain and generally miserable weather. Despite all that though, I am actually quite excited for autumn this year- it may be horrible weather but that means you get to snuggle up in warm jumpers and cosy scarves! The cold weather also means the return of warm puddings and, most importantly in my house, custard! There’s nothing better then coming in from the cold and eating a nice warm cake with plenty of custard, or maybe just with a hot drink. This recipe is perfect for either, but also perfect for student baking as it’s a no fuss bake that makes minimal washing up- perfect!

These chocolate fudge bars come in the form of a nice easy traybake, which is cheap to make but very rich and chocolately. The recipe comes from the Divine cookbook (see my ‘cookbooks’ page for details), which is a brilliant cookbook for all you chocoholics out there.

Recipe:
Preparation Time: 10/15 mins
Baking Time: 30 mins
Price: £3.69

Ingredients:
200g Dark Chocolate
250g Butter
4 Eggs
250g Light Muscovado Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence
125g Plain Flour

(23cm square cake tin, greased and base-lined)

Method:
1. Heat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3
2. Break up the chocolate and melt with the butter. When completely melted and combined, leave to cool until needed.
3. Put the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence into the bowl of a food mixer. Beat until very thick and foamy for about 3-4 mins (it should look a bit like a slightly more runny mousse).
4. Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold in the melted chocolate and butter mixture. Add the flour onto the mixture and gently stir until combined.
5. Transfer the mixture into the tin and spread evenly, being careful not to handle the mixture too much.
6. Bake for 30 mins- the centre when you take it out will be slightly soft still.
7. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the inside of the tin to loosen the cake, then cut into bars. Leave to cool completely then remove from the tin.

Handy Hints:
Eating it warm- these can be re-heated in the microwave to make a really nice warm pudding. Add custard, ice cream or chocolate sauce for the perfect autumn/ winter bake.
Melting butter and chocolate together- If you want to do this in the microwave, like I do (so much less effort!) then I would suggest melting the chocolate first, then softening the butter slightly. Then add together and if you stir it, the butter will melt in the chocolate.
Mixing lightly- the trick to this recipe is not knocking all the volume out of the mixture- mix with a metal spoon to avoid flattening it. Don’t over-mix as it needs to be light to get the rise right.
How many pieces?- I cut this into 15 to make more cake-like pieces, but this recipe would be great to cut into nibble-size bits as it’s quite rich. Add some chocolate sauce and a piece of fudge on top and hey presto!, cute bite-size bakes!

A note on Fairtrade:
This cookbook is from a brand that makes exclusively Fairtrade products, which I’m a big supporter of. I believe that Fairtrade is very important, but sadly the reality is that Fairtrade foods are often too expensive to buy for students. I would love to be able to use Divine’s chocolate to use for this recipe, but if I did all the time it’d be quite expensive! Although I do buy it as a treat sometimes, the price in this recipe is calculated by a different chocolate. Before you lose faith in me though, the chocolate I used in this recipe is Fairtrade! The great news is that Sainsbury’s have a Sainsbury’s own Fairtrade brand chocolate, which is cheap too! So, if you think you can’t buy Fairtrade food because it’s too expensive, go and buy that! There’s really no excuse not too!

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