Bake these simple but delicious brownies for a Father's Day treat. Squares of intense gooey chocolate cake studded with chopped apricots and toasted nuts - a manly bake if ever there was one.
Get the kids involved with breaking up the chocolate - maybe have a bit extra on hand in case it gets snaffled!
Supervise them with a pair of small scissors to chop up the apricots. There's also lots of mixing and sifting to be done - all great jobs for little people.
Package them up in a customised cake box or tin that the kids can help decorate. All that's left to do is to persuade dad to share them around...
Dad's chunky fruit and nut brownies
250g unsalted butter, chopped into large chunks
200g cook's chocolate, broken up, I used a mix of dark and milk
50g dried apricots, chopped
50g chopped toasted nuts, I used a mix of hazelnuts and almonds
65g plain flour, sifted
80g cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
360g golden caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1. Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a 25cm square or 30cm x 20cm rectangular baking tin with greaseproof paper.
2. Melt the butter and the chocolate in the microwave in short blasts, mixing until melted, smooth and glossy. Add the chopped apricots and nuts and stir together.
3. In a separate bowl, sieve the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder, mix in the sugar then add this to the chocolate mixture. Stir together well with a wooden spoon.
4. Beat in the eggs and vanilla paste and mix until smooth. You should have a gloriously chocolatey thick mixture that smells divine.
5. Pour the brownie batter into the lined baking tray, and bake in the oven for approx 30 minutes. Unlike regular cakes, the brownies should be slightly springy on the outside but gooey in the middle, so do check it doesn't overcook and dry out.
6. Allow to cool in the tray, then lift on to a large chopping board and cut into 24 squares.