My No Fail Emergency Chocolate bakes

What is the meaning of life? All evidence to date suggests it’s chocolate. Ok, really though. Chocolate has that universal ability to bring happiness to 9 out of 10 people. And the tenth person is probably lying. It could probably end wars if used for good. It can certainly be used to get someone out of my bad books…

So when it comes to baking, chocolate has always been able to get me out of hot water. I always wake up at the eleventh hour when I need to take something to an occasion. And I know many of you just do not have the time to spend an afternoon in the kitchen making something that will be devoured in half an hour. So chocolate has become my go-to ingredient for these 2 fail safe recipes I have been making for years. They are both tray bakes so deliver a good quantity. They never fail to disappoint and you can dress them up in all kinds of ways.


No Fail Chocolate Brownies

This recipe is based on Jamie Oliver’s Bloomin Brilliant Brownies, just without all the added extras inside. After it had cooled, and because it was Easter weekend  I dressed it up with marshmallow eggs, mini marshmallows, bits of whole nut chocolate and Lindt easter eggs. I then drizzled the whole lot with the rest of the 90g whole nut chocolate melted down.


  • 250g unsalted butter (I use salted, no biggie)
  • 200g good-quality chocolate broken up, half milk and half dark
  • 50g chopped pecan nuts, optional
  • 80g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 65g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 360g caster sugar
  • 4 large free-range eggs


Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line a 24cm square or slightly bigger (I used a roasting pan) baking tin with greaseproof paper. Melt the butter and the chocolate and mix until smooth. I use the microwave in bursts of 30 seconds on medium power. Add the nuts and stir together.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and sugar, then add this to the chocolate and nut mixture. Stir together well. Beat the eggs and mix in until you have a silky consistency.

Pour your brownie mix into the baking tray and bake on the middle shelf for about 25 minutes. You don’t want them to be dry like a cake so a skewer inserted should not come out all clean. The brownies should be slightly springy on the outside but still gooey in the middle.

Would you believe I forgot to take pictures of both of these recipes after cutting them (that eleventh hour thing again), so here is a pic of Jamie Oliver’s brownie to give you an idea of what it’s supposed to look like on the inside.

Jamie Oliver brownieImage Source: www.jamieoliver.com

Chocolate Hedgehogs

I am still unsure as to why this is called Hedgehogs. The recipe was shared with me by my cousin and it just continued with that name. Maybe it has to do with the brown and white contrast of the chocolate and Marie biscuits. Kind of like the dark and light contrast of a hedgehog’s quills. Anyway, this is my favourite recipe for a quick treat and it’s a sure fire winner everytime. It’s rich and buttery so forget the diet. And don’t keep them around the house if you’re on one.
  • 1 1/5 packets of Marie Biscuits roughly broken (I find Bakers or Baumanns to be the best for this as they hold their shape well. The cheaper Maries tend to get too soft.)
  • 200g Butter
  • 3 Tblsp Condensed milk
  • 3 Tblsp Golden syrup
  • 2 Tblsp sugar
  • 2 Tblsp cocoa powder
  • 150g chocolate


In a pot large enough to mix all the ingredients melt together butter, condensed milk, golden syrup, sugar and cocoa powder over medium heat and let it just come to a slight boil. Give it a stir. Remove from heat and add the broken biscuits. Mix it together well and pour out into an approximately 24cm x 30cm rectangular tray. Press the mixture into the tray (this part can take a little elbow grease) and allow to cool.

Melt the chocolate and spread over the biscuit mixture. The chocolate might seem little for the tray, but I prefer to use a very thin layer as the base is quite rich and sweet already. Allow to cool slightly more. Before it is completely set, cut into squares.

I added broken smarties and jelly tots before the chocolate set as I was taking it to a kids party. Or you could try dusting it with edible glitter, or plating it with fresh flowers for a more grown up look.

I found this image from www.ilovethisandthat.com that will give a good idea of what the inside of the hedgehogs would look like. Mine are just thinner.

Ilovethisandthat brownieImage source: www.ilovethisandthat.com



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