Baking in Japan- Oreo Brownies

Having neglected my blog for 2 weeks in a row due to too much fun in Japan (and too many smug instagram posts), I feel like I should redeem myself and break the cycle. However, having only made my Mum her favourite apple and blueberry loaf for Mother’s day, I thought I’d offer you something a bit different.

Cooking abroad isn’t always the easiest, especially when you can’t read the language never mind speak it. So, as a result of my pride after finding an successfully navigating a Japanese supermarket, I decided to post about what could have been a traumatic experience of trying to make Oreo brownies. You’ll have to forgive me for the change in tenses in the half documented attempt I made while still out there, but at least there is something slightly nostalgic about it.

For those of you who remember my post way, way back in July for Charlie’s leaving cake, you might remember that I mentioned it was partially a substitute for a lack of birthday cake 2 years running. However, I am currently sat in her flat in Sasebo with a questionable batch of Oreo brownies in an oven which, I am pretty, sure is not designed for baking. And all of this in preparation for her imminent birthday. So after all that the lucky sod gets 2!

Considering that baking at home makes me nervous enough, baking abroad makes me even more so, especially when faced with ingredients, which in some instances, you can’t even begin to guess what they are. However, this is the position in which I found myself during my first Friday morning in Japan where I decided to brave the local supermarket. At least when I was in France I didn’t have to contend with different alphabets. Luckily for me this was not too much of an ordeal; most of the ingredients were fairly recognisable and had the odd English translation, so in spite of spending nearly 10 minutes in the flour section and nearly picking up what might have been cheese instead of butter I would say, on first appearances I did a pretty good job.

Since I was working with slightly different equipment than I normally would I did want to keep things fairly simple. Therefore I used a different brownie recipe to the one I adapted in my version of beetroot brownies. This technique involved no whisking and instead proceeded a gooier, denser brownie. All I did differently was layer a few Oreos on top of half the mixture in the pan before pouring on the rest. I have to admit that, while baking, I did notice the ingredients did seem slightly different. The eggs seemed a lot bigger and the sugar a little bit more moist and sticky, although this could have been my brain playing tricks as a result of my state of mild paranoia. This was added to by the fact the brownie mix seemed slightly paler. At this point, however, I took the same Dr Pepper attitude that has got me through many of posts and whacked them in the oven.

Although they took slightly longer to bake than they normally would they looked pretty good when taken out the oven. I have to admit that the texture concerned me a little bit. When I make these brownies there is never normally any point in sticking a skewer in as, if it comes out clean, they are overcooked. However, in this case I decided to do this test anyway and the skewer came out completely clean. I had imagined that the flour I had used probably would probably gave given it a cakier texture. But when the brownies were eventually cut, I discovered they were still pretty gooey. Considering I was serving my concoction up to Charlotte’s friends, this definitely caused some mild concern at the time, but on the whole they seemed pretty happy with the outcome. Unfortunately I was a bit too absorbed in the plum wine to remember to grab a piece, so not only did I miss a chance to try them, but I also failed to get any photos! So in this case I’ll have to take everyone else word for it and hope they weren’t merely being polite. Whether you try these at home, or if you ever find yourself having some chocolate cravings in Japan, either way I hope you enjoy!

Oreo Brownies

  • 200g milk chocolate
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 300g sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • 9 oreos

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate and the butter in the microwave or over a bain marie.
  2. Meanwhile mix together the eggs, sugar and flour.
  3. Pour the chocolate into the flour mix and stir until fully incorporated.
  4. Pour half the batter into a lined tin and, once it has spread out, place the whole oreos on top. Pour over the rest of the batter making sure the oreos are completely submerged and bake at 180C/ 160C Fan for between 20-25 minutes. Normally you will know when they are cooked as they will still have a slight wobble. Leave to cool completely (preferably overnight) then cut into pieces.
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