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The Brownie Diaries by Leah Hyslop

Posted by Nigella on the 3rd March 2022
Image of Leah Hyslop's Cheating On Brownies With Cookies Brownies
Photo by Lauren Mclean

I must come clean and tell you that when I first heard of this little book I did rather think that I could have no need for a compilation of nothing but brownie recipes. Then I got my hands on it, and saw that I’d been as wrong as a person can be. Quite simply, it filled me with delight. And it would be mean not to share that with you.

For a small book, it is actually quite packed with recipes, and there is a wit and charm about it that make it very uplifting. Of course there are regular brownies in it — whether you want them fudgy, cakey, gluten-free or vegan — but it’s the imaginative twists, additions and combinations that really made me smile. May I interest you in the Netflix and Chilli Brownies (containing popcorn, ginger and a hint of chilli)?; the Fancy A Pint Brownies, with stout, treacle and salted peanuts?; the All-Grown-Up Brownies (made with raisins soaked in Pedro Ximenez, and toasted almonds)? And I was drawn, as well, to the Falling Into Autumn Brownies, made with rye flour, blackberries and bay leaves; the Bonfire Brownies, with their biscuit base and toasted marshmallow topping; the 'Too Good for Children' Christmas Brownies, containing marzipan and chestnuts and Irish cream liqueur; and I’m very happy to eat all of them now.

But I can’t leave out the Blondies and, in particular, the 'When Life Gives You Lemons' Blondies, with white chocolate and lemon curd and a toasted meringue topping. There are so many other recipes, for brownies, blondies, and spinoffs thereof, as well as a very helpful troubleshooting section at the end. It was difficult, in the most pleasurable way possible, to choose what to share with you today, but in the end it just had to be the 'Cheating on Brownies with Cookies’ Brownies, with their brownie base and cookie dough top...

The Brownie Diaries by Leah Hyslop (Bloomsbury Absolute, £14.99) is out now.
Photography by Lauren Mclean.

Book cover of The Brownie Diaries by Leah Hyslop

Try this recipe from the book

Image of Leah Hyslop's Cheating On Brownies With Cookies Brownies
Photo by Lauren Mclean
"Cheating on Brownies with Cookies" Brownies
By Leah Hyslop
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PeachMelba Pavlova