Tuesday, 19 October 2010

congo bars

This will sound absolutely ridiculous but when I see the word 'congo', I immediately associate it with bongo drums and images of a primitive kind of tribal dance seem to come to mind. I've gone to the extent  of googling the word congo to see if I was correct and well, don't ask me why I make those associations;  probably because the word congo rhymes with bongo and congo does sound rather like a traditional dance - don't you think?

Bizarrely enough, congo bars neither have to do with the place Congo in Africa and from my research, the word Congo seems to be referring to a mythical place which many a place, including this baked goodie have been named after. Maybe one day I will name my recipe the 'Panda Bar' and this will make history like these congo bars!

I've taken this recipe out of my trusty copy of 'The Great Book of Chocolate' by David Lebovitz.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Butter and line a 20x30cm baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together 150g melted unsalted butter, 300g brown sugar (I reduced the amount of sugar in the original recipe by 150g) and 3 large eggs. This is what it looks like!

Sift in 385g plain flour, 2 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir in 280g chocolate chips and 130g toasted and chopped walnuts. Spread the batter into the pan as evenly as possible; it's quite a sticky batter and I suggest you use a knife to smooth out the top as a spatula will stick.

Bake for 25 minutes until a golden brown. Remove from the oven.

Let cool for a few minutes and then cut into bars whilst still warm.

These both look gorgeous and taste gorgeous!

Reducing the amount of sugar was definitely a good call as with the adjusted amount of sugar, this bar was already reasonably sweet. David Lebovitz's comments in his book allude to the fact that these bars actually improve a few days when stored at room temperature in an airtight container. I was a bit skeptical at first but after eating these a couple of days later, they were truly as good as new and I didn't even need to whiz them in the microwave. 

As good as it tastes, congo bars are very similar to brownies and are quite heavy in taste so a small slice will go a long way. Suggest you share this tray amongst friends and family!


Maria said...

I LOVE walnuts! Have never tried congo bars, but this sounds like a really nice treat!

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

I thought they looked a bit like blondies too!