Strictly Suppers 2015 #2 – American Smooth(ie)

In honour of Daniel O’Donnell’s exit last week I thought I’d dedicate this Strictly Suppers recipe to his last dance an American Smooth. This post comes in two parts, Uncle Sam’s Chocolate Brownies and a Peanut Butter and Jam smoothie…. how very American. So let’s get on with the Brownie.

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) - Brownie Ingredients

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) – Brownie Ingredients

You can add chocolate chips or nuts to this recipe but I’ve gone for a straight up Brownie, no frills attached. I may try the recipe again with white chocolate chips in the middle of them.

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) - Weighing out the ingredients for Uncle Sam's Brownies

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) – Weighing out the ingredients for Uncle Sam’s Brownies

Preheat the oven to 1800C, weigh out all the ingredients. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan.

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) - Working with the Sugar, Eggs and Butter for Uncle Sam's Brownies

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) – Working with the Sugar, Eggs and Butter for Uncle Sam’s Brownies

Add the melted butter to the sugar and mix it thoroughly, then add two egg and mix through thoroughly until combined. Onto the dry ingredients:

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) - Working with the Flour, Cocoa Powder and Vanilla for Uncle Sam's Brownies

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) – Working with the Flour, Cocoa Powder and Vanilla for Uncle Sam’s Brownies

Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a bowl, once you’ve done that, give them a stir to combine. Then you can add the mixture from the previous step, add the vanilla and mix that thoroughly to ensure it is well combined.

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) - Greaseproof paper in the brownie tray

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) – Greaseproof paper in the brownie tray

Line a baking tray (or in my case my old lasagna dish) with some grease proof paper and then pour in the mixture.

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) - The brownie mix going in the oven

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) – The brownie mix going in the oven

Place in the oven and cook for approximately 30 minutes, people have different opinions on brownies. When I cooked them my mother said they were over cooked…. but I didn’t think they were! The edges and top were crispy but the middle was gooey and lovely, a real hug in every bite. It doesn’t matter in my opinion if the outside edge is a bit burnt overcooked as long as the actual middle of the brownie is gooey.

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) - The American paraphenalia for props

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) – The American paraphenalia for props

Because I knew I was doing this concept for Strictly Suppers I decided to buy some props…. I can’t claim the American Smoothie idea, it came from Heather and Alice, I was talking over this years options with Alice on facebook one day and all of a sudden ideas came flooding in. She’d spoken to my sister Heather who (because she’s the created one of the three of us) came up with lots of ideas including this one. I managed to source some American bits and pieces from various online sites and put together the final staging for the finished creations. I served the Brownies on their own because they didn’t need anything else.

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) - Uncle Sam's Brownies

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) – Uncle Sam’s Brownies

To download a step-by-step guide to make my Brownies click here. Ok here comes the fun bit, onto the Smoothie part of the American Smooth. This is my take on a Peanut Butter and Jelly smoothie, it’s Peanut Butter and Jam smoothie…. yea I know it sounds horrific but honestly it wasn’t.

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) - The Peanut Butter and Jam Smoothie ingredients

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) – The Peanut Butter and Jam Smoothie ingredients

This recipe calls for frozen bananas, I’ve seen James Martin using them to make Ice Cream and now I know why. The original recipe which inspired me to make this says to use one banana but I’ve used two, why, because I don’t like Peanut Butter. Place them in the freezer overnight, when doing this it’s important to peel them first because it’s easier when making the smoothie.

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) - The process of making the smoothie

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) – The process of making the smoothie

This couldn’t be easier to make, whack everything in the blender and blitz. The ingredients include honey which adds the sweetness, if you don’t like Peanut Butter this is the wrong recipe for you but it’s honestly worth trying – I’m not a big Peanut Butter fan but I loved this.

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) - Peanut Butter and Jam Smoothie

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) – Peanut Butter and Jam Smoothie

To download a step-by-step guide to this recipe click here, it’s should be tried, it’s more bananary than anything else.

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) in all it's glory

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie) in all it’s glory

This is the first recipe photo shoot I’ve used props in really and I’m very proud of it, I know self recommendation is no praise or whatever the saying is but I thoroughly enjoyed cooking this and staging it. I’m not the only one who enjoyed the Brownies because people sampled them and everyone who tried them enjoyed them, including my friend Gemma. Sadly I didn’t have enough of the smoothie to go around but I enjoyed it.

As always adapt the recipe to suit yourself, change the quantities and the ingredients, just remember, adjust the cooking time and the process where needed.

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie)

Strictly Suppers #2 American Smooth(ie)

I’m also pleased with some of the photos for this recipe, I quite often get the mick taken out of my photography skills, because I have shaky hands. I regularly use a Bluetooth selfie stick for my Wheelie Good Meals photos as it gives me good stability and I can roll out photos without struggling to get in to awkward places. I’m chuffed with the photo above, it looks like something Greg or Alice would have taken because it’s an overhead shot.. I took it with my selfie stick… long live the selfie stick I say, if you want to see the one I own click here

I don’t know what’s coming up next week because I’ve been so behind of late. I’ve just launched a new business the beginning of the month, and that and my existing business have taken up lots of time, I will be back for #TimeSavingTuesday but with what, well who knows.

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Big thanks to Sharon for the loan of her smoothie glass, it took me long enough to find one, but we got there in the end!

See you Tuesday

Rich signature

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