B is for Brownie | Interview, Review, Giveaway & Reader Code

I do love a good chocolate brownie and for me that means dense and gooey – none of this crumbly cake-like stuff – and redolent of top quality dark chocolate. I want the texture to be rich, fudge-like, just short of too sticky to hold and I want to taste the natural flavour of the cocoa bean from which the chocolate was made.

When such a brownie can be mine for twenty-odd quid and a day or two’s wait for it to made to order and sent to me by post, there’s absolutely no reason not to indulge from time to time. And of course, it means I can spread the love by sending lovely parcels of deliciousness to friends – for a birthday or anniversary, as a thank you gift, as a get well message or just because I know someone who will utterly adore them!

B is for Brownie offers such a service, selling handmade single origin chocolate brownies across the UK via an online shop.

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I recently tried their offering (see my review below) and had a chat to founder Lou Cox. I also have a box to giveaway to a lucky reader, and a reader discount code to share too.

B is for Brownie | Interview

When did you decide to launch a business selling your brownies to the public? And when did you launch?

My decision to go into brownie baking happened in the autumn of 2014. I was on a mission to produce the very best brownie that I could. There was lots of experimentation during which I discovered that you could taste the character of different origins of chocolate in the brownies and that seemed like the most obvious route for me to take. The online business launched in August 2015.

How did you come up with the name and brand design for B is for Brownie?

My partner came up with the name and it just sounded right. I worked on the brand design with a very talented web designer called Sarah Webb. I didn’t initially want a black and white design, but in the end the logo looked so clean and fresh and timeless that I went with it.

All your brownies are gluten free. Was that a conscious decision based on a personal need to avoid gluten, a desire to be suitable for gluten-free consumers or simply that your favourite brownie recipe happened to be gluten free?

During the development stage I decided to offer a wheat free version. When I baked with wheat free flour I was so impressed by the texture that I felt that the brownies actually benefited from being wheat free, so that’s the recipe I now use. I don’t shout about it, it just happened to be the best thing for my brownies.

Where do you source the chocolate for your single original chocolate brownies, and how do you select it?

I source by flavour, it must have plenty of character to shine through in the baked brownie. I prefer chocolate without vanilla and soya lecithin where possible.

For your Grenadan brownies, you actually make the chocolate yourself from the bean, before using it in your brownies! Why did you decide to take this approach? Can you tell me more about how you chose these Grenadan beans and how you make your chocolate?

I just wanted to take the whole process further and I enjoy experimenting. I have a science degree, and spent nearly six years working for Hotel Chocolat within the development team. So felt confident in my abilities to take brownie baking to the next level. I simply chose the Grenadan beans for their character and also from a practical point of view I am a very small business and cannot justify buying tens of kilos at a time. The bean to brownie is intended to be a limited edition brownie baked simply without any additional flavour to show case the cocoa bean. I intend to change the bean origin from time to time.

The process for making chocolate is very simple but a little time consuming. Basically you roast some beans, allow to cool remove the shell, grind to create small nibs then heat the nibs and add to a grinder and grind for 4 hours. [You can read more about Lou’s methods and equipment in Lou’s recent blog post, here.]

Which is your best seller?

The sea salted butterscotch without a doubt!

How do you develop new brownie flavours?

Firstly they need to be able to withstand the character of the chocolate, secondly I tend not to blend flavours through the brownie batter as this would mask the flavour of the single origin chocolate. I like the contrast or harmony between the topping and the chocolate. Sometimes you get more topping than brownie and sometimes more brownie!

Can you tell us about flavours currently in development and coming soon?

I’ve just developed The Hazelnut Gianduja Brownie for which I am making the gianduja myself – roasting and blending hazelnuts with chocolate and sea salt – before submerging chunks into a brownie slab just before baking.

I’m also looking at a Rum & Raisin brownie for summer / Father’s Day. I am soaking flame raisins in spiced rum before baking them into the brownie.

Sum up your brownies in 5 words or less.

Immensely dense, intensely good. Truffley (not really a word I know!)

B is for Brownie | Review

My brownies arrive securely packed in a sturdy box that should fit readily through most letterboxes. Inside, the brownies are beautifully wrapped in branded paper tied with ribbon, and also in parchment paper, so they arrive safe and sound.

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Lou hand-makes the brownies to order so they are freshly baked when posted and remain in good condition for about a week after arrival. You can also freeze some of the pieces if you like, to spread the enjoyment out; I froze a couple of mine, wrapped tightly in some of the parchment paper they arrived in, and can confirm that they freeze and defrost well.

The slab Lou made for me is single origin Madagascan chocolate and she created a mix of flavours so I could get a feel for her range. Fingers crossed that a similar assorted brownie slab will be available for order in her shop soon as I love the idea! From left tor right the flavours in my slab are Sea Salted Fudge, Raspberry, plain Madagascan and Hazelnut Gianduja [coming soon].

Unlike many flavoured brownies I’ve tried before, Lou doesn’t mix her flavourings into the batter as she is keen for the flavour of the single origin chocolate to shine through. Instead, she adds ingredients as toppings or – like the Hazelnut Gianduja – pushes a layer down inside the batter so it bakes into the middle. This tactic works really well and the flavourings complement rather than overwhelm the chocolate. And with chocolate this good, that’s a very good thing – the delicious red berry fruit notes typical of Madagascan chocolate sing on the palate.

I love all four that I try but I think my favourite is the raspberry jam – the fruit accentuates the natural flavours of the cacao so perfectly!

Most of the B is for Brownies range is priced between £18 and £23 per 500 gram slab. The Goldie is the outlier priced at £30, not unreasonable given the brilliant bling of 23 carat gold leaf that adorns it. Delivery is an additional £3.35 per box.

Hint: If ever you want to get in my good books, a box of Lou’s brownies would go a long way towards ensuring your place!

B is for Brownie | Giveaway

PRIZE

B is for Brownie are offering a box of single original brownies in their latest flavour, Hazelnut Gianduja, to a reader of Kavey Eats. The box will contain a 500 gram slab of handmade chocolate brownies and includes delivery to a UK address.

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the giveaway in 2 ways – entering both ways increases your chances of winning:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
What new brownie flavour would you like to see B is for Brownie developing next?

Entry 2 – Twitter
Follow both @Kavey and @Bisforbrownie on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the exact sentence (shown in italics) below.
I’d love to win a box of single origin chocolate brownies by @Bisforbrownie from Kavey Eats! http://bit.ly/KE-BIFB #KaveyEatsBIFB
(Do not add my twitter handle or any other twitter handle to the beginning of the tweet or your entry will be considered invalid.
Please don’t leave a blog comment about your tweet either; I track twitter entries using the competition hash tag.)

RULES, TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 24th June 2016.
  • The winner will be selected from all valid entries using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • The prize is a B is for Brownie box of Hazelnut Gianduja brownies. Delivery to a UK address is included.
  • The prize is offered by B is for Brownie and cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. You may enter both ways but you do not have to do so for each individual entry to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, entrants must be following @Kavey and @Bisforbrownie at the time of notification.
  • For Blog comment entries, entrants must provide a valid email address for contact.
  • The winners will be notified by email or Twitter so please make sure you check relevant accounts for the notification message.
  • If no response is received from a winner within 10 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

B is for Brownie | Reader Code

If you would like to order a box of single original chocolate brownies for yourself or a friend (and I’m telling you, you or the friend will love you for it!), B is for Brownie are offering 15% off to Kavey Eats readers. Enter KAVEY2016 on checkout; valid till 30th June 2016. Discount applies to contents of  cart; delivery cost remains the same.

Kavey Eats received a review box of chocolate brownies from B is for Brownie.

This giveaway is closed. The winner is twitter entry @bexyboo4000.

Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!
73 Comments to "B is for Brownie | Interview, Review, Giveaway & Reader Code"

  1. Fede Pastabites

    It’s a great concept and although I am not sure I would actually buy (as I love making brownies myself) it’s definitely an easy way to secure a well made, good ingredients brownie. Looks divine!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I’m actually very lazy so when someone else makes them at least as good (and actually, in this case, far better) than I can make, and they’re affordable, I’m sold! 😉

    Reply
  2. kaveyeats

    I know ma, but you could always have a tiny bite! I have one piece left in freezer, will try to remember to bring it next time I come!

    Reply
  3. Jane Willis

    They sound gorgeous. I’d love to see a chilli flavoured one, I think chocolate and chilli are a match made in heaven.

    Reply
  4. Ana

    Cardamom brownies for me! 🙂

    I love gianduja and would some brownies with it even more :))))

    Reply
  5. kaveyeats

    Yes indeed, though I must do a shout out for the raspberry jam one.

    Reply
  6. kaveyeats

    Thanks, was lovely to be able to find out more about Lou’s business and methods.

    Reply
  7. Sally - My Custard Pie

    What an incredible amount of work (and expertise) to make a brownie. I have no doubt that they will be delicious. Bookmarked for when I’m looking for delicious gifts to send to people in the UK.

    Reply
  8. Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry

    Oh my gosh, what a fab idea. I would soooooooo love to be suprised in the post with a slab of brownies. Love the sea salted butterscotch ones. Plus I think I need to see some caramelised sesame cashew brownies next.

    Reply
  9. Wehaf

    These look delicious! I would love a traditional Mayan hot chocolate brownie with cinnamon and chili powder.

    Reply
  10. April J Harris

    Lou’s brownies sound amazing! I would love to see a Chocolate Orange version – but the Sea Salted Butterscotch sounds right up my street! I would definitely send these as a gift – what a great idea!

    Reply
  11. kaveyeats

    Yes, exactly. And even those of us into baking, can enjoy a treat baked by someone else now and then!

    Reply
  12. kaveyeats

    Ha ha I hear you. Maybe there is one but if not, a good idea for someone to set one up. We have a few mail order brownie companies here in the UK now.

    Reply
  13. kaveyeats

    Yes, I can’t imagine anyone who likes chocolate wouldn’t appreciate receiving something like these in the mail!

    Reply
  14. Debi at Life Currents

    What a great response to the age old question, “what do you do for a living?” Well, you see, I have the best job ever! I make and sell brownies! How awesome is that! What a fun interview. I love this! Thanks for sharing it!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Ha haaaa yes I love that! It’s great to make your passion into your job! I know another lady who has been selling brownies by a similar mail order system for several years, she’s wonderful too and her brownies are also delicious. Not single origin, a different beast to Lou’s, but very good too. In the UK we are really seeing a surge in businesses selling specialist food via online mail order.

    Reply
  15. kaveyeats

    Recommend the raspberry, though everything was fantastic! Discount code above to give you a little off.

    Reply
  16. Lisa

    For me, anything with cinnamon. Cinnamon and rose would be my version of joy in a brownie.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I can imagine that working very well, though perhaps a cinnamon paste of some kind, as Lou doesn’t mix flavourings in to the batter itself, to preserve the flavour of the single origin chocolate. The flavourings are all add-ins on top or in the centre.

    Reply
  17. liz denial

    Chilli chocolate and pistachio would be nice or a chocolate orange

    Reply
  18. Jodie Holyoake

    A white chocolate one if they didn’t have anything like that!

    Reply
  19. Syed

    These brownies sound divine, I do hope the multi-flavour ‘taster’ version reviewed becomes a regular offering!
    As for my suggestion — perhaps something like cassis + a rose ganache?
    (awesome blog btw, I can see myself becoming a regular reader)

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yes I think it would be popular.
    And thank you, lovely to hear you like my blog and may become a regular reader, happy to have you here!)

    Reply
  20. Beky Austerberry

    Oh I can’t decide between fudge or turkish delight. Yum – thanks for the chance

    Reply
  21. Identity_B

    I’ve been wondering for the past month which flavour to buy – I really hope Lou does offer a selector slab, it would make my decision incredibly EASY!

    Re new flavours, that’s a hard one. An obvious option would be peanut butter and jam (especially following your shout-out for the raspberry jam slab), but two challenging options would be somehow incorporating lavendar in to a topping, or for a bit of extravagance, champagne!

    Reply
  22. Jess ansell

    Oh my these brownies look incredible love the use of single origin chocolate. Next flavour idea: maple pecan brownies 🙂

    Reply
  23. Choclette

    Loved reading about these brownies Kavey. Good interview. This is the first time I’ve come across a single origin chocolate brownie, but they sound fab. I know it’s been done to death, but a nut butter brownie would be fab.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yes I hadn’t come across the idea before either but really like how the flavour of the cocoa comes through. Nut butter always a winner!

    Reply
  24. Kate Knight

    Could you do a white choc chip and raspberry brownie with popping candy on top!?

    Reply
  25. MM

    Now that’s one post I would love to get!! Great idea for a gift..not sure about ordering it for myself though – waiting for food is not something I do well! As for flavours – salted caramel, salted praline, peanut butter, rum raisin, nutella and coffee…..

    Reply

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