Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween and what to do with leftover chocolate: milk-chocolate cornflake brownies

The other day I tackled one of my kitchen cupboards because it was a mess. The kind of mess I have to sort while the kids are not around: to me it is the corner of horrors but they think of it more like a piece of heaven. It is an out-of-reach shelf where I dump store all the candy and chocolate we seem to accumulate over time.

Now, as you know, I am not shy of giving my kids a treat now and then. Their life is by no means devoid of sugar. I do however try keep their sugar intake somewhat under control. I never buy candy but my kids get more than enough at birthday parties and as gifts from well-meaning friends and family. On Fridays we usually get a gelato when I pick them up from school: it is a way to celebrate the beginning of the week end and a compromise to get them to eat their fruit or crackers or raisin snack the rest of the week when most kids around them is nibbling on chips, pizza or candy. Of course the argument ensues whether to get gelato as opposed to the horrendously colorful creations on sticks marketing experts have the guts to call ice cream. I give in fifty percent of the time. I limit Nutella to week end breakfasts and the cereal they eat during the week (an easy solution for F who is in charge of getting them to school while I sit at my desk at the office) is something halfway healthy, with some whole grains and rice to balance out the sugar and salt per gram.


And I bake. I bake my children cookies, cakes, brownies, tarts, pies. I make them hot chocolate in the winter and pop corn before movies sometimes. The salt, fat and sugar content may not be ideal, but at least I know what they are eating, what ingredients go in and that they are not eating highly-processed snacks.

Anyway, back to my clean up. After yet another party a few weeks ago we came home with a bag full of candy. As I tried to put said candy away I was buried under an avalanche of sugar, food coloring and high-fructose corn syrup. I realized it was time to get rid of some while the kids were not watching, especially in view of Halloween and the all the holidays that will follow. I dumped at least a pound or two of lollipops melted out of shape, rock hard gummy bears, leaking chocolate coins and gelées with all sorts of unidientified fuzz and crumbs stuck to them. Not to mention the traditional sugared almonds in all hues (red for graduations, baby blues and pastel pinks for christenings and births) that might have become real estate for some unwanted wiggly creatures for all I knew.


While I was at it I also tackled the extravaganza of chocolate (mostly leftover Easter chocolate, milk chocolate and not great quality might I add) that has been migrating like a flock of birds from my cupboard to the fridge and back with the changing of seasons. 
It is really hard to find good recipes to bake with milk chocolate, especially if you are trying to use up large amounts of it. I made these especially for the kids because milk chocolate is just too sweet for my liking (although I will say that it added a nice malted flavor to the brownies). And since they were for the kids I substituted nuts (which they don't especially love in brownies but are a must in my house) for corn flakes, just to add a little crunch.


To make these I followed my favorite brownie recipe and tweeked it for my new ingredients: I halved the amount of sugar and reduced the amount of butter by 50gr because milk chocolate is so much sweeter and contains more fat than bittersweet. I put in the cornflakes whole, but during the baking process they floated towards the top, so in my instructions I suggest crushing them  a little. If anything, it will make cutting the brownies easier. The cornflakes do not stay crunchy for long but add an interesting chewy texture to the otherwise slightly cakey brownies.
I will not say I didn't eat these at all, because I did, but a small one was more than enough for me. My kids, however, loved them so I suggest making them for a numerous playdate, a bakesale, school or birthday party to get rid of that milk chocolate surplus.

If you are looking for other more grown-up ideas to use up your stash, go here.

Ingredients (about 20 brownies)
325gr butter
375gr milk chocolate
6 eggs
250gr sugar
225gr flour
1 tsp salt
1.5 cups corn flakes, crushed

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line a large baking pan with foil or baking paper. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large heavy-based saucepan. In a bowl beat the eggs with the sugar. Measure the flour into another bowl and add the salt. When the chocolate and butter mixture has melted, let it cool a bit before beating in the eggs and sugar and then the slightly crushed corn flakes and flour. Beat to combine and pour into the lined brownie pan. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, checking the center with a toothpick. When the brownies are ready, the top should be a paler brown, but the middle should still be fudgy. Keep checking the brownies as they cook. Remember they will continue baking as they cool. When they have cooled completely, turn them out of the pan and cut into squares.



  1. This is exactly how I want to treat my kids when I have them - treats at the weekends and nothing in excess, but not depriving them so much that they become complete sugar junkies when I'm not there. Cornflakes in brownies sounds like a lovely idea - any extra crunch is good in my book!

    1. Unfortunately the crunch doesn't last too long, but the flakes still do add texture.

  2. Happy Halloween! I hope you have a deliciously chocolatey fun one :D

  3. What an interesting use of cornflakes! Those brownies must taste amazing!

  4. Great way to use up cornflakes. I can now rationalize having brownies for breakfast. Nice!


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