Baking for Technophobes No.2: The Bomb Shelter Brownie

When faced with impending doom scenarios, stockpiling is the quintessential survival practice; whether it be biological quarantine or a West Wing marathon, you had better be prepared. Whilst sensible people/ complete nutters might think about bottled water, tinned food, matches and blankets, in my slightly unrealistic practicality, I would probably choose to stockpile the ingredients for these brownies. Provided there is access to a heat source this could be probably be made in bomb shelters, basements, shopping malls or the Winchester.

As well as the ease of production, these brownies will store well in any conditions, warm or cold, and are even unbelievably tasty when frozen. So if you happen to have to leave your hiding place and trek through arctic conditions, you will still be able to enjoy them. And if you have the rest of the batch to get through, your will to survive is certain to increase.

The Postal Service’s ‘we will become silhouettes’ is a pretty good soundtrack for post-apocalyptic baking.

I have been challenged to make this with a trangia or over a campfire and I am up for giving it a go…Anyone want to help?

I won’t lie.  I got hungry when taking photos.

These brownies are amazing as the basis for the brownie marshmallow melt, enjoyed by many people at Cameo Curio. Plus, it is an excuse to get out the blowtorch, and as we discovered, there is no finer phrase in the English language than ‘may I blowtorch that for you?’ The marshmallows are also home-made, I will post that recipe soon.

Bomb Shelter Brownies

This recipe is from Chocolate Baking by Linda Collister. Please, commit to memory, or keep it in a fireproof box; the human race cannot survive without your knowledge of these brownies!


140g unsalted butter

4 large eggs (better keep a chicken safe, eh?)

340g light brown muscovado sugar

1 teaspoon real vanilla essence

pinch of salt

75g cocoa powder

140g plain flour

100g walnut or peacan pieces, or chopped white/dark/plain chocolate. Optional, I prefer mine without.

1)   Line a 23 cm wide square cake tin with parchment. (Or anything metal and watertight)

2)   Preheat oven to 170C, 235F.

3)   Gently melt the butter in a pan over a low heat. Let cool while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

4)   With a wooden spoon, gently beat the eggs with the sugar until just blended. It should be free of lumps.

5)   Stir in the cooled butter and the vanilla.

6)   Sift in the flour, salt and cocoa in, and gently mix in, just until you can’t see any more bits of flour. I have found that whisking the flour, salt and cocoa in another bowl before adding is as good as sifting. If you overmix, the brownies will be drier, and the texture will be less fudgey and more like cake.

7)   Fold in nuts and chocolate pieces, if using.

8)   Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a tester inserted midway between the middle and the outside of the cake comes out clean. The middle of the cake should just have set, and be firm to the touch.

Stored in an airtight container they will last a week; and frozen they will last a month.


2 comments on “Baking for Technophobes No.2: The Bomb Shelter Brownie

  1. I think we could wrap the whole thing in a bunch of foil and put it in a large fire to cook, baked potato style. I’m up for trying it!

  2. Wow! These look great! Will definitely try them out!!!

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