Need a grown-up version of marshmallows when craving to satisfy your sweet tooth when camping? And an excuse to bring liqueur to camping? Move over, marshmallows unless you plan to make a marshmallow brownie version, campfire style. (I would like to try that next time: add a small handful of mini-marshmallows to the brownie batter, so that the marshmallows would melt nicely on top of the campfire brownies.)
The secret to getting a successful gourmet campfire dessert dish is to understand your environment and being able to adapt your recipes accordingly: is it windy, is it cold? Is it sweltering hot? Is it humid or is it dry? I made this cast-iron skillet brownie in the windiest of conditions in the dry and biting 4°C weather. Camping in the Rocky Mountains this past weekend in April was a fun adventure; bring low pressure and high altitudes to the mix, you have got a challenge of keeping your baking as moist as possible — think the opposite of a pressure cooker: you might have to spend extra time baking.
When it’s that windy, you want to be able to whip up a dessert in no time.. and enjoy sitting by the campfire, with a mug of coffee in hand.
Luckily, we’ve got some campfire brownies stored in a Tupperware, to help refresh memories of my taste test. Moist – with the help of butter and O’ Darby’s Irish Cream, decadent, and crispy on the bottom, with fond recent smells of campfire baking. I really am trying NOT to devour our leftover brownies. Every bite brings me back to the fun Mister and I have had this past weekend, camping in BC.
Equipment you would need:
Cast iron pan (square or round does not matter)
Tin foil, to cover the pan
Parchment paper (or you can choose to grease your pan)
Wooden spoon, to stir the dough
Campfire grill (usually optional, but it will come in handy to help provide an even surface)
Rolling pin (optional; I chose the more dainty way of doing it. You can use a hammer if you want to let yourself run wild in the great outdoors)
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
½ tsp sea salt
2 square pieces of baking chocolate, grated/chopped/shaved
2 eggs, unbeaten
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp Irish Cream liqueur
¼ tsp baking powder
½ cup flour
½ cup walnuts, chopped
Cocoa versus Baker’s chocolate.. versus chocolate chips?
It can be chalked up to personal preference. I like the decadence of Baker’s chocolate. I don’t even bother with tempering the chocolate for campfire brownies, because slicing the chocolate into smaller flakes and pieces, with a mere paring knife, would work just as fine. Plus, remember.. we’re cooking in the wild outdoors. There is no easy dial for the campfire grill. It would be too easy to burn your chocolate if we were to attempt to temper the chocolate.
Update on Apr 27, 2020: If you wanted to read more about my camping trip in Valemount, BC, read about my camping experience. Since most of us can’t camp at national or provincial parks during the pandemic, set up tents in your backyard and glamp away! Use your barbecue grill if you don’t have a legal fire pit.
Campfire pancakes for breakfast? Try this low fat cocoa pancakes recipe.