Camden on a weekend is my definition of Hell. It would seem that every single tourist in London decides to flock here and make it almost impossible to navigate your way anywhere without being bumped into by an inconsiderate hipster taking an instagram photo of a pair of 3D Converses protruding from a shop’s facade. But a few months ago Josh and I discovered something worth pushing through the hustle and bustle of the crowds; a small little stall hidden at the back of Camden Lock market selling some of the best brownies in London.
Batch Bakery is run by two lovely ladies, Justine & Hannah. They’ve been baking and selling these incredible creative chocolaty treats since 2012 and insist on using the best ingredients, particularly focusing on fairtrade, free-range and organic so that their brownies taste as good as they look. They can cater to a range of dietary requirements including gluten free and low sugar(!) so no-one has to miss out!
These brownies each hold the same common quality of being soft, rich, gooey, but not sickly, and come in up to 60 different variations (and counting), as the girls continue to design and product develop new flavours every week! As I have now made it a weekend tradition to visit these ladies, I think I am now qualified to tell you all about the fantastic range they have on offer. Prepare yourself… this is going to make you salivate!
Tried now on three separate occassions (once two days running) is probably the best brownie I have ever tried; the Blueberry Cheesecake Brownie. Essentially two incredible desserts baked into one, this slab of creamy, chocolaty goodness will set you back only £3.50*, and will excite your palette to no end. The chocolate brownie bottom, much like all of Batch’s brownies, is dense and rich, and melts in the mouth, while the creamy cheesecake topping is soft and silky, with the consistency of a New York baked cheesecake that blends wonderfully in the mouth. The blueberry pieces that have marbled together in baking make each slab beautiful and unique to the eyes, and sweet and tangy to the mouth.
If you’re not a fan of blueberries, but you do fancy trying something with a little bit of fruit, you can’t go far wrong with the raspberry brownie, or if you want something even fancier than that, the Raspberry, Rose & Pistachio is also a great choice. The sharpness of the raspberry provides a whole new level to each mouthful – a tang that goes wonderfully with the rich chocolate flavour. The pistachio sprinkled on the top of the brownie I think is more for the benefit of texture instead of purely just taste (although it does taste fab too!) and unfortunately the rose is lost on me (another one of those flavours I can’t taste due to the ansomia “issue”) but I’m certain it makes for a fantastic flavour combo.
For those who think chocolate and fruit is simply not right and you’re after something with no actual health benefits whatsoever (just pure indulgence), you simply cannot go wrong with their staple brownie available every week for £3 each – the salted caramel. Each slab oozes with a golden dollop of sweet, gooey salted caramel, sandwiched between the chocolate brownie – not suitable for those who don’t possess a sweet tooth, but for all others, yes… just yes! Alternatively there is also the Cookie Dough brownie (which I think speaks for itself – what an amazing combo!) or the Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie which see’s the brownie slathered in a layer of a beautiful green mousse like topping which is very subtle in mint flavour (almost a bit too subtle for me – I like my mint flavours strong!) and topped again with a thick layer of dark chocolate ganache. Incredibly rich, so much so that I had to eat mine in stages to avoid that ‘bleughh’ feeling I sometimes get when i’ve shoved a whole chocolate bar down my gullet!
Not only can these girls be found selling their wonders in the depths of Camden, but they also pop up in a few other locations around town too. Last weekend they were part of the incredible collection of street food traders at KERB at the Southbank Centre (which also pops up in Kings Cross, Canary Wharf & other central locations), where I managed to try a slab of their S’mores brownie – chocolate, melty marshmallow and biscuit. An incredible creation that left me licking the remaining gooey bits from the box it came in.
I can’t help but keep returning every week to this fantastic stand. The girls who run this wonderful business are lovely, friendly, and more than happy to make sure you get the biggest slab of brownie available when you make your choice. They sell out almost every week (normally by around 3pm, so i’ve learnt not to let my hangovers get the better of me now) and I’m not surprised. They’re in constant product development, and i’m very excited to try their new and upcoming Jaffa Cake creation, as well as a few classics i’m yet to treat myself to, such as the Coconut Ice & the Chunk. Their Oreo & Peanut Butter brownie buns & their mini brownie loafs are on my radar too, but I don’t seem to be able to deny myself their brownies when they’re sat right in front of me as I order! I swear… these girls are going to be the reason I double in size… but oh, I think it will be very worth it. In fact, I’ve already decided I want them to make my future several tier wedding brownie cake, but as that is likely to be decades in the future at this rate, I won’t put my order in just yet…
For more information on where & when you can find Batch, give them a follow on Twitter @BatchBakeryLdn
*When I last spoke to the girls they were toying with the idea of offering smaller slices at the lower price of £2.50 – meaning you have more money to spend on more brownies (dangerous!) and lessen the chances of falling into a sugary bliss coma… I think this is a good plan.