Chocolate and sour cherry brownies

I make plain old chocolate brownies all the time, so the other week I decided I wanted to experiment with some different flavours. The wonderful Pink Rachael suggested putting sour cheeries in them, and I thought the idea sounded delicious, so I gave it a try.

Brownies, in a tupperware tub waiting to go to work
Brownies, in a tupperware tub waiting to go to work

I basically use this recipe for chocolate brownie cake from BBC Good Food, but adapted slightly. Here’s how I made the cherry ones:

Ingredients

100g butter
175g caster sugar
75g light brown sugar
100g plain chocolate (in Germany, use Schwarze Herren, for the UK Bournville would work)
25g dark chocolate (at least 80% cocoa)
1 tbsp Golden Syrup (in Germany, use the Karamell flavoured Grafschafter Goldsaft)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract/essence (For Germany: If you can’t get vanilla extract, use Vanillezucker. DO NOT use those Aroma things)
100g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder (or 1 tsp German baking powder – it doesn’t work as well as the stuff you get in the UK!)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
50g chocolate drops
About 30-50g sour cherries

Method

  1. Line a 20 cm cake tin with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas mark 4
  2. Place the butter, chocolate, both sugars and golden syrup in a pan and melt them over a low heat until smooth and lump free
  3. Meanwhile, place the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder in a large bowl. If your butter is unsalted, also add a pinch of salt.
  4. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat them until they’re frothy
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the eggs and vanilla essence
  6. Pour the liqid mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until everything is well mixed
  7. Add the chocolate drops and stir some more
  8. Add the cherries a few at a time, stirring after each addition. I didn’t actually weigh the amount I put in, but basically you want there to be cheeries throught the whole mixture but not have them overwhelm (there should still be some actual brownie between the cherries!)
  9. Pour the mixture into your baking tin and bake on the middle shelf for 20-30 minutes. When it’s done, it should have formed a kind of skin on the top and spring back when you press it down. A skewer inserted into it should come back fairly clean (the brownies are fairly stickly, so a little bit of mixture sticking to the skewer is fine, but it shouldn’t actually be liquid!)
  10. Leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting, otherwise the brownies will just fall apart!

And that’s it! Incredibly easy, but also incredibly tasty. Win!

 

Things I learned over the weekend

  • This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.
    Lemons… becasue Zemanta has no pictures of Lemsip (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    I am not as unfit as I think I am! And I can walk up hills if I have to.

  • If you go hiking with a blocked nose, after a while it will start to run instead.
  • However, within a couple of hours of returning from the hike, your cold will return with a vengeance.
  • Lemsip is amazing!! Actually, I knew that already but it bears repeating.
  • The pain from blisters is much worse than post-hike muscle ache!
  • Chocolate and cherry brownies are DELICIOUS! (Recipe to come)
  • The people I come in to contact with have no idea how I feel when meeting new people. Which I guess means I do a good enough job of acting “normal” (whatever that is…).

I have to go to the Irish pub now to see the owner – he asked us to come in some time this week, I assume to get some Ireland tips – so that’s all you’re getting today. Next post will be longer, promise!

Caaaake

Yesterday, we were invited to the post-wedding celebration barbecue of one of Jan’s colleagues (the couple actually got married almost a year ago). I was told I could bake a cake if I liked, so I decided to find something new, but fairly easy to make.

I chose this from BBC Good Food: Blueberry Soured Cream Cake with Cheesecake Frosting

The batter was fairly easy to make. Place most of the ingredients in a bowl and stir until combind. Add the eggs and ssour cream and stir more then stir in half the blueberries, saving the other half to decorate.

After baking, the cake looked like this:

Blueberry cakeIt sunk a little in the middle (should have baked it for longer!) but not too badly.

Here it is the next morning, after removal of the baking paper:

Blueberry cake 2It had sunk even more and also now had a ring around it where I turned it upside down on a plate to remove the paper. Ooops! Good job there was still icing and decoration to come…

Blueberry cake icedAaah, much better! Here’s a view from the top:

Iced cake top view

I also made brownies as a back up – I know my brownies recipe always works! I even experimented this time, mixing the plain chocolate with a little orange chocolate and adding the juice of one orange. The verdict: Delicious, but I could have added slightly more orange. Jan’s colleagues have begged me to send in brownies to work with him soon , so I’ll count that as a success!

The blueberry cake tasted good – not too sweet, and it was cooked through despite the sinking in the middle issue. It didn’t disappear as quickly as the brownies, but with two entire tables of cakes to choose from that’s not really surprising! And by the end of the party, it, too, had been demolished. Success all round! Now to decide what my next brownies experiment will be. The addition of some ginger, perhaps?…