A group of librarian friends in Sydney are having a brownie bake-off. Recipes are being tweaked, samples scrutinised and ingredient lists zealously protected. I’m unable to eat chocolate any more due to my renal condition (it’s a cruel universe indeed that forbids the all-healing goodness of chocolate) but I am known for my brownies. I used to bake them a lot – for every family gathering, craft sale, birthdays and just-because days. I haven’t made them for over a year now – it’s no fun whipping up a batch of these little beauties unless you can dip into the batter and help yourself to the baked finished product.
However, I am happy to share the recipe with all of you. It’s a fool-proof one and never fails me. Give it a try – you’ll be glad you did (and so will anyone else whom you deem lucky enough to sample it). Just be warned though – you WILL have to make these again and again.
CHERRY RIPE BROWNIES
200g brown sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa, sifted
3 tsp cherry brandy essence (or vanilla essence)*
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 bars of Cherry Ripe, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (can use pecans or almonds or mixture of nuts)
Preheat Oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Over low heat, melt butter in a medium sized saucepan. Remove from heat and mix in cocoa powder, sugar, essence and eggs. Sift flour and baking powder and add to mixture with chopped nuts and Cherry Ripe. Stir until combined.
Pour into a 20cm square cake tin, lined with baking powder.
Bake for approx 25 minutes. Do not over-bake. Check at 20 minutes – brownies are better undercooked. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out just clean. Let cool in tin and then dust with icing sugar before cutting into squares.
* Cherry Brandy Essence is available in the Cake/Baking section of the supermarket. It’s not essential but it does amp up the flavour! Substitute real Cherry Brandy if you like – experiment!