I’ve suddenly got into baking brownies. I’m not sure why. If I had the choice between chocolate cake and a fruit or lemon one, the latter would nearly always win without question. In the past this has partly been influenced by the fact that practically every brownie recipe seems to have walnuts in. I’m really not a fan of them. However I recently quite fancied a brownie as it really has been years since I made them with my Mum so had a quick hunt through my recipe books for a walnut free one. I found one in Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, baked it and it came out quite well. However it was all chocolate and I quite like my chocolate with another flavour so I had another look to see if I could find one like that. The Pink Whisk came up trumps – black forest berries no less. I was intrigued. I’ve never had a brownie with berries in it. It sounded good.
I decided to bake The Pink Whisk’s Black Forest Brownies one mid-week afternoon and thought the JBug might like to help. The recipe looked quite straightforward and he likes helping whisk eggs and stir mixture. When I asked him though he categorically refused and carried on making a his Lego boat so I went into the kitchen alone but prepared for the interruptions that inevitably come when you are trying to bake with a 2.5 year old in the vicinity.
First and rather unusually Ruth says to melt the chocolate and butter together in the saucepan. She says it is much quicker this way but there is the risk of it overheating if you don’t keep an eye on it. I’m notoriously bad at just leaving something on a low heat to cook while I do something else only to return and find I’ve burnt it or its over cooked . At this point I actually got out a pan and a bowl to do it the traditional way (melting it in a bowl over barely simmering water) but then I thought I’d give Ruth’s way a go and actually for once be disciplined and keep a proper eye on it! Just as it was all nearly melted interruption number 1 came with a request from the JBug to fix the wheel of the camper van. Arrgh! Luckily this was a quick job and the chocolate mixture was still fine a few seconds later.
Next you let the chocolate mixture cool slightly before stirring in the sugar, followed by beaten eggs and flour. Although Ruth includes vanilla essence in her list of ingredients, I couldn’t see when to add it in the recipe so I put it in at this point and hoped it would be ok. You then pour this mixture into the tin and then scatter the frozen berries over the top. I didn’t have the size of square tin Ruth recommends so I made it in my traybake tin (or traybake train as the JBug likes to call it!). Ruth suggests cooking for 35 minutes but as our oven runs a bit hot, I checked it at 30. It appeared to be cooked (although it was pretty hot so trying to see if the middle had just lost its wobble without burning myself was a bit tricky) but I was debating about putting it back in for a further 5 minutes. The decision was made for me by the JBug appearing for interruption number 2 and requesting the toilet. As this is never a quick event, I put the brownies on the side and kept my fingers crossed.
Once cooled I cut into pieces and we sampled a bit. The top was slightly crusty but the inside was really gooey. The brownies hadn’t risen as much as in Ruth’s picture but never mind – they were delicious. The original plan was for us to have some and the remainder to be shipped off to Mr Kungfoodie’s work. They never made it. As soon as he clapped eyes on them, a joint decision was made to scoff the lot ourselves!!!