A Bumper Crop of Blackcurrants and Blackcurrant Brownies
If I need to make brownies in a hurry, my go to recipe these days is for chocolate fudge brownies from Charlotte Pike’s wonderful book Easy Baking in The Hungry Student series. I first made these for an event last summer where they proved to be extremely popular. Then, last week, I made some for my birthday party. This week, I’ve omitted the coffee, used some different sugars and added blackcurrants. I also always use wholemeal flour or wholemeal spelt which I feel gives me a few brownie points (haha). The method I use is my favourite one pot wonder.
On Saturday, a friend kindly let me loose in her overflowing fruit cage and I picked four pounds of blackcurrants. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do with them, but yesterday I used two pounds to make eight pots of glorious blackcurrant and chilli jam. That left two pounds, most of which has gone into making cassis, but I felt a bit of baking was called for too. Hunting around on Eat Your Books delivered blackcurrant beach brownies from Dom over at Belleau Kitchen. I was no stranger to these brownies as they had featured in the blackcurrant round-up of We Should Cocoa a couple of years ago. The concept was appealing and I’d always meant to make some, but they had somehow slipped my mind. Yesterday seemed like a good time to try them out, especially as they will fit in very nicely with a future project I’m planning. Some blackcurrant sauce was called for too – for said future project.
The jam recipe came from the queen of preserves Vivien Lloyd via Katie over at Feeding Boys and a Firefighter. It was Sue over at A Little Bit of Heaven on a Plate that suggested it and what a brilliant suggestion it was. Rather than add the chilli to a muslin bag and pull it out at a later date, I decided to add the chillies directly. We grow rocotos which are fleshy and quite hot; they work well in this sort of concoction. We keep a load of them in the freezer, halved and already deseeded. I chopped four halves finely and added them in at the simmering stage. The heat is just right for us. There is a definite kick, but steam doesn’t come screaming out of your ears.
The brownies are a little more delicate than the normal ones, with a finer texture. They are utterly delicious, with the tart berries giving bursts of flavour and somewhat offsetting the sugar high. They will do very nicely for what I am planning.
If you’re looking for other blackcurrant ideas, you will find plenty here.
- 125g Unsalted butter
- 190g 72% dark chocolate
- 100g molasses sugar
- 150g golden caster sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
- 3 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
- 70g wholemeal flour (I used spelt)
- 1 heaped tsp cocoa powder (Food Thoughts)
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 150g blackcurrants
- Melt butter and chocolate in a large pan over a gentle heat.
- Take off the heat and stir in the sugar until well mixed.
- Beat in the eggs, one by one.
- Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder and stir until just combined.
- Gently stir in the blackcurrants.
- Pour into a 9″ sq. silicone mould or lined cake tin and bake at 180℃ for 20 minutes when there should no longer be a wobble, but the batter is still fudgy.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan. Cut into 16 squares.