Chococo Brownies and Matcha Madeleines
Last weekend saw me very busy with a mammoth bake for a friend’s birthday party. When asked if I could make some cakes to bring along, the only request made was for small cakes that were easy to eat and weren’t cupcakes. It took me a while to come up with some ideas. I wanted to include lots of different flavours, textures and colours. Eventually I got there. Sometimes I find it hard to get hold of good quality free range eggs. Luckily, I had plenty of organic ones from Penbugle Farm which I’d been given to use.
Brownies just had to be on the menu. I decided to use a recipe from my newest chocolate book Chococo which CT bought for me as a Valantines surprise. This uses far less sugar than is normal in brownies, but the author Claire Burnet claims that they are still sweet and delicious. I Swapped the pecans for walnuts, the rice flour for buckwheat flour and made a few other adjustments.
This is how I made:
- Melted 150g unsalted butter with 225g 70% dark chocolate in a pan over low heat, then left to cool.
- Whisked 125g dark brown sugar with 3 large organic eggs. 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp fleur de sel using electric beaters until mixture was thick, pale and doubled in volume.
- Sifted in 50g buckwheat flour and folded in as lightly as possible.
- Stirred in 60g chopped walnuts as lightly as possible.
- Folded in the chocolate mixture until just incorporated.
- Poured into a 22cm (9″) sq cake mould and scattered 20g chopped walnuts over the top.
- Baked at 180C for 17 minutes. Left to go cold then cut into 16 squares.
These were not like your average brownie; they were very light and quite delicate. Despite the reduced amount of sugar compared to most brownies, Claire was right: these tasted sweet and delicious.
As well as the honey and spice cakes I’ve already blogged about, I also made Blackcurrant Bakewell Slices and Date and Rum Slices. The piece de resistance which I will post about later was this lime and pistachio birthday cake. CT got into the spirit of thing and drew appropriately illustrated labels for each bake. We all had a deal of fun on the night including a Beetle Drive and lots of dancing.
The final bake I took along were these Japanese green tea Madeleines which CT refers to as Matcheleines and which I based on my chocolate chilli Madeleines. As some of you will have gathered by now, I am a big fan of using matcha in baking. It works particularly well, not only giving an interesting colour, but adding great flavour too. They were as good as I was hoping they might be; CT would have happily demolished the lot given half the chance. There were certainly none left at the end of the evening. Perhaps I should have made crepes as my friend is actually Breton.
This is how I made:
Matcha Madeleines (Matcheleines)
- Melted 75g unsalted butter gently in a small pan then set aside to cool.
- Whisked 2 duck eggs and 75g golden caster sugar together for quite a long time it seemed, using electric beaters. Whisked until the mixture had trebled in volume and was pale and thick.
- Sifted in 90g flour (half spelt, half white), 1 tbsp matcha (Japanese powdered green tea) and 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda.
- Folded this in as gently as possible trying not to lose too much air from the eggs.
- Poured the butter in down one side of the bowl and folded this in until just incorporated.
- Placed 1 tbsp of the mixture into each of 16 Madeleine moulds.
- Baked for 10 minutes at 200C until well risen and firm to the touch.
- Turned out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Dusted with caster sugar.
As Madeleines are a classic French bake (mais peut etre pas normalment avec le matcha), I am entering them into Tea Time Treats where the theme this month is French tarts, cakes bakes and pastries – ooh la la. Hosted this month with Karen of Lavender and Lovage, the challenge is co-hosted by Kate of What Kate Baked.
These also fit nicely into Bloggers Around the World where Chris has chosen Japan for this month’s national cuisine. Matcha is the taste of Japan for CT who drank it zealously whilst he was there.