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.
I am adding few of these to the Tea Time Treats table where the theme this month is traybakes. Hosted by Jane at The Hedge Combers this month and alternately by Karen at Lavender and Lovage.