© David Loftus
little cherry and chestnut chocolate brownies
Brownies are absolutely gorgeous. I’ve used cherries and chestnuts in mine – although it may not seem like the most obvious pairing, the chocolate makes them friends and I think they complement each other well. Arrange on boards or plates around the room for people to pick at; there won’t be any left over!
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line a 20cm x 30cm baking tin with greaseproof paper. In a bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt the butter and the chocolate, mixing gently until smooth. Stir in the cherries and chestnuts then remove from the heat. In a separate bowl, mix the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and sugar. Add this to your melted chocolate mixture then stir until it’s all combined really well. Beat your eggs then mix these in, too.
Pour this brownie mix into the baking tin, and place in the oven for around 15 to 20 minutes. You don’t want to overcook it, so you don’t want a skewer to come out clean. The brownie should be slightly springy on the outside but gooey in the middle. Allow them to cool in the tray for 30 minutes then carefully turn them out on to a chopping board and cut into 3cm squares. Pile them on plates and dust with icing sugar. Serve with bowls of crème fraîche, with orange zest grated over.
serves: 50 bite-sized brownies
• 175g unsalted butter
• 200g best-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken up
• 75g dried cherries
• 75g whole roasted chestnuts, chopped
• 75g cocoa powder, sifted
• 100g plain flour, sifted
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 300g golden caster sugar
• 4 large eggs, preferably free-range or organic
• icing sugar, for dusting
• 1 x 500ml tub crème fraîche, to serve
• zest of 1 orange, to serve