Friday, 9 April 2021

Black Forest Brownies - a là Nigella Lawson

I thought I'd make these brownies over the Easter break, but time got away from me.  Not that I did much, except eat and nap and read.  And I've still got a bacon recipe to put up, but that will have to wait.  Here's another recipe from Nigella's book Cook, Eat, Repeat.  I've said before that I really enjoy her prose, so I'm happy that there is a lot to read in this book of hers, as well as recipes.

And now for my shameful confession (I may have mentioned this before) - I love Nigella and her books, and I use her recipes often, but in person I found her so boring!  I went with a friend to a live event where Nigella was in conversation with a local celebrity/journalist-type person.  Oh my!  I nearly fell asleep.  And I couldn't help but think that without her beauty, and posh voice, and wealthy family, she may not have made it quite so far in the foodie world ...


squidgy and herby and chocolatey ...


ingredients:


150g./5.3 oz dried cherries 

75 mL/2.5 oz kirsch or orange juice or booze of your choice

200g./7 oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces

200g./7 oz butter, chopped into chunks

100g./3.5 oz dark muscovado sugar

225g./8 oz caster sugar

1/4 tsp sea salt

25g./0.88 oz cocoa

4 large eggs, at room temp.

100g./3.5 oz toasted hazelnuts, bashed into pieces

150g./5.3 oz plain flour

1 tsp rosemary needles, finely chopped

icing sugar (powdered sugar) for serving


Method:


Heat your oven to 180C/350F

Line a 23cm/9 inch square baking tin with baking paper

Put the cherries into a wee saucepan, add your liquid of choice and bring to the boil, stirring often.  Boil for a minute, then let them contemplate their navels (i.e. let 'em cool down)

Put the butter into a large saucepan, melt over a very low heat, then add the chocolate pieces and let it melt gently into the butter

Give it a stir when melted, then add the sugars, salt and cocoa; stir gently together and let it cool down

Break the eggs into a jug or bowl, and give it a good whisking

Pour the whisked eggs into the saucepan (gradually), give it a good stirring, then add the flour and whisk into the mixture

Add the cherries, hazelnuts and rosemary into the pan, fold them in, then pour into the lined tin

Bake for 25-30 minutes, till the edges start coming away from the sides of the tin, and a cake skewer thrust into its dark heart comes out with a few crumbs, but no raw batter lurking

Let it cool on a wire rack, then dust with icing sugar to serve - will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days


Notes:


I used sour dried cherries 'cos that's all I could find, but you could use a mix of dried cranberries and other dried fruit

I used spiced rum 'cos that's what I had, and I used Lindt chocolate 'cos that's what I bought:-)

Scrunch up the baking paper into a big ball; this will make it so easy to line your tin (when it's unravelled obvs)

I used my 20cm x 20cm tin (I don't have a bigger square tin), and it was fine - it just took another few minutes to cook


ingredients gathered

boil the cherries in booze or juice

crinkle up your baking paper to line the tin

whisk in the flour after the sugars, salt, cocoa and eggs

stir in the hazlnuts, cherries and rosemary

pour the batter into the lined tin

baked and now to cool

dust with icing sugar



© Sherry M.


46 comments:

  1. Couldn't tell that she's boring in some of her TV shows...I am not a fan cooking shows, but did watch some of hers..find that she's very charming and cute. Never mind..as long as her recipes are good, then all's good. The brownies look very rich and yummy. I love the gooey texture.

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    1. i know what you mean and in fact i think she has become cheekier in her tv shows lately. but oh my she was a wee bit tedious 'in concert.' i do love her recipes; i've used so many from Feast.

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  2. Wow, that's very interesting about Nigella. Maybe she was having an off day, let's hope. Nonethless, looks, sexiness, money, connections ... that would explain just about anyone's success.

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    1. yep we'll put it down to an off day! but yes she deserves her success but she certainly has had a few advantages along the way.

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  3. Rosemary is a very interesting addition here. I've never seen it combined with chocolate, but I'm intrigued.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. i couldn't really taste the rosemary much but hubby said he could. it's an interesting addition.

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  4. Oh yum! I love a good brownie situation and I love Nigella's recipes too, well at least the ones before she went all healthy! I wonder if we were at the same event, it was a few years ago and I think it was in Newtown somewhere. I was hanging on her every word with her posh accent, I could listen to her all day, LOL!

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    1. i do love her voice and her persona but 'in concert' - not so much. we went to a brissie event!

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  5. Those brownies sound terrific. I love her cookbooks and always enjoyed her TV show, too. But some just don't interview well and it sounds like she's one who doesn't! Still, they look delish!

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    1. yep love her recipes and her cheeky tv persona but in person, she was a bit blah...

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  6. The rosemary is a bit of a surprise. Sounds like a fun addition -- don't think I've had it combined with chocolate before. I don't think I've actually ever made a Nigella recipe -- I should start with this. :-)

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    1. it is a surprise! You must try at least one Nigella recipe - she is a foodie icon:-)

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  7. Very interesting recipe especially with the rosemary in these brownies- they look so delicious.

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    1. yep a very different ingredient for choc brownies:) but they were good!

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. i'm sorry to see you removed your comment. ah well never mind. i did agree with you that it was the recipe itself that matters and yes her recipes are well-written and wonderful!

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  9. Sherry this recipe is so Nigella isn't it? Looks amazing, and definitely one to save for a special occasion with appreciative guests.She is probably at her best in the kitchen doing her shows I think but still such an icon. I would like to think the rosemary can be tasted otherwise why bother.Thanks for this recipe.

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    1. oh yes very nigella. she is definitely an icon and i love her but it was just a bit slooooow that night. hubby said the rosemary was def. there...

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  10. Oh my, this looks amazing. Like sin on a plate.
    Amalia
    xo

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  11. I've never seen rosemary in Black Forest (like everyone seems to say). I find that Nigella often depends on who is interviewing her too! I do think a lot of it has to do with her whole package (looks, accent etc) though so I do agree with you although I guess that could be said about a lot of people.

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    1. yes the rosemary was a surprise. i think nigella is trying to jazz things up a bit. I do love nigella so it was probably just a bad day for her when i saw her.. You're right about the whole package. and she has a great one!

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  12. I do think there's a lot that goes into becoming famous - it's not talent or skill alone. Either way, these brownies sound delicious! Although the bit of rosemary in there truly is interesting. That's a unique addition to most black forest recipes, but I could see it being one of those "hmmm...what is that flavor" type of additions. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. yes it's the whole package isn't it? she is well deserving of her fame. yep rosemary is an odd but interesting addition.

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  13. These brownies look so good Sherry! Black Forest brings back lots of childhood memories for me, so these tick the memory box as well as taste.

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    1. thanks so much balvinder. i love a real black forest cake too with the shortbread base. you just don't see them like that anymore:)

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  14. They look delicious Sherry. Thank you. And I enjoyed your candid comments about Nigella. I confess i don't watch cooking shows and feel very behind the times. They seem very celebrity focused and not so much about the actual cooking.

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    1. thanks liz. perhaps i was too hard on nigella. i love her really! She is a fun cook and makes lots of homey recipes that anyone can cook.

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  15. Congratulations, thanks to you idolizing Nigella, you have succeeded in creating a black forest with perfect results.

    Greetings from Indonesia

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  16. That looks so decadent, so rich and that rosemary is quite an interesting addition

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  17. This sounds so delicious! They made brownies on GBBO this week, and the bakers didnt do that great. I have my go to Bill Granger brownie recipe, but I wouldn't mind giving this a go!

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  18. I've been a Nigella fan for decades and cooked almost every recipe from the Express cookbook. You may well be corret about her sucess jump started by her beaty and family. I do love her recipes though.

    The black forest brownies look wonderful. Haven't had a black forest anything in ages. Cheey and chocolate are such a good marriage.

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    1. i have cooked so many of her Feast recipes! yes she has been so lucky in some ways but so very unlucky in others. she deserves her success.

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  19. I meant Cherry! Not cheey:-)

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  20. This is so much more appealing to me than Black Forest Cake! Pretty much, give me a brownie any day over cake! (Well, I do love some cakes...) I will definitely give these a try. My best friend loves Black Forest Cake and is always bugging me to make one... maybe this will shut him up!

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    1. a real black forest cake is superb with a shortcrust pastry base. yep try these though!

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  21. What a beautiful combination of flavours and textures (cherries and hazelnuts are so good together). Also, loving the addition of rosemary - it works so well with chocolate desserts.

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    1. the idea of using rosemary as a sweet thing was new to me but i think it works.

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  22. Ah, gotta love a squidgy brownie.

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  23. Oh my black forest cake is my family favorite, I've not tried brownies thou, your recipe looks neat and simple, I cannot wait to try it, thanks!

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