Chocolate, Cranberry and Pistacio Brownies by Sarah Topps

Whilst back in the UK last Christmas-time we were lucky enough to go out for lunch at The Cottage near Ruddington where we had the most delicious, gooey brownies we had ever tasted for dessert. When we asked the waiter is it would be possible to share the secret recipe with us, he very kindly did, so here it is. Thank you.

200g butter, diced
300g dark chocolate
280g light brown sugar
4 tbsp cranberry or orange juice
4 medium eggs
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
80g dried cranberries
100g sliced pistachios
icing sugar to dust (optional)

Make 18 large brownies. Takes 45 minutes.

1. Preheat oven to 160 oC (fan) or 180 oC or gas mark 5 and grease and line an oblong cake tin
2. Melt the butter and 200g of the chocolate, slowly in a bowl over a pan of warm water and leave to cool
3. Warm the juice and soak the cranberries
4. Beat the eggs and the sugar for around 5 mins with an electric mixer or 10 mins by hand. You will know when it is ready as the mixture doubles in size and is thick and creamy like a thick milkshake!
5. Sieve the flour and cinnamon together
6. Cut the remaining chocolate into small pieces
7. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and fold in carefully
8. Add the cranberries and diced chocolate to the flour mixture.
9. Fold the flour into the rest of the mixture
10. Pour into the cake tin and bake in the centre of the oven for around 30 minutes. You will know when it is cooked as the top goes shiny and starts to crack a little and it should still be slightly soft in the middle if tested with a skewer or piece of spaghetti
11. Leave to cool in the tray then once cooled, cut into triangles or squares and dust with icing sugar if you like

Serve with thick cream or mascapone and we like to eat it with a compot made from poached oranges and cranberries (cooked lightly together for 5 minutes on a low heat). Yummy!

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