“Bloomin’ Brilliant” is how Jamie Oliver describes these chocolate brownies, and bloomin’ brilliant they are. Crunchy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside – eaten warm with a good helping of cream or crème fraîche on the side.. what could be more delicious? I reckon you can substitute whatever you fancy for the nuts and fruit – I used glacé cherries I had in the pantry and some walnuts. It’s a quick, no fuss recipe that’s good to keep handy for impromptu dinner parties. You can find the recipe at Jamie Oliver.com.
The trick to making a good moist brownie is to not cook it like a normal cake – so inserting a skewer to test its readiness is not going to work here! Well, you can of course test it with a skewer, but there should be some moist crumbs attached when it comes out. The brownie is done when the sides are clearly set and dry looking and the centre is set too, but only just. There should be no jiggle in the middle when you shake the pan, and when you touch the top it should feel slightly springy. This is the perfect time to take the brownie out of the oven as it will continue to cook a little more while it’s cooling.
BLOOMIN’ BRILLIANT BROWNIES
Makes about 18-20 pieces
Ingredients (Click here for unit converter)
- 250 g unsalted butter
- 200 g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken up
- 75 g dried sour cherries, optional (I used regular glace cherries)
- 50 g chopped nuts, optional
- 80 g cocoa powder, sifted
- 65 g plain flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 360 g caster sugar
- 4 large free-range eggs
To serve – optional:
- Zest of one orange
- 250 ml cream or crème fraîche to serve
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease and line a baking tin (approx. 25cm square or thereabouts) with greaseproof paper. Place a large bowl over simmering water and pop in the butter and chocolate and mix until melted and smooth. Add the fruit and nuts you’re using and combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and sugar, then add this to the chocolate, fruit and nut mixture, stirring well. Whisk the eggs together and add to the rest of the mixture.
- Pour the brownie mix into the baking tin, and put in the oven for around 25-30 minutes.* See notes above about how to know when it’s cooked. Take out of the oven immediately and put the tin onto a rack to cool. It will deflate a little while it’s cooling and crack a little, but that’s exactly what it’s meant to do.
- Once completely cooled, lift the brownie out of the tin by the greaseproof paper, and transfer to a chopping board and cut into squares or rectangles. You can serve them cold or slightly warmed in the microwave. Jamie Oliver suggests you serve the brownies with creme fraiche mixed with a little orange zest. Otherwise, a good dollop of cream works a treat too!
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting