Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Cornwall is Gert Lush!


O

It's the summer hols and we Brits are experiencing some proper summer weather which we are trying hard not to complain about. But, can I just say that it has been chuffin hot! 


We have left Saucy Towers in safe hands whilst we are on our hols in Polzeath; we are enjoying long sunny sandy days on the big surfers beach along with the world and his wife and their kids and dogs to boot!  The beach is heaving and the sea is full of wetsuit clad body boarders who bob up n down like seals in the surf, trying to catch a wave.


We started off our holiday with our marvellous tradition of a seafood lunch and cheeky glass of vino at Fresh from the Sea in Port Isaac, which was proper 'Gert Lush'!  My daughter in law taught me this  wonderfully descriptive West Country term and it goes a long way to describing all the delicious food we associate with Cornwall.  This week, I am mostly eating pasties, clotted cream and scones, fish and chips, crab sandwiches and icecream; my middle aged spread is coming along nicely, thanks for noticing! 


I love Cornwall, although I prefer it in the autumn when there are fewer tourists and the  changeable weather gives the Cornish coastline a moody dramatic edge to it.  I feel some kind of spiritual connection to Corwall and somehow don't feel like a tourist, although of course I am.  

I am using the blogger app on my mobile to write this post and it's pretty clunky to use but I thought it was time to touch base with the blogosphere.  The whirling dervish that is the end of the school summer term took hold and sadly this little blog got neglected. 


It's almost four in the afternoon and I believe it is now compulsory whilst on your hols to partake in a jaunty little tipple of the alcoholic variety, hurrah! 

TTFN from the beach. Gal x 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

My Ravishing Raspberry Chocolate Brownies


Fresh raspberries and dark chocolate are a marriage made in traybake heaven and this recipe combines them in a deliciously decadent way.  My Ravishing Raspberry Chocolate Brownies would be a perfect weekend sweet treat for the family or a fabulous after dinner dessert for friends.  Ooooh, I can imagine them piled high, lightly dusted with icing sugar with candles for an alternative birthday cake.   I make no apologies for the naughty factor in these brownies, but after a hard week at school or work, I reckon we all deserve a little treat. 


The Squidge Factor 
 I think the perfect brownie needs to have a dense squidgy texture and the addition of fresh raspberries here adds an extra degree of sexy squidge; we are thinking more of a pudding here, although they would be super for afternoon tea with the girls if you include a glass of fizz or pot of earl grey.   When you take the brownie tin out of the oven, you should still have a bit of a wobble in the centre of the cake.  Truly, a bit of cake cleavage is essential for a moist bake (ooh err missus!)

The Decadence Factor
There are a couple of things that add a real 'vavavoom' to these brownies and one of these is raspberry flavoured dark chocolate.   I recently discovered this and it adds an amazing flavour to any chocolate cake: if you don't like the idea of adding fresh raspberries then I would urge you to try adding raspberry flavoured choc instead, if you can find it.  I know that good quality chocolate can be really expensive and I'll be doing a separate post on some reasonably priced options at a later date.


Ok, so let's just say you are making these brownies as a special treat for some grown up friends or an intimate supper for your best beau, then you might want to add a cheeky shot of Chambord raspberry liqueur.   You know me, I love a little booze in my cake and this works really well.  Taking it a step further, you could easily develop this recipe into some divine individual trifles; place a brownie in the bottom of a dessert glass, sprinkle on some Chambord and fresh raspberries, top with fresh custard and whipped cream.  Ooh, la la, c'est magnifique! 


Now I've whipped you up into a chocolate frenzy, we had better get on to how to make these little darlings.

Ingredients
300 g caster sugar
250 g unsalted butter (softened)
200 g (70% cocoa solids) dark chocolate (2 bars)
3 large or 4 smaller eggs
60 g plain flour
60 g cocoa powder
half teaspoon baking powder
175 g fresh raspberries

Optional for increased decadence!
50 ml Chambord liqueur
Replace 1 plain bar of chocolate for raspberry chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

Method

First, preheat your oven to 180 C (gas mark 4) and line a 23cm square baking tin.

1 Chop up both bars of chocolate and add to a bowl which sits over a pan of simmering water to melt slowly or follow the packet instructions for melting in the microwave.  Leave to one side to cool slightly.

2 Beat the unsalted butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy; make sure the butter has been out of the fridge for quite a while before you do this and give it a good beating.

3 Beat your eggs in a separate bowl and slowly add them bit by bit to the creamed butter and sugar beating thoroughly after each addition. Don't worry if the mix looks a little curdled, just add a tablespoon or two of flour and keep going.

4 Add the melted chocolate and carefully incorporate into your mixture.

4 Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together and fold gently into the brownie mix.  If your brownie batter is looking a little stodgy at this point then you can add a tablespoon or two of milk to loosen it a little.

5 Finally, fold through the fresh raspberries and if you are going for full out decadence, add your Chambord and stir through.

6 Place in your cake tin and bake in the centre of your oven for approximately 30 to 40 minutes; ovens vary, so it's hard to be precise.  Remember you need a bit of a wobble in the centre of the cake to get a nice squidgy brownie.  

7 Leave in the tin to completely cool before turning out and cutting into squares - they are going to be crumbly and fragile but don't panic as this is part of the charm of brownies. 

NB If you are serving this to young children or pregnant ladies, then you may want to cook the brownie through more thoroughly but you will get a dryer crumbed bake.  Always use lovely fresh eggs, that goes without saying. 



Eat and Enjoy!!!

Give my Raspberry Chocolate Brownies a try and listen as your friends and family ooh and ahh with pleasure.  

This post is an entry for the #MorrisonsMum Summer Recipe eBook Challenge sponsored by Morrisons, which has recently cut prices on over a thousand every day products. Find out more here price checker tool  (Sweet treats category)

Have a cake-tastic week.  Galx

PS  If you love chocolate and raspberries as much as I do then check out my Red Velvet Butterfly Cakes with Raspberry Curd or my Raspberry Quickie, hurrah!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...