Brownie Heaven and Baking Scales

I have not posted in a while.  This is mostly because we went to France (see Mr416expat’s pictures), then Christmas happened and I cooked like a woman possessed, then I went back to work, and suddenly it’s nearly New Years eve.  The sad thing is, I’ve made lots of easy recipes, taken lots of pictures, and yet, none of them have made it to the blog.  That’s about to change.  And it’s starting with brownies.

Brownies are a big deal in Britain.  They’re often described as being “American style brownies“.  I think this is referring to their chewy, chocolately flavour.  I keep telling “them” that Canadians make good brownies too, but they’re rather USA focused.

This recipe came from Jamie Oliver‘s recipe yearbook.  It’s a collection of recipes previously published in his magazine over the last year.  As I was (A) looking for something to read on the train to France and (B) sad for having not read his back issues, I felt this was a responsible purchase.

I’m going to go out on a limb.  I’m guessing, in your kitchen (unless you’re the mum of a beautiful, red-headed baby girl who took courses at George Brown with me) that you don’t have a kitchen scale.  Baking with a scale is marvelous.  I purchased a scale as a requirement of said baking course at George Brown and I’ve not looked back.  I even convert my favourite recipes to grams.  It’s a more consistent way of measuring which can really make a difference when baking.  The funny thing is, the Brits do all their baking and cooking using scales.  All the Jamie Oliver books I’ve purchased in this country have all got the measurements in grams whereas the ones I’ve purchased in Canada have cups or milliliters.

The long and the short of it is, I have a kitchen scale, I use it a lot and I’m not going to convert this recipe to cups/milliliters.  You’re left with a few options, (A) convert it online, (B) take a brownie recipe you know and love and add pecans and cherries, or (C) buy a kitchen scale and transform your baking experience (or at least make these brownies).

Let me know how it goes!

Chocolate and Butter, together again


Toasting # of pecans in pic does not equal amount called for in recipe, number of cherries does not equal amount called for in recipe


Melted chocolate and butter with chopped cherries and pecans


To be baked brownies in a muffin tin

Cherry Brownies – adapted from Jamie Oliver’s 2010 Yearbook

130 g unsalted butter
150 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa please)
100 g cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
100 g roasted pecans, roughly chopped
225 g white sugar
55 g cocoa powder
75 g all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3 eggs, beaten
50 g milk or dark chocolate, roughly chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line an 8″ baking pan with parchment paper.  Melt the butter and chocolate over a pot of simmering water.  Once melted, remove from heat, stir in the chopped cherries and pecans.

In a separate bowl, sift together the sugar, cocoa, flour, and baking powder then stir to combine. Add dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.  Add the eggs, and stir until combined.  If you’re including the optional chopped chocolate, add now.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes.

I did not have an 8″ square baking pan.  I made my brownies in a muffin pan.  They turned out just fine.  Portions are a little big though.  I imagine them warmed, with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, or maybe cherry sauce.  Yum!



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