Chocolate and Fig Brownies

“Who doesn’t like chocolate brownies?  Well, from the speed these flew off the plate, I’d say no-one!  I’ve made so many different versions of the humble brownie: date, white chocolate, GF with almonds, the list goes on.  This was one of those fortuotous moments when I had a container of diced dried figs sitting on the bench from a previous recipe and only a short amount of time to cook something.  So my brownies got a healthy dose of figs at the last minute.  I love the extra texture and flavour they impart.  I’ve also found that grinding my own almond and hazelnut meal gives me more control over the texture. I like to process the nuts with the skins on and mill to a slightly bigger grain than the store bought versions. Finally, the trick in getting a really good brownie is having the courage to take them out of the oven before they feel totally cooked.  You just have to trust your own judgement and get used to your oven.  But even if they’re slightly underdone they’ll still taste amazing. Enjoy!” 

(Photo by Gary Donald Corbett)

Ingredients

  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 200g butter
  • 1/4 tsp flaked salt
  • 150g dark sugar
  • 150g white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 175g Self raising flour
  • 130g almond or hazelnut meal
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 150g chopped dried figs
Method
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C.
  2. In a medium saucepan on medium heat melt the chocolate and butter, stirring regularly.  Once melted stir through the salt.  Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Mix together the sugars with the eggs and vanilla until combined.
  4. Add the flour, almond/hazelnut meal and cocoa and mix until combined.
  5. Pour in the chocolate mixture and figs and stir to combine.
  6. Spray a 20cm square baking dish with baking spray and line with baking paper.
  7. Transfer the brownie mixture to the pan and bake for 40-50 or until the brownie stops wobbling in the pan and a seeker comes out with a few crumbs on it.
  8. Allow to cool to room temperature or eat warm with ice-cream.  Brownies also freeze really well, so make another batch to keep for later!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zesty Coconut Loaf

“Is it okay to make a new years resolution in May?  Better late than never I suppose!  So here it is: I plan to try to post recipes at least once a fortnight from now on.  (Let’s see how long that lasts).  So, to start the ball rolling I’ve been trying a new coconut loaf recipe that is great for anyone lactose intolerant or vegan…or just hungry.  And it’s super easy!  Just throw all the ingredients in a mixer and stick it in the oven.  While testing it I tried 2 variations of different ingredients and both loafs were fabulous, moist and tasty.  I think this will be my new standby for those last minute baking emergencies. Enjoy!”

(Photo by Gary Donald Corbett)

Ingredients for loaf

  • 300g self raising flour
  • 100g shredded coconut
  • 100g white sugar or coconut sugar
  • 50g coconut oil or olive oil
  • 300g coconut cream
  • zest of 2 limes or 1 lemon
Ingredients for icing
  • juice of 2 limes or 1 lemon
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 20g shredded coconut
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  2. Grease a loaf tin and line with baking paper.
  3. Put all loaf ingredients into a mixer and combine.
  4. Transfer to loaf tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool in the tin
  6. Lightly toast the coconut in a pan until just golden.
  7. Combine Lemon or lime juice with icing sugar until all lumps are gone.
  8. Spoon mixture over warm cake the sprinkle with toasted coconut.

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Lemonies

“In an attempt to find a good white chocolate brownie recipe and use up a surplus of lemons I ended up with a delicious combination I’ve called “Lemon Lemonies”.   It took three  attempts to get the combination right, but the final one has the moist consistency of a brownie and a tangy kick from the lemons.  And they’re gluten-free!   Great for a morning tea with a cup of English Breakfast tea with a slice of lemon.  Enjoy!”

Ingredients

  • 340g white chocolate
  • 340g butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 300g sugar
  • Rind and juice from 2 lemons
  • Pinch of salt
  • 215g almond meal
  • 135g slivered almonds
  • 50g extra white chocolate for decoration
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line and grease a 20cm brownie tin.
  2. Melt the white chocolate and butter in a saucepan then leave to cool for 20 minutes.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar until combined then add the lemon rind and juice.
  4. Fold in the salt, almond meal and slivered almonds.
  5. Transfer to brownie tin and smooth the top.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is lightly brown and cake is cooked through.  It should still be a little moist when you take it out and will firm up once it’s cooled.
  7. Once cooled melt 50g of white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each.  Put in a piping bag or sandwich bag and cut a small hole in the corner.  Pipe the white chocolate onto the lemon lemonies.