What can be better than chocolate brownies? Chocolate Chestnut Brownies.
We South Africans don’t seem to “do” chesnuts and the only time they do cross my path will be on a Xmas cooking show from the northern hemisphere. I’m not even sure if you are able to get them in South Africa to be honest.
Naturally I was eager to try out a tin of chestnut puree when Sumarie at My Collections asked me to use it in a recipe. The puree is slightly sweetened with some vanilla added. My immediate thought was to do something chocolately and from there the brownies was an easy choice. You don’t really pick up the taste in the brownie but it does add a smooth richness to the brownie which is delicious.
In my opinion chocolate should not be a standalone flavour and needs a splash of vanilla and a dash of coffee to add depth and to amplify the chocolate flavour. My preference is always a 70% cocoa solid chocolate – I think milk chocolate makes it too sweet and insipid. This recipe has a bit of baking powder added to just lighten to batter and texture of the brownie. Add a handful of toasted nuts to the batter at the last mix if you want to add some texture.
The doneness of a brownie is quite important and I found this handy hint on the Donna Hay website about how to test the doneness of a brownie: “Brownies are best served quite fudgy in the middle. To check it they are cooked, remove from the oven and insert a skewer in the centre. Remove the skewer and run your thumb and finger along it. If the mixture on the skewer is moist and forms a ball when your rub your thumb and finger together, it is ready. If you like brownies less fudgy, cook for an extra 5–10 minutes after the mixture ‘balls’ when tested.”
This is another recipe that I developed for My Collections with products available on the site. My Collections is a treasure-trove of the best food, adventures and stories that the world has to offer. It’s the flavour of the unknown – an online wandering goods market of unique tastes, sensations and new adventures. Go have a look.
We still have a few spots left for our Food Photography Workshop on 14 June. Give me a shout if you want to book your seat for an inspirational and super fun day.
- 200g dark chocolate, chopped
- 250g butter
- 265g brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp instant coffee powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g Chestnut Spread
- 200g plain flour
- 2 tablespoon cocoa
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Line and grease a 22cm square cake tin.
- Place the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan and melt over a low heat while stirring.
- Allow to cool slightly.
- Place the brown sugar, eggs, coffee granules and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix until combined.
- Stir in the melted chocolate and chestnut spread and mix until combined.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder and add to the chocolate and eggs and mix well.
- Pour into the greased tin and bake for 50 minutes until set. (The centre should still be fudgy)
- Allow to cool in tin
- Remove from the tin and slice into squares
- Dust with a light dusting of cocoa if desired.