- Food & Drink
Last week one of my colleagues bought some brownies into the office. She’d been to an event and they had given her a box as a thank you for coming. They were beautiful. Rich, gooey, barely baked chocolate cake laced with brandy and only just held together by the thinnest of crusts. From the first melting mouthful, I knew that baking a batch of brownies would soon be on my agenda.
The urge to get chocolatey swam around in my brain and soon met the question that has been hanging around the back of my mind, waiting for a handsome answer to come up and proposition it: what can I do with that half jar of stem ginger in syrup that I’ve had in my cupboard for about a year?
Brownies with little nuggets of spicy, sweet stem ginger nestling in the middle of them. It seems so obvious now. I added a spoonful of ground ginger to the mix, so you get a bit of lingering warmth just skirting the edge of your taste buds and highlighting the flavour of the stem ginger when you hit it. Be warned: you will want to eat at least two, so don’t invite too many people round to share them.
Brownies with stem ginger
180g cold unsalted butter, chopped into small chunks, plus extra for greasing
200g 70% dark chocolate, broken into small chunks
3 medium eggs
280g caster sugar
85g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
1 tsp ground ginger
80g stem ginger in syrup, drained and roughly chopped
1 Place the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan quarter filled with simmering water (make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl). Keep over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter and chocolate have melted and are smooth. Remove from the heat and leave for about 10 minutes to cool.
2 Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/fan oven 160°C. Grease a 20cm square cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
3 Beat the eggs and sugar together with an electric whisk for 3–4 minutes until they are very pale, thick and creamy. Using a flexible, rubber spatula, stir the melted chocolate into the eggs, trying not to knock too much air out of the mixture. Sift in the flour, cocoa and ginger and add the stem ginger. Stir in to combine. Scrape into the prepared tin and bake for about 25 minutes, until a crust has formed (they’re best a bit underbaked). Leave to cool completely in the tin.
4 Slice into 12 squares and keep in an airtight tin. They will keep for at least a week, but my batch was eaten in less than 24 hours.
Update 20/12/2010: I made these this weekend with Green & Black’s Ginger Chocolate instead of plain, left out the ground ginger and added in 2 tbsp syrup from the stem ginger jar. They took 45 minutes to bake (I suspect my last oven was a roaster and my current 1 is a fridge in disguise) and they were excellent, possibly even better.