Clementine cake

Perfect for an afternoon tea as it’s gorgeous on its own, or it can be served as a dessert with a good quality vanilla ice cream or custard.

Notes

  • Use any small sweet, easy peeler citrus such as clementines, satsumas or mandarins
  • Takes about 1 hour in total – about 10-15 minutes preparation and 40-45 minutes baking
  • You can measure out the olive oil via a liquid scale (mls) or weigh it into a bowl (grams) – the result is the same
  • If you’re finding it tricky to zest the clementines (the smoother skin of smaller citrus can be difficult) replace with the zest of one large orange

Equipment

  • Two large bowls
  • Springform cake tin, 20 – 23cm in diameter, greased and lined with parchment
  • Scales, spatula, balloon whisk/mixer/electric hand whisk, measuring spoons and jugs

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 205g caster sugar
  • 205ml mild olive oil, such as Filippo Berio Classico
  • 205g Tipo 00 flour or plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • A pinch of fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla powder or extract
  • 40g ground almonds
  • Grated zest of four clementines
  • 2 tablespoons of clementine juice

Also… for the topping

  • Icing sugar
  • Extra clementines, peeled for decoration
  • Juice of two extra clementines

Method

  1. Prepare your baking tin by greasing and lining with baking parchment
  2. Set the oven to 180 ºC fan / 200 ºC conventional
  3. Separate the eggs into yolks and whites, putting the whites in one (very clean) bowl and the yolks in another
  4. Whisk up the egg whites until they are stiff peaks, whisk in one tablespoon of the caster sugar and the vanilla extract into the whites
  5. Add the remaining caster sugar to the yolks and whisk until it turns pale and increases in volume
  6. Add the flour, ground almonds, salt and baking powder to the sugar/yolk mixture and slowly whisk in until it is all combined and then mix in the olive oil plus the zest and juice
  7. Fold in the whites to this mixture, a third at a time until it is combined. Try to be gentle while mixing in – a figure of eight motion is useful or use a balloon whisk to ‘cut’ the whites in gently
  8. Pour the mix gently into the prepared tin
  9. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until the sponge springs back when depressed lightly with your finger and/or a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake
  10. Leave to cool in the tin
  11. Decorate with icing sugar mixed with the extra clementine juice and poured over
  12. Once the icing is set (or nearly set) decorate with the peeled mandarins

Apple madeleines with white chocolate

Always at this time of year I neglect my website. Not on purpose you understand; it just seems to happen year on year. I’m no late starter when it comes to anything else, its just… January. So, despite it almost being February this is my first 2021 post. Happy New Year!

I’ve written before that I eschew resolutions at this time of year. The spring equinox has me thinking about changes, new starts and determination rather than a grey and bleary 1st Jan. January (and February come to think of it) does not work for me for new starts, but it is good timing for gathering yourself together, looking after you and yours and starting to think about spring and those new shoots, literal or metaphorical.

So, while I’m in R&R mode, these little madeleines fit nicely. They are a twist on a traditional patisserie recipe, but incorporate winter fruit and indulgent chocolate. I’ve coloured my white chocolate to match the Pink Lady apples I used, but you don’t have to colour the chocolate at all, and if you don’t like white chocolate, then feel free to dip them in your favourite milk or dark instead.

Notes

I’ve included the little step that gets the chocolate finish looking like its sculpted! Once you get the hang of turning them out without breaking the chocolate (this depends on the trickiness of the mould you own) you’ll be making them perfect all the time.

Equipment

  • Small saucepan
  • Madeleine moulds (any mould will do but silicone ones are easier for this recipe)
  • Spoon, flexible spatula, scales, knife and cutting board, pastry brush
  • Medium bowl
  • Small heatproof bowl
  • Cooling rack

Ingredients

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 1 sweet eating apple – I used a Pink Lady apple
  • 2 medium – large eggs
  • 150g plain flour
  • 145g caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 300g of white chocolate
  • Food colouring
  • Plus – extra butter, about 30 g, for the moulds

Method

  • Melt the extra butter and paint the madeleine moulds with it using the pastry brush. Place the moulds in the freezer
  • Melt the 125g of butter in the saucepan over a medium heat and then immediately take off the heat
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar until they turn light and fluffy and have increased in volume
  • Folding gently with a spatula, now add the flour, salt, lemon juice and melted butter until combined. be careful not to over mix
  • Chop the apple (removing the core but keeping the skin) into small dice and immediately add to the mix
  • Chill the mix in the fridge for 30-60 minutes. This is an important step for madeleines
  • Warm the oven to 180C fan / 200C conventional oven
  • Spoon the mixture into the moulds, filling each to about two-thirds full
  • Bake the madeleines for about 12-14 minutes. They should be really springy to the touch
  • Leave to cool completely and remove from the moulds
  • Clean the moulds and dry thoroughly
  • Now melt the chocolate, adding a few drops of food colouring if you wish
  • Spoon a teaspoon of melted chocolate into one of the madeleine cavities in the mould and press back in one of the madeleines, so it squeezes the chocolate around it. Repeat with all the madeleines
  • Try not to jog the madeleines now and leave them to cool – you can speed up the process by putting them in the fridge
  • When the chocolate is fully cold, they should slip out fairly well from the mould
  • Enjoy!

Blueberry muffins

I’ve been neglecting my blog – I think I do this every year about this time and I suspect others do too. Journalists call this the silly season: there’s so little news (and so few journalists about to report it) during the summer that there is a trend towards fluffy, odd little pieces of news. I imagine this year, though there is plenty of people taking leave, that there is enough ‘non-fluffy’ news to report on. We’ve managed a wet week in Cornwall ourselves, and for the rest of our two weeks’ leave I have just not been able to face sitting at the makeshift, uncomfortable ‘desk’ until i’d had some clear time away from it, so the blog has been a casualty.

I know you’re thinking why on earth do a blueberry muffin recipe; there’s plenty about? I’ve seen a few appear over the past couple of months and they’ve struck me as basically recipes for large fairy cakes (cup cakes). Not muffins: cake. Muffins need some element of sour dairy in their ingredients. Here I’ve developed one which uses milk + lemon juice, rather than buttercream (which is more traditional, but not always easy to get a hold of).

By adding a sour element, it helps the baking powder chemical reaction to work and gives both a tang and a really springy texture to the muffin.

Notes

  • You can substitute any in-season fruit. I tested this recipe twice with blueberries and once with picked hedgerow blackberries. I can imagine it’d be perfectly adaptable to raspberries, chopped up plums/nectarines/peaches/apples, slightly stewed rhubarb, gooseberries and more.
  • Do put the baking powder in last. Any chemical leavener starts its reaction immediately but due to the amount of lemon juice and fruit in this recipe, the chemical reaction will be quick and vigorous and needs to happen in the oven, not while you’re still mixing! For further information please see my Chemical leaveners / raising agents post.
  • Makes 8 large muffins or 10 smaller ones (using fairy cake cases).
  • If you don’t have pearl sugar, you can substitute a large granulated sugar instead.
  • Takes about 45 minutes – 20 minutes prep, 25 minutes bake time

Equipment

  • One large bowl
  • One small bowl
  • Bun tin with 12 bun cavities (or two x 6-cavity trays)
  • Muffin cases (or large fairy/cup cake cases)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Flexible spatula
  • Large spoon and a fork
  • For measuring: scales, teaspoon, tablespoon and small liquid measuring jug

Ingredients

  • 1 small yellow or slightly browning banana (or half a large banana)
  • 30 ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 medium eggs (approx 125g weight including shells)
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 55g demerara sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 135g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 100g blueberries

plus:

  • 1 tablespoon of pearl sugar (sometimes also called nibbed sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons of flaked almonds

Method

  1. Turn on your oven to warm: 170 C for a fan oven or 190 C for a conventional oven
  2. Place your muffin cases in the bun tin(s) – this makes 8 large or 10 regular size muffins
  3. In the small bowl, mash the banana with the back of a fork with the lemon juice and the milk. Leave to one side
  4. In the large bowl cream the sugars and the butter together
  5. Break in the eggs and add the flour (do NOT add the baking powder yet). Mix until thoroughly combined
  6. Mix in the banana mixture and then add the baking powder and give a thorough, quick stir
  7. Add in about three quarters (approx 75g) of the blueberries into the mixture and stir gently in (no need to weigh, this can be a best guess!)
  8. Portion out the mixture between the cases. You should fill each case to just under level with the case edge – that is, they should be pretty full
  9. Portion out the remaining blueberries equally on top of each of the filled muffin cases and just slightly push each blueberry down a little into the batter. Don’t fully submerge them. This is so that the blueberries are nicely distributed through each muffin as you bite into them
  10. Now sprinkle over the flaked almonds and the pearl sugar
  11. Place straight into the middle of the oven
  12. Bake for 25 minutes and leave to cool before eating
Blueberry muffin recipe - inksugarspice website

Orange nußkuchen

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Nusstorte recipe - ink sugar spice

A simple yet delicious cake that uses a minimal amount of flour. In fact, if you’re used to baking you may think there’s not enough flour compared to the ratio of fat and sugar, but believe me it definitely works!

Nußkuchen (or nusskuchen) is a very traditional chocolate and almond cake, here I’ve revved it up a little with orange and caraway.

Notes

Don’t have caraway seeds? They can be omitted.

After zesting the oranges, they can lose moisture quickly and dry out. Keep them fresh until being eaten by popping in a beeswax wrap, cling film or a plastic food bag and keep in your vegetable crisper drawer in the fridge.

Equipment

  • 1 litre / roughly a 25cm x 13 cm loaf tin (it doesn’t have to be these exact dimensions, just don’t go much larger or smaller or your cake will be very shallow or overspill)
  • Large bowl (if not using a stand mixer)
  • Spatula/scraper
  • Electric whisk, stand mixer or large balloon whisk
  • Scales, measuring spoons
  • Baking paper/parchment
  • Zester/plane and skewer
  • Extra butter or cake release spray/mix
  • Pastry brush
  • Wire cooling rack

Ingredients

  • 100g unsalted butter – at room temperature
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 90g plain flour
  • 3 medium eggs
  • Pinch of fine salt
  • 100g flaked or chopped almonds or hazelnuts
  • 60g chopped chocolate (your choice or dark or milk to match your preference)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds
  • zest of two large (or three small oranges)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C fan / 200 C conventional oven or 350 F
  2. Cut a piece of the baking paper to the width of the tin base and long enough to lay in the tin with a few centimetres overlap each side. You do not need to line the tin fully – it is only to help you lift the cake out, it is unlikely to stick
  3. Lay the paper in the tin and either brush some warmed butter over the paper and tin ends or spray/brush with cake release
  4. Cream the butter and sugar vigorously together until pale in a large bowl with a spatula (or use your stand mixer)
  5. Add in the eggs, flour and salt, then mix in, at a gentler speed
  6. Grate the oranges over the bowl and sprinkle over the caraway seeds and ground cinnamon
  7. Add in the chopped nuts and chocolate chunks, and give a light mix
  8. Now, as a last stage (so the efficacy isn’t reduced) add in the baking powder and mix gently again until all the ingredients are dispersed
  9. Immediately pour or spoon into your prepared tin and smooth the top flat
  10. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 45-50 mins
  11. Test by poking a skewer into the centre of the cake – it should come out clean with no sticky cake mix on it. If there is cake mix, place back in the oven for another 7-10 minutes
  12. When done, leave to cool in the tin until you can handle it, then lift the cake out using the baking paper and place on a wire rack to cool thoroughly
  13. A gorgeous cake to slice and serve with a coffee or orange juice. You can add a finishing touch of a dusting of icing sugar. It also is sublime with a dollop of fresh cream as a dessert

Thanks! If you’ve enjoyed this recipe please leave a comment or ‘like’.

Store cupboard pineapple upside down cake

Pineapple upside down cake - ink sugar spice

Of course, this cake only is a store cupboard staple if you actually have the ingredients stashed in your kitchen somewhere…

That said, I bet many people will have a rogue tin of pineapple and are more likely to have some olive oil to hand than butter, which is much more widely used in cake baking.

During these crazy times of lockdown baking, many people are finding it difficult to get hold of eggs and flour, which are non-negotiable for this recipe, so bookmark and come back to this recipe once the stocks replenish in the supermarket (and they will soon of course). However, the tin of pineapple could actually be a tin of peaches or orange segments or grapefruit… quite easily. The use of olive oil not only makes a lovely cake, it’s better for your heart and it’s been easier to get hold of olive oil more so than butter.

Normally a pineapple upside down cake is a “marvel” of 1970s bake presentation, with glace cherries in between whole rings of pineapple. Let’s be honest your mum or grandmother would probably have used tinned pineapple anyway.

It’s also a recipe that uses all that’s in the tin – don’t throw away the sugary-juice as that’s reduced down as a glaze.

Equipment

  • 20cm x 20cm square cake tin
  • Large bowl
  • Sieve or colander
  • Small saucepan
  • Hand held electric whisk, stand mixer or balloon whisk
  • Knife, chopping board, scales, large spoon
  • Baking paper and a little oil/butter/margarine to line the tin

Ingredients

  • Tin of pineapple pieces/chunks/rings, c 540g
  • 4 medium eggs (or 3 large eggs)
  • 195g soft brown or caster sugar
  • 275g plain flour
  • 195g olive oil – I used Filippo Berio Mild & Light for this
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Method

  • Prepare your cake tin by lining it with the baking paper (it’s easier to ‘stick’ if you grease the tin first with a little oil/buter/margerine)
  • Turn your oven on to 180C fan oven / 200C conventional oven
  • Drain the can of pineapple over your saucepan to catch the syrup
  • Place roughly 75% of the pineapple in the bottom of the cake tin, arranging it as you wish
  • Dice the remaining pineapple into small pieces
  • Whisk the oil and sugar together first in the bowl until it lightens a little in colour
  • Add the flour, baking powder and eggs and mix thoroughly
  • Finally add in the reserved chopped pineapple and stir this in gently, rather than vigorous whisking
  • Pour into the cake tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 45-50 minutes
  • Test the middle of the cake with a skewer: if it comes out clean it is baked, if there is a little wet cake mix still on it continue to bake for another 4-5 mins and test again
  • Leave the cake to cool in the tin
  • Now reduce the pineapple syrup by heating it over a medium-high flame. It should bubble a little but not be fully boiling on the heat (or it will brown). Reduce down until it is the consistency of a runny honey
  • Invert your cake out onto a plate or serving dish
  • Drizzle the warm syrup over the cake
  • You can eat while still fairly warm, or leave to cool fully. This is also lovely as a dessert with custard, cream or ice cream
  • Will last up to three days if kept in a lidded container
Pineapple upside down cake - ink sugar spice

Blood orange pain d’epices

Blood orange pain d'spices cake, with star anise and cinnamon sticks. recipe by Ink Sugar Spice

It may be January, and sure, I’m off to a slow start but there are many things to love about this time of year. Days are already getting longer and there are buds stirring on trees and shoots pushing their way eagerly through the ground. There are even some early daffodils brightening up hedgerows and verges.

Once of the joys of January is the glut of blood oranges imported from sunnier climes. Of course, I’d prefer to use fruit and veg that hadn’t had its share of air miles, however that intense colour and flavour is truly a gift in grey January. I’m very thankful that these lovely citrus fruits are around at this time – I hope you find something to make this time of year enjoyable.

Notes

If it is out of the season for blood oranges, other good quality orange varieties such as Jaffa or navel can be replacements.

This recipe uses heart healthy olive oil rather than butter.

Equipment

  • Saucepan
  • Large bowl
  • Small loaf tin
  • Greaseproof paper/parchment or cake liner
  • Sieve
  • Grater/microplane
  • Juicer/citrus reamer

Ingredients

  • Milk – 60g (don’t used skimmed milk)
  • Pinch salt
  • Star anise – 2
  • Cinnamon sticks – 2
  • Soft brown sugar – 150g
  • Plain flour – 275g
  • Baking powder – 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Eggs, large – 2
  • Light olive oil – 70g (I used Filippo Berio Light and Mild)
  • Ground cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
  • Mixed spice – 2 teaspoons
  • Mixed candied peel – 60g
  • Blood oranges – 3:
    • Blood orange juice – juice of 1 blood orange
    • Blood orange zest – zest of 2 blood oranges
    • Additionally, some slices of orange for decoration from one of the zested blood oranges

Method

  1. First of all, pour the milk into the saucepan and add in the salt, cinnamon sticks and star anise
  2. Warm the milk over a mid-heat, ensuring it does not come to the boil, and then leave to infuse for 15 minutes
  3. While the milk is infusing, turn on your oven to 180 *C fan / 200*C conventional
  4. Grease and line your loaf tin
  5. Slice one of the zested blood oranges and select 4-5 of the nicest slices and set aside
  6. Weigh out the remaining dry ingredients into the mixing bowl
  7. Sieve the cinnamon sticks and star anise from the milk, and add the milk into the bowl and lightly mix in
  8. Now mix in the eggs, oil, peel, orange juice and zest
  9. It will take a little gentle mixing to incorporate the oil and juice fully
  10. Pour into the prepared loaf tin and place the slices of orange on top, arranging them as you wish
  11. Place the prepared cake in the centre of the oven
  12. Bake for 45-50 minutes. The top will be well risen, and a skewer will come out clean when inserted for testing
  13. This is a lovely cake on its own, but it is especially delicious with a little softly whipped cream or a vanilla ice cream (and even spread with a little marmalade first!)

Strawberry yogurt cake with olive oil

Strawberry yorgurt cake with olive oil - Ink Sugar Spice recipe

Perfect for an afternoon tea or appropriate for Valentines, this cake is light, moist and full of strawberry flavour.

Notes

  • Takes about 1 hour in total – about 10-15 minutes preparation and 40-45 minutes baking
  • You can measure out the olive oil via a liquid scale (mls) or weigh it into a bowl (grams) – the result is the same

Equipment

  • Two large bowls
  • Springform cake tin, 20 – 23cm in diameter, greased and lined with parchment
  • Scales, spatula, balloon whisk/mixer/electric hand whisk, measuring spoons and jugs

Ingredients

  • Large eggs, separated – 4
  • Caster sugar – 210g
  • Olive oil (mild) – 210ml/g
  • Tipo 00 flour or plain flour – 210g
  • baking powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Fine salt – a pinch
  • vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Ground almonds – 40g
  • Strawberry yogurt (a thick kind such as Greek yogurt) – 80g
  • Strawberries – 80g (about)

Method

  1. Prepare your baking tin by greasing and lining with baking parchment
  2. Set the oven to 180 ºC fan / 200 ºC conventional
  3. Separate the eggs into yolks and whites, putting the whites in one (very clean) bowl and the yolks in another
  4. Whisk up the egg whites until they are stiff peaks, whisk in one tablespoon of the caster sugar and the vanilla extract into the whites
  5. Add the remaining caster sugar to the yolks and whisk until it turns pale and increases in volume
  6. Add the flour, ground almonds, salt and baking powder to the sugar/yolk mixture and slowly whisk in until it is all combined
  7. Chop up the strawberries and measure out the yogurt
  8. Fold in the whites to this mixture, a third at a time until it is combined. Try to be gentle while mixing in – a figure of eight motion is useful or use a balloon whisk to ‘cut’ the whites in gently
  9. Fold in the olive oil
  10. Pour the mix gently into the prepared tin
  11. Using a teaspoon, dot the yogurt all over the cake – try to keep the blobs of yogurt fairly small
  12. Place the strawberries over the yogurt
  13. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until the sponge springs back when depressed lightly with your finger and/or a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake (though be careful to notice that you’ve not spiked the yogurt and think the cake is still underdone
  14. Gorgeous on its own, or serve it as a very special dessert, say for a Valentine’s or birthday celebration, with a good quality vanilla ice cream. Alternatively, serve with crushed strawberries that have been mixed into a tub of crème frâiche (plus a dessertspoon of icing sugar)
strawberry yogurt cake with olive oil - all sliced

Blueberry and mascarpone loaf cake

IMG_0447While I was trying to get my gnashers round a giant, but highly delicious, doorstop sandwich filled with brie, honey, walnuts and figs and he a salt beef panini in a deli caff this summer my husband had already mentally moved on to desserts and was eyeing up the sweet treats. There sat a gorgeous looking mascarpone and blueberry loaf cake.

We didn’t succumb at the time (how disciplined was that? And how unlike me…!). However, I just had to try to recreate a similar cake it as it sounded like a fabulous combination of flavours. I don’t know what the original tasted like, nor could I find out the recipe from the staff at the time, but what I’ve come up with is a lovely cake indeed.

I’ve ‘pimped’ it up considerably from the benign but delicious title, placing honey and Cointreau in it too.

A little note: I’m currently off work nursing a recovering left hand, having had a minor op. As such, I can barely dress myself, let alone bake and cook. I knew I would be like this for a while as I had the same operation on my right hand last year. So, I stockpiled some recipes, photos and posts this summer in anticipation of being out of order for a few weeks and this recipe was actually prepared and written in mid September, just before I was operated on and has been scheduled for posting. I should be back to full capability (and back to the day job too!) before the end of October (2018).

IMG_0438

Notes

  • It’s moist, spongy and bursting with oozy blueberries
  • The batter is very thick for this cake – rather more like a Madeira or pound cake than a typical sponge
  • it will crack slight on top – I happen to think it looks really nice this way

Equipment

  • Bowl
  • Electric whisk or stand mixer (as the batter is thick it’d be rather heavy going with a balloon whisk)
  • Spatula (a silicone one is best)
  • Loaf tin (roughly 19cm x 10 cm)
  • Baking parchment or greaseproof paper

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter (room temperature) – 80g
  • Soft brown caster sugar – 75g (plus an extra tablespoonful for scattering)
  • Runny honey – 2 tablespoons
  • Large eggs, whole – 2
  • Plain flour (I used 00 Italian flour, but any decent plain will do) – 230g
  • Mascarpone – 210g
  • Cointreau or triple sec (or any orange liqueur) – 25ml
  • Milk – 25ml
  • Lime juice – juice of half a lime
  • Baking powder – 2 tablespoons
  • Blueberries – a small punnet (about 130g)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan / 200°C conventional
  2. Grease then line your loaf tin
  3. Cream the butter, caster sugar and honey together in a bowl until fluffed up a little and turned paler in colour
  4. Add the eggs, flour, mascarpone, Cointreau, milk, baking powder and lime juice and whisk in
  5. Gently mix in the fruit (it doesn’t matter if you burst a few, this gives a nice contrast in the cake)
  6. Fill the prepared tin with the mixture and level off as best as possible
  7. Sprinkle over the additional soft brown caster sugar
  8. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 55 minutes, testing with a skewer to see if it’s done (the skewer will come out clean when it’s ready)
  9. leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes then carefull transfer to a wire rack (the cake is very moist and may split if you are not careful with it – when fully cold it is more rigid)
  10. Enjoy like any normal cake, but also works as a dessert with ice cream, custard or additional fruit

IMG_0436

Olive oil and pecan brownies

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Not that brownies can ever be described as ‘good for you’ (shame on those who try!), but I’ve developed this recipe to use a wonderful, heart-healthy light olive oil instead of butter but still retain that gooey, more-ishness that a good brownie should have.

This is such an easy-to-bake recipe it would be perfect to get your children involved in the cooking. Maybe they could help could turn this into a birthday or Fathers Day treat.

It’s actually a highly adaptable recipe: you could swap out the milk chocolate chunks for the recipient’s favourite chocolate bar too or swap out the pecans for white choc chunks (double chocolate brownies!) or other fruit or nuts as preferred. Macadamias and hazelnuts/cobnuts make especially delicious alternatives that pair with the chocolate.

I‘m very flattered that Filippo Berio liked this recipe so much that they’ve added it to their website.

Ink Sugar Spice blog https://inksugarspice.wordpress.com/

Notes

  • Don’t use a fruity or virgin olive oil for this (as the flavour would overpower and it’d really be a waste too!), something like Mild & Light or a Classic olive oil would work very well here
  • Do stick to the right size tin. The brownie mix is the perfect volume for the height of a 20cm x 20cm (8″x 8″) tin… using a larger or smaller tin will change the texture of the brownie along with its height (a shallow wide tin would produce overbaked dry brownies and a smaller higher tin may mean the brownie is still raw in the middle)
  • When testing to see if the brownies are done with a skewer, this is not quite the same as testing a sponge cake…the brownie is supposed to be moist in the middle so the skewer will not come out dry. If it has a dry crust to the top but some sticky brownie mix on the skewer it’s done… if it’s very wet it still needs a little longer
  • You can substitute other nuts if you can’t find pecans. Walnuts are the closest match, but macadamias would also work well
  • You’ll notice I’ve put (g) grams for the olive oil, not the liquid (ml) millilitres. Grams and millilitres are interchangeable (for most liquids) when weighing out. I’ve used grams as it’s so very much easier to measure out the olive oil straight into your saucepan on a digital scale. If you don’t have a digital scale, just measure out the equivalent (100ml) in a liquid measuring cup

Equipment

  • Small saucepan
  • Bowl
  • Square baking tin, 20cm x 20 cm (about 8″ x 8″)
  • Baking parchment or paper
  • Wooden spoon
  • Flexible spatula
  • Digital scales (or liquid measuring jug)
  • Kitchen towel

Ingredients

  • Classic or mild & light olive oil (don’t use an extra virgin) – 100g
  • Dark chocolate, around 70-72% cocoa solids – 150g
  • Tipo 00 or plain flour – 150g
  • Eggs, large – 2
  • Caster sugar – 120g
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Milk – 2 tablespoons
  • Milk chocolate – 100g
  • Pecans – 40g

Method

  1. Warm your oven up to 180°C fan/190°C conventional
  2. Put your saucepan on your scales and weigh out the olive oil and break in the dark chocolate
  3. Warm the olive oil and chocolate over a low heat, stirring with the wooden spoon
  4. Remove from the heat when the chocolate is almost completely melted: it will continue to melt
  5. Leave to one side to cool a little (you can use it once it’s got to about room temperature)
  6. Chop up the milk chocolate and pecans into large chunks and leave for later
    chocAndPecansAndOil
  7. Prep your baking tin by lining with baking paper or parchment and leave an overlap so you can use this to lift the brownies out once they are cooked
  8. Lightly oil the baking paper by dampening a sheet of kitchen paper in a little oil and rubbing it around the lined tin
  9. Weigh out the flour, caster sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract, egg and milk into the bowl and mix it all together until it is all fully incorporated
  10. The chocolate and oil should be cool enough to use now, so pour it into the bowl and mix it in thoroughly
  11. Add the chocolate chunks and pecans and swirl through the mix
  12. Pour the mix into the prepared tin, using the flexible spatula to get every last bit out and smooth the surface over with a spoon
    uncoked
  13. Cook on the middle shelf for 23-25 minutes
  14. Once cooked, leave to cool almost fully in the tin, then lift out using the overlap of baking paper you left
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  15. Cut into nine large squares (or smaller bites if you prefer)
  16. Delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream or cream and strawberries or leave to cool and enjoy as a tea time treat
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