Whenever I need to bake something to take to a party or as a gift for someone I always turn to brownies. They always seem to go down well, everyone loves them!
These brownies are pretty fancy compared to my usual recipe. They are packed with dried cherries and walnuts and also have a generous splash of cherry brandy! Now I wouldn’t go out and buy cherry brandy to make these especially, but I had a bottle in my drinks cupboard anyway. I found it last year in Lidls for only around £5 a bottle which is definitely my kind of price! It’s very nice too so I’ll be on the lookout for more this year. These brownies would actually be perfect for Christmas – a few squares wrapped up in a pretty gift box would make a lovely present.
I adapted the recipe from “John Whaite Bakes.” John won the third series of The Great British Bake off. I’ll be the first to admit that James was my absolute favourite in that particular series, but towards the end of the show I found myself warming to John and his book is excellent. I’ve tried a few recipes so far with really good results. I’ve had it out on loan from the library for a few months now – I’d better return it and let someone else have a chance!
Dried cherry & Walnut Brownies
Adapted from John Whaite Bakes
100g dark chocolate
80g milk chocolate
3 tbsp mayonnaise (John says the mayo helps the brownies to stay gooey! I have to agree with him – you don’t taste the mayo at all and I had no trouble cutting my brownies into perfect squares even though they still had a lovely gooey centre)
220g caster sugar
60ml cherry brandy
2 tsp vanilla extract
160g plain flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
100g walnuts, roughly chopped
60g dried cherries
Grease and line a square 20cm tin (you could use a 23cm tin for slightly thinner brownies)
Preheat oven to 180C.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, add the butter and stir into the melted chocolate. Remove from heat. Allow to cool for a few minutes then beat in the eggs
Stir in the cherry brandy, vanilla, flour, cocoa powder, cherries and walnuts. Pour into tin and bake for 20-25 mins (my brownies actually took 30 mins but that’s normal for my old oven.) Allow to cool completely in the tin before cutting into squares.