Cherry Chocolate Brownies

Do I have to give them away?

Do I have to give them away?

On Tuesday morning I had to go into the Royal Marsden for an appointment with a clinical oncologist, so my boyfriend suggested I should bake something to take in for the nurses on Ellis Ward who looked after me after my surgery.

What a wonderful idea – I will explain more about how and why they were so magnificent when I get round to retelling that part of the story.  Suffice to say they were.  Plus, this would mean that I could bake something but not have it hanging around getting all eaten by me.  Even better!

I thought that something chocolatey was a safe bet, so decided to try my hand at brownies.  I like them with nuts in but didn’t use any here just in case of any allergies.  However, I did combine two recipes again: Stacie Stewart’s fudgey, gooey brownies (dribble!); and Jamie Oliver’s idea of adding dried cherries in his Bloomin’ brilliant brownies.  (JO’s recipe was also from his Comic Relief collection – albeit from 2007 – so that was an extra nice touch for this time of year).

How it was to make: 

Almost impossible to leave to cool!

Almost impossible to leave to cool!

  • Stacie has a video of her making the brownies so I could check anything I wasn’t sure of really easily.
  • This was the first outing for my new Breville hand mixer and it was a dream!  Partly because it was much easier physically than hand whisking.  And partly because it didn’t splatter the mixture all over me.  Well worth £15 (as opposed to shelling out for a big mixer!).
  • Nothing appeared to curdle or go particularly wrong which was encouraging.
  • I followed Stacie’s technique for lining the baking tin.  Genius!  Saved me loads of time as before I was cutting out tiny pieces and sticking them round the edge of the tin, like some sort of bizarre butter-based collage (maybe the primary school teacher instinct?).

How it came out:  

Well I HAD to test one (and one for my lovely assistant)

Well I HAD to test one (and one for my lovely assistant)

  • I was concerned that I had overcooked this as it wasn’t very wobbly in the middle when I took it out… But actually it was still very fudgey once cooled so I think any less cooking would have been an error.
  • As I said, these brownies were baked specifically for the Ellis Ward nurses.  But I HAD to test one just to make sure they were safe to give as a gift.  I instantly regretted promising the brownies to somebody else.  They were SO DELICIOUS!!!
  • I used dried mixed berries in these, but I think they would actually be nicer just with cherries alone as the dried strawberries were a bit funny in them.  I would also use two bags of them so you get a couple in each brownie.
  • They're not Sainsbury's - they're mine!

    They’re not Sainsbury’s – they’re mine!

    After cooking them so well, I did a horrible job of cutting them.  I think that every single one was a different size in fact.  But at least this was proof that they really were homemade (and not from Sainsbury’s, as the box appeared to claim).

Personal Progress: 

  • Baking lessons learnt:
    • Cherries go really well with chocolate (duh!).  And they are perfect for Comic Relief related baking of course.
    • Electric hand mixers are great.
  • Physical progress:
    • The eagle-eyed viewer will have noticed that I suddenly have extra hands at the ‘pour into a tin’ stage.  The mixing bowl full of batter is still too heavy for me to lift and scrape on my own, so I enlisted some help (now trying to dodge paying him a featured artist fee for the video…).
    • I did everything else though (thanks hand mixer!) – and half the washing up.  That was quite enough.
Ellis Ward nurses, Royal Marsden Hospital Chelsea

Photo in payment for brownies

Most importantly of all – the girls on Ellis Ward were really pleased to see how much better I am looking now, and they also seemed very happy with their brownies!  (Well, they hadn’t tried them, but they definitely appreciated the thought at the very least!).  I also presented them with the yellow sharps box of syringes (yay!!!).  In return, I asked for this photo and some new white compression stockings.  THANK YOU ELLIS WARD!!!

If you want to try either (or both!) of the recipes:

How to make brownies – Stacey Stewart (BBC Food)

Bloomin’ brilliant brownies – Jamie Oliver

This bake, I have been mostly listening to:

Heart on a line – Scarlet

A gorgeous track from Liverpudlian band Scarlet.  Love Jessie’s vocals on this – it’s really got stuck in my head too!  They’ve got an EP out in late April which I wish them all the best with.  Big thanks to Jessie and the band for their support for my blog.

Caroline Crimson x

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3 thoughts on “Cherry Chocolate Brownies

  1. Funnily enough I came home to a pot of glacier cherries on the kitchen work surface (which I was convinced was some weird beetrooty dip from a far ‘he wouldn’t buy cooking cherries’ – I thought)… Maybe the G-man is considering challenging you!?

    They look delish, well done (he will lose, obvs). xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Cheesecake Brownies | Baking Better

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