This recipe is a bit of an amalgam of several other recipes. I had decided it was a chocolate brownie weekend. That was after it had already been a garlic bread, asparagus & parma ham pizza, carrot soup and granary bread weekend. More on the savoury stuff later, this is all about the chocolate.
So, the amalgam. I looked at a few recipe books, and the recipe in Leon is the only one which stood out. It was very particular about the order in which things were added, and also that the melted chocolate and butter should be allowed to cool slightly before mixing with other ingredients, to prevent it seizing up – this makes perfect sense to me now that it’s been mentioned. They also whipped together the eggs and sugar to make a frothy loveliness before combining with flour/chocolate/butter/whatever else (I seem to recall a lot of orangey stuff, but I’m not a great fan of orange and chocolate).
So, I had some technique to think about from Leon. And I had an old favourite recipe written out in my old cloth-covered Liberty recipe book. I wrote it out years ago, and didn’t note where the original recipe came from, I suspect a Good Food magazine.
And on the opposite page from my old tried and tested brownie recipe I have scribbled in the ingredients for Triple Chocolate Brownies. I made these for the first time when I was looking after my nephews about 2 years ago, and the recipe was either in a book (possibly Delia’s latest?) or ripped out and pinned up on the wall next to the rayburn. Anyway, I made it, loved it and kept the recipe.
So, I wanted ginger chunks, and found an opened bag of crystallised ginger, you know the stuff all covered in granulated sugar that looks like a cross between a mis-shapen sugar lump and a pineapple chunk. And I wanted deep chocolatey-ness. And not too much squelch, more lightness than you might normally associate with a brownie. And I didn’t want too much sweetness – my original recipe has LOTS of sugar and I felt sure I could lose some of the sugary sweetness without losing any of the nomminess. I think I succeeded. But you decide.
Triple chocolate ginger brownies
Grease a 20cm square tin and line with greaseproof paper. Oven: Gas Mark 4 ish.
200g dark chocolate
175g light muscovado sugar
75g plain flour (or use wholewheat if you have it in the cupboard, for a pretendie health improvement, with no associated loss of loveliness)
75g white chocolate
75g milk chocolate
75g crystallised ginger – use ginger in syrup if you can’t find the crystallised stuff, but I think the crystallised is less likely to sink.
- Melt butter and dark chocolate over a double boiler. Use a microwave if you have to, but I prefer being able to heat it gently over water.
- You can take it off the heat before it is all melted, especially if you chopped it into smallish chunks before you started. The residual heat will melt the remaining lumps.
- Leave to cool for a wee while, while you get all your other ingredients prepped.
- In another bowl, beat the eggs and the sugar together (Using electric beaters) until light in colour and creamy. It won’t fluff up like egg whites, but it will hold quite a good heavy frothiness.
- Chop the remaining chocolate and the ginger into chunks about the half the size of your pinky finger nail.
- Now, keep the electric beaters running and gradually add about half of the not-quite-so-hot-now chocolate-butter mixture. Then mix in the flour, and finally the remaining chocolate-butter mixture. You should have a batter thick enough to fall off a spoon, but not so thin that it just runs off in a liquid stream.
- Now stir in the chocolate and ginger chunklets.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for around 45 minutes.
- Cut into teeny squares – I can generally get 16 -20 squares out of the tin. It’s extremely rich and you only need a wee square to get that chocolatey hit.
For further gingeriness, you could replace some of the sugar with some syrup from a jar of ginger, and even add some ground ginger. Or grate some fresh ginger and add the juice to the mixture. Although I possibly only suggest that last one as I recently acquired my mother’s old ginger grater (it is a glass implement, slightly reminiscent of a lemon squeezer gone wrong).
And you could adapt this in many other ways such as:
- omit all ginger and replace with vanilla paste
- or omit all ginger and replace with the zest of an orange; use a terry’s chocolate orange cut into chunklets for further orangey-ness
- add chopped nuts – I think pecans would work well
- or hazelnuts, and you could replace some of the flour with ground hazelnuts – perhaps a couple of TBsps
- omit the ginger and instead of adding ordinary chocolate, break in some mint chocolate matchsticks, or whatever they are called – you know the chocolate sticks that look a bit like a chocolate twiglet
- wee nubbins of marzipan instead of ginger – and replace a couple of TBsps of flour with ground almonds, and add a few drops of almond essence