Here I am baking again. For my son. Last day of school. Last day of exams. He’s off to rowing camp for a week at 6 am in the morning. I won’t get to see him tonight as it’s Speech Night at my daughters’ school. A guaranteed late night. My husband and I brokered a deal. I’d go with the girls and he’d take our son out to dinner. It’s an impossibly busy time of year. My peace offering? His favourite. A batch of brownies.
In our house we make two different versions of brownies. A fudgy dessert brownie studded with raspberries. And a more conventional brownie with enough structure to be included in a lunch box without disintegrating into an unholy but still delicious mess.
I like to top this brownie with whatever dried fruits and nuts are available in the pantry. With Christmas fast approaching I was spoilt for choice. Cranberries, ginger, pecans and chocolate. Dusted with a soft blanket of icing sugar. It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas.
Brownies with Ginger, Cranberry, Pecan and White Chocolate Chunks
Makes 20 squares
250g butter, chopped
200g dark chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons chopped crystallised ginger
1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
50 g white chocolate, roughly chopped
50 g dried cranberries
50 g pecans, chopped
PREHEAT oven to 160 C. Grease and line a 20 cm square baking tin.
MELT chocolate and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Add vanilla and ginger. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
PLACE sugar, eggs, cocoa, flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and stir until combined.
POUR batter into prepared tin. Scatter white chocolate chunks, cranberries and pecans over the top of the brownie mixture.
BAKE for 40 – 50 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If top appears to be browning too quickly cover with a sheet of foil. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before slicing into squares. Dust with icing sugar.