Right now, as I write this blog post it’s Christmas in my crazy media world. Anything and everything that’s to do with Christmas is being emailed my way. Baubles, gift guide ideas and of course things to make your Christmas dinner with. But when it comes to roasting trays turkey is furthest from my mind. For me it’s all about the brownie.
Roasting trays are perfect for brownies so when I caught sight of the hard anodised range from Stellar I knew I had to ‘have a play’. I requested the 32x22cm shallow roasting tray but there’s a whole range available including deep roasters, loose bottom tins, round cake tins, cupcake tins, loaf tins- you name it, it’s on the list.
What I like about this range is that they have a really great thermal conductivity for even heat distribution. This means that whether you have cookies on the tray in the front or back of the oven they’ll all come out the same- perfectly browned and even. I have another tray like this (who shall remain nameless but let’s just say it was really expensive!) and it warps every time it goes under the grill or when the oven gets too hot. This range is designed not to do this and so far – under my rigorous testing, it’s come out on top- and perfectly flat every time.
I make brownies in shallow roasters as they’re a stronger, more suitable tray than regular baking sheets. Apart from the fact that they usually come in a good brownie size, they’re thick and strong and give an nice even- gooey bake. These are also really non stick which is always a good thing!
Cherry Brownies recipe
- 275g (1 cup of chips) dark chocolate
- 280g unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks)
- pinch of salt ( I use sea salt)
- 450g (2 cups) caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 170g (1 cup) plain flour
- 2-300g cherries -fresh (2 cups) is best but glacé (1 cup) works well too
- Line a 22x33cm (8 x 12″) roasting tray with silicon paper. I’ve been using the foil lined paper as it stays in place and makes delivering the brownies so much easier. Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC)
- Melt the chocolate over a bain marie then set aside to cool a little.
- If using fresh cherries remove the stones and cut into halves or quarters. Glacé cherries can be cut in half.
- In a separate bowl mix the sugar and butter then add the eggs slowly. Add the vanilla extract.
- Sieve the flour over the mixture and stir in until completely incorporated. Pour the melted chocolate over and combine with the salt.
- Add the cherries to the cake mix and stir till completely covered. Pour the mix into the roasting tray and smooth into the corners with a table spoon.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top looks like it’s about to crack. Brownies taste best when they are soft so be careful not to over bake them. If in doubt- take them out. A knife will come out almost completely clean, you want a bit of moisture/ cake mix on the end when they are done.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
- To cut- dip a sharp knife into hot water then wipe with a piece of kitchen paper then clean after each slice. The knife will become very caked in chocolate as these are super moist brownies
Top tips with these cherry brownies
- You can make these dairy free by choosing a Dairy free chocolate (Bournville was the only one I could find locally) and using a dairy free spread. I did substitute the butter weight for sunflower oil in one of my tests and they tasted great but we really a touch too gloopy and only lasted a day. The day after baking the edges were really hard so you’d need to eat them on the day of baking- which let’s face it isn’t normally a problem!
- Fresh cherries taste WAAAYYYY better than glacé ones. I de-stonned mine then dried them with some kitchen paper before dusting them all over with flour to stop them sinking to the bottom. You can also add more ( I had 300g in mine).
- If using glace cherries opt for Morello glacé cherries. They were divine and I did have to keep noshing on them to do a taste test!
- The key is to not over bake brownies. The top should look almost like a sheet of sugar paper when they’re done. They will continue to bake once you take them out of the oven so err on the side of caution and if they look nearly done take them out.
- You can leave out the salt but I was once told by the lovely Bex Smith that salt and chocolate are opposite combinations (like sugar and lemons) and brownies without salt just don’t taste right anymore!enjoy!
Disclaimer: The 33 x 22cm Hard Anodised roasting tray in this post was sent to me by Stellar . (Thanks you guys – it give the perfect bake) All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.