Thursday, 13 May 2010

Chocolate Marmalade Brownies

During my last baking session, I intended to soften some butter in the microwave, but inattention made me programme minutes, not seconds, into the timer. I ended up with a bowl of melted butter which was no use for that particular cake recipe. Once butter has been melted, it doesn't set into the sort of butter that can be used for creaming in the future (some water separates out), so to use this up I needed a recipe which used melted butter. As I seem to be alternating chocolate and non-chocolate recipes at the moment, brownies were an obvious answer. I also found half a jar of shredless orange marmalade hiding in the fridge, so Chocolate Marmalade Brownies looked like a possibility.

After a bit of searching, and discarding recipes which used much more marmalade than I had, and those which only added a tablespoon or two - how much affect would that have on the flavour? - I decided that this recipe from Best Ever Cookie Collection best suited my purpose. I used the butter I'd already melted, which was a fraction under a cup, and what marmalade was left in the jar, which may have been a tad less than the amount required, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. No, wait a minute - I used light brown sugar and 100g of chopped pecans, which is more than specified, because the pecans were getting old and the light brown sugar was bought in mistake for muscovado sugar, so I wanted to get rid of it as quickly as possible in recipes where it wouldn't make much difference. I also baked in a 8 x 12" pan lined with baking parchment, as I didn't have the size of pan mentioned, and prefer deeper brownies anyway. The smaller pan did not affect the baking time; in fact 30 minutes was a bit too long, so if you try them, check on yours a few minutes sooner.

For my own records, I'm going to list the metric weights of the ingredients I used - 225g unsalted butter; 300g light brown sugar; 3 eggs; 150g marmalade; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 140g plain flour; 75g cocoa; 1 teaspoon baking powder; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon cayenne; 100g plain chocolate chips; 100g chopped pecans.

I liked this recipe a lot, even though the marmalade flavour didn't come through strongly - I think this was down to the mild flavoured marmalade I was using. Using a more strongly flavoured marmalade, or adding the grated zest of an orange to accentuate the orange flavour, would be ways to get round this.

It's nice to have one or two chocolate recipes which just use cocoa powder, rather than a massive amount of melted chocolate, yet still achieve a rich flavour and moist texture. Here, the marmalade gave the moistness, and I think the brownie would have been quite rich in flavour even without the added chocolate chips. These brownies weren't as dense as the best brownies, but reducing the baking powder would remedy that. The small amount of cayenne pepper added gave a gentle warm after-taste which was just noticable.

This recipe will go on my list as a keeper, although I don't seem to get round to repeating recipes often at the moment. It might also be good to try it with jam and a complimentary dried fruit instead of nuts - cherry jam and dried soured cherries, for instance.


Choclette said...

Here's another of yours I wouldn't have thought up. I bet marmalade goes really well with brownies and I like the addition of cayenne.

Lucie said...

How unusual! This look gorgeous BVG. I like brownies that have cocoa rather than chocolate too :) Have a lovely weekend x

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said...

Well done, finding a use for your mis-melted butter rather than throwing it out! And in the process, you've found a winning recipe! :)

Foodycat said...

I love the idea of cherry jam and sour cherries - black forest cake in brownie form! I'm not a huge fan of chocolate and orange, but I think with a nice bitter marmalade I would like this.

Anne said...

I love marmelade and I love brownies so sounds like a winning combo! Am really hooked on Aldi's blood orange one at the moment, mm!