The week after we moved in, I came across a recipe in Jamie (Oliver) magazine for apple brownies. The recipe, read in the shadow of our apple tree, spoke to me in a way chocolate recipes tend to do, only a little louder. I made the first batch within an hour, switching out the plain flour for rice flour to make them gluten free. They turned out fine, but they felt like a starting point. Since then, I’ve adjusted just about everything, and made low sugar / grain free / extra chocolate / apple and rhubarb / apple and plum / spiced apple versions.
I like brownies – and I still have a whole lot of apples on that tree. Today’s are the best so far. Plus I actually got a photo before the kids got their hands on them, so the recipe finally makes it’s way on to the blog. (Thanks Jamie Oliver for the inspiration.)
4 large cooking apples
100g dark chocolate
70g soft brown sugar
50g cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
70g rice flour
70g ground almonds
Lightly stew the apples with a splash of water for 10 minutes. You want them to have a little bit of texture rather than to go to total mush (have tried both and am not a fan of the super sloppy apple). If you are trying to eat your way through a full tree of apples, you can make a giant pan of stewed apples – you’ll need about 3/4 cup for the brownies. While stewing you can add a cinnamon stick, star anise, coconut sugar or nothing at all. I recommend nothing at all – life is complicated enough.
Melt chocolate and butter – which can be done if you place it in a heat-proof dish above the stewing apples.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together.
Add the dry ingredients and the melted butter / chocolate and whizz it all up into a beautiful batter using a food processor or a strong arm.
Gently stir through the apples. If you are too rough they will disintegrate and disappear into the mix – which still tastes good, but I prefer a distinguishable apple trail running through the brownie.
Pour into a lined baking tray and bake at 180 for 20 minutes until they are cooked through and bouncy to touch but still with a hint of gooeyness.
When they come out, cut them into squares and wrap any you’re not planning to eat straight away in baking paper before putting into the cake tin. They keep really well for a couple of days – maybe longer but haven’t tested their durability for obvious reasons.