Sunday, 27 March 2011

Random Recipe - chocolate ginger brownies from Martha Stewart's Cookies

Last month I missed out on taking part in the Random Recipe challenge run by Dom at Belleau Kitchen, and this month I was determined I'd manage it. However illness and general beingtoobusyness meant that today being the last day to get your entries in, and me being off to London at about 10am, I had to get up disgustingly early to make my recipe. I'm so dedicated!

So the rules were that you had to count along your bookshelf till you reached the eighteenth book and that's what you had to use. Number 18 for me was Martha Stewart Cookies, a gorgeous book that sits criminally ignored on my shelf because I despise using cups to measure out ingredients. Seriously - what's wrong with a good old weighing scale? I also have her Cupcakes book, a lovely book called Swedish Cakes and Cookies and Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home To Yours, all of which use cups which really puts me off using them. I really must get over myself.

Anyway I opened the book at a random page, which had a recipe for chocolate ginger brownies. Lovely, I love anything ginger, and while I know I've done a brownie recipe on the blog before, that was a low fat one. This definitely isn't. And it's also a nice quick and easy one.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Cookies, adapted very slightly.


3oz plain chocolate, chopped
4 oz butter
1 tsp grated fresh ginger (I used a jar of minced ginger)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1 clove, ground up in a pestle & mortar
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Line an 8" square tin with baking parchment, letting the ends overhang the tin. Preheat the oven to 160ÂșC.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave - take care not to burn the chocolate. Stir in everything else. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until set. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then lift out using the parchment and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone else has come up with! I got an easy recipe but I know other people won't have, so it'll be very interesting.

The few things I have cooked from this particular book have all turned out very well. The lemon squares in particular were gooey and gorgeous and definitely worth making again. And these brownies are fantastic. So I'm determined to stop hating cups and make more of Martha's lovely goodies.

Oh and by the way, I have had a very, very unsuccessful week of baking. I made some Viennese biscuits that went a bit wrong, some Cornish fairings (little spicy biscuits) that I overcooked and consequently went absolutely rock hard and inedible, and yesterday I made a ginger cake that stuck horribly to the (really well greased and floured) tin. Luckily all the disasters happened at home and not at work (although last week I did forget to put the eggs in a carrot cake, the staff ate the resulting disaster with spoons) but it's a bit disheartening. I hadn't had a baking disaster in years and then three happened within the space of a couple of days. It almost made me go out and buy a cake from the supermarket...

The disastrous ginger cake, with the offending tin


  1. I have this book- and love it!
    This look scrumptious.

  2. I had a disaster baking day yesterday so I know what its like... these look so lovely and I love your photography... aren't these sunny days so much better for photographing food?... thanks so much for taking part


  3. Disasters go with the territory when it comes to baking - we all have them, me more than most I expect as I'm a bit impatient. Brownies sounds great, you can never have too many brownie recipes. Only, I can't cope with cups!

  4. Love the idea for selecting which book to use! I agree with you - cups are an awful thing to measure with, particularly as my small kitchen doesn't permit me to have a giant pot of flour to scoop out of! Your brownies look lovely.
    Don't fret over the disasters - we all have them!

  5. "disgustingly early" - lol, that's dedication! I must buy a Martha book, she's missing from my collection!

  6. Lovely blog! I had a disaster with some cheese muffins this week - they were like rubber, even the dog wouldn't eat them!
    Which patisserie qualification are you taking? I'm attending a class at my local college but it doesn't have a recognised qualification at the end of it, just a collge cert....x

  7. Those brownies look absolutely perfect!

  8. Lovely blog! And well done for joining in.
    See you soon.

  9. Yum, I've had chocolate ginger cookies before but a brownie with that flavor combo sounds even better. They look superb. I have a sweet treat linky party on my blog that opens up later today and I'd like to invite you to stop by sometime and link your brownies up.

  10. First of all, let me say thanks for your kind words on my blog ... second, isn't Martha Stewart a goddess? I really think she is the US answer to the UK's Nigella. Kitchen divas cut from the same bolt of cloth! ... they have the touch for bringing together killer recipes in their cook books! ... third, kitchen disasters ... oh dear, don't we all have times in life when we get distracted and the cooking/baking process suffers for it? I know I have had my share of bad kitchen days ... I hope it's a flook and you're back to your regular self! These brownies look perfect! See? It WAS just a flook!

  11. This recipe is really simple,healthy and fun to make.Even perfect when you are in a hurry to make dessert to put on the table for guests.I`m sure browni lover loves this idea 


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