I used to bake a lot as a teenager. Brownies came out of our home oven quite often but with the exception of a batch used to woo my now husband, I’ve not baked brownies since I left home. Actually, I rarely bake sweet things – not contributing further to our already expanding waistlines is a major factor in this and I think a general lack of kitchen space is another. I do enjoy it though.

Cranberry and Walnut Brownie

Throwing caution to the wind, I whipped up a batch of brownies over the weekend and came up with these (and then promptly bought a new pair of trainers – no joke). The brownie is based on Katharine Hepburn’s famous recipe and they are rightly famous, having a great balance between cakey and fudgey. They are excellent brownies though I felt the need to tinker with amount of sugar in the recipe since I was using 85% dark chocolate and not unsweetened chocolate as in the original recipe. Walnuts and dried cranberries cut through the richness and gave these brownies some semblance of healthiness. Yeah, right.

Cranberry and Walnut Brownies

Cranberry and Walnut Brownies
makes 16.

60g dark chocolate (I used Lindt’s 85%)
112g unsalted butter
180g granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
45g flour
large pinch of sea salt
70g chopped walnuts
60g dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 165 Celsius. Butter and flour a 20cm (8inch) square baking pan.

Place a large heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water and in the bowl, melt the chocolate and butter together. When melted, take off the heat and mix in the sugar. Break in the eggs and stir thoroughly to combine. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour and sea salt and again, stir to combine. Finally, add the walnuts and dried cranberries and stir to combine and distribute them evenly.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick stuck in comes out clean. Cool the pan on a cooling rack and then turn out the slab and cut into 16 brownies. When fully cool, store in an airtight container. These brownies are best at room temperature.