This week’s episode of The Great British Bake-Off was all about chocolate! For the signature bake, the contestants had to bake their version of a brownie, for the technical bake, they made chocolate babkas and for the showstopper, they had to make a white chocolate celebration cake. I decided to make all three bakes this week, so here is my first one: Raspberry Macadamia Nut Brownies!
The Signature Bake
Brownies are something I’ve been making since I was about 10 years old. My grandmother had an easy recipe for what she called “Underdone Brownies” that I have since modified to make even easier for my Easy One-Bowl Brownies. This recipe takes less time to make than it does to preheat the oven and makes brownies that are wonderfully fudgy in the middle.
In the show, almost all of the contestants failed at their brownies! Many were undercooked and raw in the middle and a couple were overdone. I couldn’t believe it, because they had 1 1/2 hours to make their brownies, which is plenty of time. I guess nerves played a big deal, but I was wondering if perhaps nerves played a role. Making brownies feels simple when you are cooking at home in your own kitchen, but it would be a different story when cooking them for a competition!
I knew I had a good recipe to start with so I set about deciding how to make them a signature brownie. For many of the bakes, the judges complained that they were too sweet so I didn’t want to go with something like caramel as an addition to my brownie. If you follow my blog regularly, you may notice that there are two combinations I love with chocolate: peanut butter and raspberries. I thought something with peanut butter might end up on the sweet side so I decided to go with raspberries.
A Very Quick Test of my Recipe Idea
I watched the episode on Tuesday night and was planning to make the brownies on Friday. On Wednesday night, one of my students cancelled who had a 45-minute time-slot and I thought “I can make brownies in 45 minutes!” so I ran upstairs and quickly made them before my next student. Well almost, it took me a few minutes to think about proportions and they took a few minutes longer to bake than normal, so I went downstairs with 3 minutes left in the cooking time. I asked my daughter to take them out when the timer beeped and crossed my fingers that they would be cooked properly!
I’ve had feedback from friends that they doubled my brownie recipe to make more, so I did that for this recipe. To the regular mixture, I added some chocolate chips for an extra chocolate boost, some frozen raspberries and some chopped macadamia nuts. Because I was baking more brownies, they did take longer than my usual 20 minutes and I ended up baking them for 23 minutes. Still pretty quick!
After I finished my night of teaching I came up and inspected the brownies and they looked pretty good, but kind of plain. I decided to dress them up a bit, by making a raspberry white chocolate drizzle to go on top. After the drizzle set, I finally got to cut into them and see how they baked. I was worried that the raspberries would add a lot of liquid and they would be under baked in the centre but they were perfect!
The Taste Test
It was time for the taste test: Well really, you can’t go wrong with raspberry and chocolate! They had a rich chocolate taste that was contrasted nicely with the raspberries and the macadamia nuts gave them a nice textural contrast. Best of all, they were not too sweet! This may be my new favourite brownie!
Coming next, a white chocolate celebration cake that I didn’t even try, and a chocolate babka loaf!
Double Chocolate, Raspberry, and Macadamia Nut BrowniesThis variation of my Quick and Easy One Bowl Brownie includes the addition of chocolate chips, raspberries, and chopped macadamia nuts for an easy, decadent dessert.
- For the optional raspberry white chocolate drizzle
- Preheat oven to 350 F/180 c. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with 2-inch sides.
- Mix together oil, butter, sugar and eggs.
- Stir in flour, cocoa and salt and mix to combine.
- Gently fold in chocolate chips, frozen raspberries and macadamia nuts.
- Pour into the prepared tin and smooth top.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until top is set and crusty looking. If you insert a skewer in the middle, it will not come out clean, but the batter won't be liquid. (Do not overbake!)
- Cool for 5 minutes before slicing into squares or let cool completely then top with the optional drizzle. For the Drizzle
- Put the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and cook in 20-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until melted.
- Whisk in the freeze-dried raspberry powder. Let the chocolate cool until no longer runny.
- Drizzle or pipe the chocolate over the cooled brownies and then slice into squares.