Monday, 22 August 2011

fennel and rose chocolate brownies - we should cocoa



i'm thoroughly fed up with not having a kitchen and whilst its lovely that my dear friends and neighbours have offered me to use theirs it's just not the same... it's all happening this week though so we should be in soon enough... i'm just a bit fed up of not being able to do my thing...

these brownies are taken from a brilliant new cookbook by James Ramsden titled Small Adventures in Cooking... well actually it's been released for a while and has been sitting on my bedside table for the past couple of months, much thumbed through but still waiting to be cooked from .... but as you know.... sigh...

... it's a really great book, one of those cookbooks that makes as good a reading as it does recipes... lots of lovely little tips and some nice insights into James' food and cooking know-how... plus of course the recipes are rather special and modern without being too intricate or poncey, which is always nice... including these brilliant brownies.  The original recipe called for vanilla essence which i've swapped for rose essence... it's an unusual choice for which you can thank Choclette, not me or James, but with the aniseed flavour coming from the fennel seeds, the rose adds an "Arabian Nights" underscore...

... they are also the very first brownies i've ever made...

... now (sorry, this post is a triple whammy i'm afraid) not content with the we should cocoa challenge or simply reviewing James' fabulous book this post also goes out to Vanessa Kimbell and her inspired idea Random Bakes of Kindness... the idea is to bake double of what you're baking and give the extra away to a randomly chosen person who you feel really deserves it... join the revolution on Vanessa's blog.

... my brownies are going to Tracey, my wonderful neighbour, for no other reason than she's simply a marvellous person, gave me a door key so I could use her kitchen at the drop of a hat... these brownies were baked there today... and I know she'll love them!... these brownies are for you Tracey!


Fennel and Rose Chocolate Brownies


400g unsalted butter, cubed
400g dark chocolate, smashed to pieces
6 eggs
500g caster sugar
1 tbsp rose extract
250g plain flour
2 tsp fennel seeds - roughly crushed

pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a 30cm x 20cm x 5cm baking tray with greased proof paper

- melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl, either over a pan of boiling water or gently in the microwave, set aside to cool

- beat the eggs and sugar together with the rose extract until light and pale

- whisk the egg mix into the chocolate mix, fold in the flour and crushed fennel seeds and scrape into the baking tray

- bake for 25 - 30 minutes

eat and of course enjoy!

p.s.... don't forget your random recipes you have until the end of the month... i'm going to leave mine till this weekend as i've been PROMISED that my oven will be in!... (probably end up picking a salad knowing my luck!)

35 comments:

  1. oh you are too funny, my friend

    picking up a salad...

    the brownies look wonderful !!!

    hopefully, you will be back in your kitchen soon

    teddy says HI

    kary and teddy
    :-)

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  2. Nice chunky brownies there Dom. I'm struggling with the whole rose thing, but I think I've found something that might work. Hang in there, it will be worth it in the end.

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  3. These look great - the flavour combo must be amazing. Lucky Tracey!

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  4. I love the idea of the combination of fennel and rose with chocolate ~ they look divine!
    Karen

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  5. Ah, what a lovely, lovely bake for Tracey- I bet she was well chuffed Dom! And my fingers are crossed for you that the oven will be in for you by this weekend!

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  6. I'm all for adding odd extras to my brownies. Of course I don't add those happy little extras anymore. LOL!! But seriously these look delicious and very generous of you to share them.

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  7. Fascinating combination of flavours - lovely idea. But I was so shocked that these are your first brownies that I've had to pour myself a large drink. Still, you always remember your first brownie.

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  8. An unusual combination of flavours - I'd love to try a piece.

    Good luck with getting your oven on time!

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  9. Oh Dom .. and there was me hoping to be your random choice!

    Lucky Tracey .. They look divine and i have to say that JAmes is a darling .. fabulous cook ( he cooked me lunch not long ago .. )

    Brilliant original book I highly recommend it !

    Can;t wait to see your Kitchen in all it's glory.

    Vanessa
    x

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  10. Who would have thought of using fennel in brownies - well James I guess. What an inspirational idea, I want to go and try it straight away. I'm wondering about the taste, did the fennel overpower the rose? The rose complement the fennel? Did you like them? And I have another brownie recipe to try. I'm thinking I should just rename my blog Brownie Blog and have done with it. Can't believe you've never made them before. Hope you get into your kitchen soon - looking forward to seeing it. Thanks for participating DESPITE not having a kitchen.

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  11. Wow, perfect texture for your first attempt and in a strange oven at that .... I take my hat off to you Dom (and even throw in a little bow!!)

    I would have thought this an unusual flavour combination - is it one you'll repeat?

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  12. I am shocked these are your first brownies. I've been craving rosewater dessert lately and these brownies look fantastic. Still squidgy in the inside. I hope your new kitchen will be ready soon.

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  13. Well guys. It was the most velvety texture ever. James is a genius! The rose was a real undertone but still there in the background. Delicious!

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  14. Now I really wish we were neighbours Dom.

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  15. Wow - I would have loved to have tried those. And that bakes of kindness idea is wonderful!!!

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  16. Well I have to say for the very first brownies you have made these look super gooey and yummy. Great idea. Would be interested to try the fennel rose combo- I love fennel just would not have thought to combine with Rose but this creativity is what Choclette drives us to huh?

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  17. I don't like brownies in general but I do like the gunky rosewater turkish delight. I think the addition of rose and the backbone-mystery aroma of fennel are awesome addition. Very renaissancely chic!

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  18. Hi Dom; I discovered your blog through Janice and I have to say... those brownies look gorgeous! Well done for your first attempt! I have only tried brownies once and it was a disaster; I've been too traumatised to attempt again :(

    I love that you baked extra for your friend; that's lovely :)

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  19. Loved the header picture and text with the N falling off. Hope that you can soon get back to enjoying your new kitchen.

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  20. You just brought up the brownie up a few notches; they look fantastic. Since I am new here I am going to find out about your kitchen.
    Rita

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  21. I have rosewater and fennel seeds ... these sound so tempting and the flavours are a really intriguing tease. As for these being your first ever brownies???? Oh, you poor,poor man! Let's make up for time now ... there are so many kinds of brownies! The possibilities are endless!

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  22. Well hi Catherine and Rita. Welcome aboard. Hope you enjoy!

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  23. Those brownies look so good that I shall have to get George to make some!

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  24. Sorry you still don't have a kitchen.. that would really be hard!!
    The brownies look amazing! I'd love the whole pan right now :)
    And, what a great movement.. think I will do that this weekend!

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  25. loving this brownie already! thank you for sharing this.

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  26. The brownies look fab, can't believe they are your first ever!

    Am really keen on fennel addition but not sure on rose...will have to add it it to my trying list!

    Hoping your kitchen is ready for you soon!

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  27. these sound amazing!! an interesting but winning combination....(lots of stirring the batter??? teehee) x keeping my fingers crossed for the oven :)

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  28. What an intriguing flavour combination. They look great! I can't believe these are your first brownies. I'm sure Tracey must have been really pleased to receive them. Can't wait to see your new kitchen :)

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  29. you are so funny...i see your twitter conversation on the sidebar...are you getting closer to your kitchen being done ?

    off to check out your oven baked chicken risotto

    kary and teddy
    :-)

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  30. Mmmmmmmmmm - perfect brownies there Dom. Love all the squidgy fudgy bits! Yum.

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  31. They look great, and a very unusual combination of the flavours. Rose is a tricky one to get right!

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  32. Great looking brownies. I like the fennel and rose combo - definitely going to give these a go

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  33. Oh no my mouth is watering!! I can't resist food of the sugary kind. What an unusual combination Fennel and Rose Chocolate. I just added myself as a follower of your super delicious blog!

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  34. I've just returned from the UK and now regret not picking up rose essence - would rose water do? Fabulous flavours. RBOK is such a fab idea.

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  35. I've got a copy of James Ramsden's book as well, and I love it! I've yet to make a recipe, I'm thinking of doing the bloody Mary from it.

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