Emma Laperruque's Nutella Buckwheat Brownies

Buckwheat Nutella Brownies

I have been feeling a little...fragile as of late. For example, this obituary made me cry. This book that I finished last night left me with the most sickening case of existential dread. I went into the boys' room this morning for a morning snuggle, but one boy was happily reading in his top bunk and the other was far too busy setting up Playmobil knights for something as silly as snuggling, so I had to start my day snuggle-less. Who cares, right? Reader, the heartache, I tell you. Sometimes I don't think I'll ever be prepared for the heartbreak of them growing up.

The sun has come out in full force this week, despite freezing temperatures at night. We're having the kind of blindingly bright, blue-skied days, still bundled up in warm coats and sweaters, that I normally associate with New England in early fall. Today, driving Hugo to school, I stopped at an intersection and the haze from the sun was so bright, I momentarily thought I was in Vermont.

What to do when one feels exceedingly wobbly? Besides going out into the sunshine for a long walk, I mean. I was thinking about that today as I cooked our lunch: an onion in hot olive oil, slivered canned plum tomatoes dropped in one after the other, the salting of pasta water, the reducing of the sauce. Laying out the plates and forks, digging out the parmigiano from the depths of the fridge. Cooking pasta with tomato sauce does seem to be one of my most foolproof therapies. The mellowing onion, the starchy fug, it all ends up being self-parenting alchemy.

Nutella Buckwheat Brownies

But! I am not actually here to tell you about the healing powers of tomato sauce! I am here to tell you about these 3-ingredient brownies, which—if the world is a just place—should be the next viral recipe to sweep the planet, like that baked feta situation earlier this year. The brownies are made with Nutella, eggs and buckwheat flour. That's it if you don't count salt, but flaky salt is essential to their success, so make sure you have some when you make these.

The Nutella and eggs are whisked together until smooth, then you stir in the buckwheat flour. You scrape this rather stiff mixture into your prepared pan, then sprinkle with flaky salt. The brownies emerge from the oven with that gorgeous crinkly top and the perfectly fudgy consistency. Now I have to make one thing clear: if you know buckwheat flour, you're familiar with its assertive flavor. Hugo and I love it and the combination of the chocolate-hazelnut spread and the earthy, grassy buckwheat turns the brownies into something truly unique. Hugo couldn't stop raving. "These are the best brownies ever," he eventually said (after brownie #5 or 6). They're pretty great. The other two members of our family, who are decidedly less enamored of buckwheat, didn't quite love them as much.

You don't have to use buckwheat flour. You could use teff flour, if you wanted to stay gluten-free, or regular flour, though I suspect they could end up a bit too cloying. The buckwheat adds a hearty, almost savory note. And the consistency! I didn't believe it could be possible with just those three ingredients, but it was perfect.

Gluten-Free Nutella Buckwheat Brownies

What do you do when you're feeling wobbly, dear readers? In case it's making brownies, well, here you go and hugs to you.

Note: This post includes affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you purchase through them, at no cost to you. I use affiliate links only for products I love and companies I trust. Thank you.

Emma Perruque's Nutella Buckwheat Brownies
Makes 12-16 brownies

1 1/4 cups (370 grams) Nutella
2 large eggs
1/2 cup
(60 grams) buckwheat flour
Flaky salt (optional)

1. Heat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line an 8-inch/20-cm square baking pan with parchment, with overhang on two sides.

2. Combine the Nutella and eggs in a bowl and stir until smooth. Add the flour and stir again until smooth. Spread into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with salt if you’re using it.

3. Bake for about 20 minutes until puffy, crackly, and a cake tester inserted near the corner comes out clean.

The Bojon Gourmet's Gluten-Free Teff Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Cranberries

Teff Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Cranberries

Let's talk about good things today.

  1. Call My Agent. A television show (4 seasons) set in a Paris film agency called ASK (Agence Samuel Kerr) that includes real-like movie stars (think Isabelle Huppert, Monica Bellucci, Juliette Binoche) playing themselves as clients of the agency. We just finished watching last night and oh, how we enjoyed it! It felt like a little trip to Paris every night. My favorite characters were Noémie and Hervé, two quirky assistants who both undergo a transformation during their time at ASK. It was the best kind of escapist television, funny, interesting, fashionable and a little bit sexy. Also, PARIS.

  2. This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell. Like so many others, I'm having a hard time concentrating on novels these days. I have a pretty strict rule about not forcing myself to finish books that I'm not enjoying. There's too much good stuff to get through and I figure that those books' readers are somewhere out there and they don't always have to be me. But then came This Must Be the Place. It took me a long time to get into it. I thought about giving up multiple times. And I don't know why I didn't. Something made me keep going. Then about halfway through the book, one of the chapters just...resonated. Right in my heart. I reread it three times. It made me rethink my own novel (yes, it still exists! sob!) and gave me a whole new perspective on an integral relationship that was stumping me completely. Just thinking about the chapter now gives me goosebumps! This is all to say that I'm so glad I listened to the little cosmic voice that told me to keep going.

  3. Everything is Fine. A podcast that was started by Kim France and Tally Abecassis for women over 40. (Tally recently left the show and has been replaced by Jennifer Romolini.) I've enjoyed every episode that Kim and Tally hosted, but there are a few standouts you definitely shouldn't miss. The episode with Emily Flake was hilarious, the episode with Stacy London was unexpectedly enlightening, I'm still thinking about the episode with Claire Dederer, I have mentioned Ann Kreamer's episode on going gray before, but it is just so good, and an early one with Andrea Linett, about getting dressed, is also a delight. Basically, listen to them all. They're a burst of joy - wise, funny, smart, interesting, occasionally wrenching joy - and listening to them makes me feel less alone.

  4. Willow Crossley. Willow's an English florist with a lovely Instagram account. She has given me more confidence with flowers and bulbs than anyone/anything else. She's adorable and bubbly and talks about flowers as if they were people. She demystifies flower arranging and bulb planting so effortlessly. (For those of us with black thumbs especially!) Her IG Lives are a highlight of my week and I currently have no less than three pots of Willow-inspired bulbs in terrines and planters going in my house right now.

  5. Cody Rigsby's rides.

  6. These brilliant cookies from Alanna Tobin-Taylor, the blogger at The Bojon Gourmet and the author of Alternative Baker, which won an IACP award in the Health and Special Diet category a few years ago. Their base is teff flour and tapioca starch, then you pack in rolled oats, toasted walnuts (hello lovers!) and chocolate chunks. You could leave them like this, but I added dried cranberries (sour cherries would work, too) because I love those kitchen sink cookies that are just packed full of all kinds of chewy delights. Oatmeal cookies just need a little fruity burst to balance out the buttery toastiness of the oats, don't you think? Anyway, Alanna's gluten-free cookie recipes are marvelous. They taste and feel, texture-wise, just like regular cookies. No grittiness, no weird textures. Just a chewy, crunchy, toasty, malty, delicious cookie that everyone can enjoy.

What's bringing you joy and comfort this week? Please, please share in the comments!

Teff Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Note: This post includes affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you purchase through them, at no cost to you. I use affiliate links only for products I love and companies I trust. Thank you.

The Bojon Gourmet's Teff Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Cranberries
Adapted from Alternative Baker
Makes 20 cookies
Note: For extra dense, chewy cookies, give the pan a few firm raps on the counter when you pull them from the oven.
Print this recipe!

8 tbsp (113 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (80 g) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 g) organic granulated cane sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cup (100 g) teff flour
1/4 cup (27 g) tapioca flour/starch
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup (90 g) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces (170 g) coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate (60-70%)
3/4 cup (90 g) walnuts, toasted, cooled, coarsely chopped
Handful dried cranberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a baking mat.

2. Place the cooled butter in a large bowl. Whisk in the two sugars. Then whisk in the egg and vanilla.

3. Sift the teff flour, tapioca flour and sea salt over the sugar mixture. Stir vigorously to combine thoroughly. Stir in the oats, chopped chocolate, walnuts and cranberries. (If you need the time, you can let this mixture stand for 2 hours before baking.)

4. Scoop the dough (about 2 tablespoons per cookie) onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies until the edges are golden and the tops are set, about 10-15 minutes. 

5. Remove the sheet and place on a cooling rack. Repeat with the second sheet and remaining batch of cookie dough. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Ovenly's Flourless Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-Free Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

As you may know from following me on Instagram, I am now the proud mother of a gluten-free brown rice sourdough starter. The recipe comes from Aran Goyoaga's truly incredible cookbook Cannelle et Vanille, which she so kindly sent to me a few weeks ago. I've used it to make my first loaves of delicious gluten-free sourdough bread and a batch of gluten-free sourdough waffles. It's total gold. As soon as I get my hands on some metal rings, I'm making sourdough English muffins from this book, which I'm also enjoying immensely. What this means, though, is that I've been up to my eyeballs in gluten-free flours and cookbooks and have had my hands full with very project-y baking lately. I haven't had much time leftover for the random batch of cookies-for-when-the-mood-strikes-you.

And sometimes you need to make a random batch of cookies just because the mood strikes you, you know?

I had one of those moods yesterday and these cookies made with just one handful of ingredients (peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt) very much fit the bill. They're whipped up in minutes, bake up in no time and manage to scratch that very particular itch for something chewy, sweet-salty and delicious. They're best made with commercial peanut butter, not natural. They're flourless, making them perfect for that gluten-avoidant person in your life, but also just as delicious if you're not avoiding gluten. I added chocolate chips because I saw Chika do it and while I rarely attain any level of Chika-ness in my baked goods, this was one triumphant moment where I could. And the sprinkle of flaky salt on top is a must must must because without the salt, they veer too much into peanut butter cup territory, whereas the salt sort of slaps them into a slightly more grown-up posture. (Slightly.)

Flourless Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made a half-batch and I made pretty small cookies, just two inches, really, and I'm very glad I did so - these cookies pack a punch and I think they're best enjoyed in small amounts. But the recipe is easily doubled if you need a larger quantity or larger cookies. This recipe is hugely popular online, so maybe most of you already know about it! If so, forgive me! This is for the ten people out there who haven't yet. Much gratitude goes to Deb, who did the arduous work of converting the original recipe to grams. Eagle-eyed readers among you will notice that in the recipe below there are only gram measurements and not cups. This is because it is a hassle and a half to measure out peanut butter and I would like to encourage you to use your scale more often! This is the perfect example of a recipe in which a scale is far preferable to other forms of measurement.

Also! If you have an ice cream scoop for scooping cookies, this is a good time to use it! It will make your cookies look prettier than my misshapen little lumps up there. 

Finally! One final note! Before you go! Of course, these cookies are lovely when still eaten warm, and it is hard to resist, I know. The whole point of the recipe is to make cookies quickly so you can have them in your belly quickly, right? But believe me when I tell you that the completely cooled cookies are MORE DELICIOUS than the warm ones! I don't know why! They get caramelly and fudgy and the chew is more irresistible and the salt notes hit differently and I'm telling you, if you can, WAIT to eat these. Or eat them warm, fine, but save some for the next day because you'll be so happy you did.

Note: This post includes affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you purchase through them, at no cost to you. I use affiliate links only for products I love and companies I trust. Thank you.


Ovenly's Flourless Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: About 18 small cookies
Note: These can be made with different nut butters, but won't hold their shape as well. The recipe is easily doubled.
Print this recipe!

170 grams light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
225 grams smooth peanut butter (processed, not natural)
Handful semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
Coarse-grained sea salt, to finish

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the light brown sugar and egg until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then the peanut butter until smooth and completely incorporated. The dough will thicken up as you whisk. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Scoop or spoon the dough into mounds and place on prepared sheet. Sprinkle the cookies lightly with coarse-grained sea salt. Bake cookies for 14 to 15 minutes or until the edges are just golden. Remove from the oven and place the sheet on a cooling rack for 10 minutes to let them firm up. Then transfer the cookies directly onto the rack. The cookies will keep in an airtight container for a few days.

David Lebovitz's Gluten-Free Chocolate Tahini Brownies

Gluten-Free Tahini Brownies
Beep. Boop. Hello. I thought maybe you could use a panful of brownies today. Couldn't we all?
I have been looking forward to telling you about these brownies. For a very long time, I am more than chagrined to admit, I couldn't quite grasp the concept of tahini in baked goods. Tahini, in my limited mind, just wouldn't budge from its savory pedestal, where I associated with falafel or grain salads or maybe a nice little yogurt sauce, but nothing more. How terribly basic, I know!
Luckily, one day this past fall, a friend brought me a tahini chocolate chip cookie and who knows why this particular cookie flipped the switch, but it did. I ate it, the nutty richness flooded my mouth, the heavens opened, angels sang, etc etc. Oh, it was a wonderful moment. (2020 was also the year I finally learned to love halva, so who knows, I guess I'm a late sesame bloomer.)

In case you are still looking for a gateway into the world of baking with tahini, you must start with these brownies, which are a combination of these two recipes: David Lebovitz's and Bon Appétit's. They are gluten-free, yes, made with cornstarch instead of flour, which makes them fudgy and chewy as can be, and you will love them even if you're not avoiding gluten, pinky promise. A tablespoon of tahini is beaten into the batter, bolstering the texture a bit, and then the remaining tahini is mixed with syrup and marbled throughout.
I am usually agnostic when it comes to nuts in brownies, but I feel quite strongly that they are non-negotiable here. You can use walnuts, pecans or almonds, but they must be toasted. Must! The recipe below calls for 1/2 cup of nuts, for those who are just dipping their toes into nutty brownie territory, but if you like nuts in your brownies, you can bump it up to a full cup.
Once baked, the sandy tahini swirl, the warm crunch of the toasted nuts and the deliciously fudgy crumb of the brownie all add up to create a spectacular treat that is surprisingly sophisticated for something as crowd-pleasing as a brownie. I never cut these babies larger than 16 little squares, because they pack quite a punch. Even Hugo, who is a purist and a traditionalist when it comes to brownies, loves them. I hope you do too.
Next up, miso cookies?
Gluten-Free Chocolate Tahini Brownies
Makes 16 brownies
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter
8 ounces (225 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons tahini, divided
3 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch
1/2 cup (70 grams) almonds or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup or agave syrup
1. Line an 8-inch (23 cm) square pan with parchment paper and let the paper come up to the rim of the pan to function as a sling after baking. Preheat the oven to 350º (180ºC).
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat on the stove top, stirring constantly until smooth.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs and salt. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of tahini and the cornstarch.
4. Scrape the chocolate mixture into the bowl and whisk vigorously until completely smooth, for about a minute.
5. Fold in the nuts, if using, then scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
6. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons tahini with the brown rice or agave syrup. Dollop this mixture over the top of the brownie batter, then swirl through the batter with a knife or skewer.
7. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the brownies feel just set in the center. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from the pan and cutting into squares. The brownies will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Homemade Chocolate Treats for Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

In case you might still be looking for a last-minute treat to bake for your darlings, here's a little round-up of my favorite chocolate delights that are, for the most part, easy to whip up with what you've got in your pantry already (or that you could get on an emergency run to the store or gas station, if you live in Germany where stores are closed on Sunday).

I'm still undecided on what to make, though I'm leaning heavily towards these tahini brownies. Better get cracking!

French Chocolate Cake

Evelyn Sharpe's French Chocolate Cake - This is the best nearly flourless cake I know. Rich and intense, it's definitely for grown-ups.

Devil's Food Cupcakes

Karen DeMasco's Devil's Food Cupcakes - Gorgeous little cupcakes with a thin cap of chocolate icing and a cream middle. A lovely baking project and sure to please your littlest Valentines.

Malted Chocolate Cake

Jane Hornsby's Malted Chocolate Birthday Cake - This may be labeled birthday cake, but if you bake it in a heart-shaped pan instead, hey presto, you've got an easy, totally satisfying chocolate Valentine's cake. Don't skip the frosting!

Chocolate Toffee Cookies

Barbara Fairchild's Chocolate-Toffee Cookies - Imagine a brownie-like cookie, but stuffed with bits of crunchy toffee and walnuts. I know.

Double Chocolate Cookies

Bret Thompson's Double Chocolate Cookies - These excellent cookies call for a whopping 1 1/4 pounds of chocolate.

Intensely Chocolate Sablés

Deb Perelman's Intensely Chocolate Sablés - Easy to whip up with what are probably staples in your pantry. I recommend adding a drop of peppermint extract to the dough to make Thin Mint facsimiles.

Belgian Brownies

Le Pain Quotidien's Belgian Brownies - These tender, almost creamy little cakelets come from the way-back depths of the blog, but have definitely held up over time.

Cocoa Brownies

Alice Medrich's Best Cocoa Brownies - This is basically the only brownie recipe we ever use, because it's easy and classic and reliable and never fails to satisfy everyone.

Bittersweet Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

Ashley Rodriguez's Bittersweet Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting - The brownies are good on their own, but the silky swaths of peanut butter frosting on top take these into total romance territory.

Shauna Sever's Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle


Aaaaaand, it's naptime again, which means it's time for another blog post written on the fly! (Cue lots of cartoon dust clouds and "peee-ow" acceleration noises as your heroine's fingers fly on the keyboard.)

I don't know about you, but my pantry is full of all sorts of things that routinely stump me when I open the door (here's looking at you, wasabi powder). Hidden among the cans of beans and glass jars of flours (and the wasabi powder) are various sweeteners that have made their home way home with me over the years, like brown rice syrup, two half-empty (what gives?) bottles of agave nectar, and various shades of brown sugar. I never really know what to do with them and I confess that the "clean eating" brigade actually put me off alternative sweeteners for years.

Enter Shauna Sever's Real Sweet, a cookbook about recipes made with all kinds of natural sugars, from coconut sugar to brown rice syrup, from muscovado sugar to maple syrup, from piloncillo to agave. Sort of like Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain, Shauna's emphasis is on teaching you about the different flavors, textures and properties that these sweeteners impart to cakes, cookies and other confections. It's not a healthy or "clean" baking book, just so that we're very clear from the start. It's a fantastic collection of really delicious treats, impeccably tested, written with humor and geared towards both child-friendly treats and sophisticated desserts. The book is organized around these treat categories, rather than the sweeteners, but there's a good index in the back that allows you to choose a sweetener and then see all the related recipes grouped there.


Shauna, who is my sweet and hilarious friend, has two young children, and clearly knows a thing or two about developing Grade A playground treats. But she doesn't dumb down any of her recipes and the book is filled with neat little fillips that elevate all of the recipes into Truly Special territory. The raspberry yogurt popsicles, for example, require lemon peel and vanilla bean, which make them deeply delicious for big and small alike. Shauna's also such a baking pro that the book is stuffed with all kinds of informational gems about baking that I've applied to other recipes with outstanding results. There are lots of hidden tips that will make you a better baker and a more confident one, too. Shauna even managed to develop two recipes for meringue (one soft, one crisp) and a recipe for confectioner's sugar without processed white sugar. Amazing.


I don't know about you, but it's very rare that I end up making more than a handful of things out of any particular cookbook. With this book, though, I can't seem to stop baking from it. I've made everything from tart blueberry fruit leather (agave syrup) to a soulful orange-vanilla pound cake (made with demerara, the batter beaten so long it resembled a gorgeously tan cloud by the end) to a buttery brittle topped with mixed seeds (brown rice syrup - and a candy thermometer, don't try this without one!) to those aforementioned raspberry yogurt popsicles (again, agave syrup) and I have several more recipes bookmarked to make this month alone. (If you must know: the Banana Butterscotch Cream Pie with evaporated cane juice, the Sunflower Seed Nuggets with coconut sugar and the Cracklin' Maple Popcorn with maple syrup, turbinado sugar, plus some molasses.)

The recipes were easy to follow, worked just as written and produced great results. I especially loved that nothing was too sweet or cloying. Shauna got the balance of flavors just right in everything. Shauna really understands the different flavors that these alternative sweeteners provide, as well as the textural things they can achieve (or not) and the recipes reflect it. She didn't just plug in brown sugar for white in a standard recipe. She really developed a whole slew of new recipes around the flavor of each sweetener.


Though I loved everything I made from Real Sweet, my very favorite is actually worth the price of the book (it's also the only thing I don't have a photo for; apologies!): Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle. This stuff is...well...insane. You make a thin chocolate chip cookie batter, then spread it out all over a baking sheet. Once it has baked and cooled, it hardens into a thin layer that you break apart into rich, buttery shards that taste like a heavenly mashup between the crisp bits of a chocolate chip cookie and a Skor bar (or any chocolate-covered hard toffee). It's delicious. It's ridiculous. You will not be able to stop eating it. ASK ME HOW I KNOW.

Thanks to Shauna, I no longer have any agave syrup in my pantry at all, but I do plan on never being without turbinado or coconut sugar again. And I love that I now have uses for maple syrup and honey beyond our weekend pancakes or Hugo's breakfast yogurt. Best of all, I'm a better baker because of it. Real Sweet will be on my shelves forever.

Note: This post includes affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you purchase through these links, at no cost to you. I use affiliate links only for products I love and companies I trust. Thank you.

Shauna Sever's Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle
Adapted from Real Sweet
Makes about 3 dozen 3-inch pieces

14 tablespoons/200 grams unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup/200 grams turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups/250 grams all-purpose flour
1/2 cup/60 grams finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
3/4 cup/130 grams chocolate chips (50-70% cacao)

1. Heat the oven to 350F/180C.

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar together. Don't let the mixture come to a boil. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk for 1 minute, until the mixture is thickened and smooth and no longer appears separated. Whisk in the vanilla and salt. Stir in the flour until well incorporated. Stir in half the nuts, if using.

3. Scrape the dough out onto an unlined sheet pan and pat it into a very thin, even layer with your hands. It won't look as if you'll be able to fill the entire pan, but you will; just keep patting and spreading the dough all the way to the edges. Use an offset spatula to give the dough a smooth finish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and remaining nuts, if using, over the the dough and press them lightly into with your hands.

4. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through, until light golden brown and slightly firm to the touch all over. Let cool in the pan for 3 minutes. Line a second sheet pan with parchment paper. Flip the slab of brittle onto the paper and then immediately peel off the parchment and invert it right side up onto a cooling rack. Cool completely. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container for at least 5 days.

Gerhard Jenne's Bittersweet Brownies with Cranberries

Brownies with cranberries

Drowning as I am in cakes and cookies and sweet breads, I have absolutely no business - none! - making brownies on my day off. But I couldn't help it! I'm sorry! It's just that I was looking through a book that a British publisher sent to me last year (written by a German baker living in London) when something on page 141 called Boston Brownies caught my eye.

Now as you know, I have spent many a year in Boston, both as a child and a college student, and I have never, in all that time, heard of a Boston brownie. (Have you?) I had to read a little closer. My interest was piqued! Turns out that Gerhard Jenne, inspired by the fresh cranberries he discovered on a trip to Massachusetts, decided to pop a bunch of them in a brownie batter. The result - sort of like an American take on the Black Forest Cake of his youth - was so good he put the recipe in the book.

I was intrigued. I was also a little skeptical. I mean, fresh cranberries? With chocolate? (Also, er,  Anglo-German brownies?) The recipe looked really easy, though, and it was Sunday and I happened to have frozen cranberries in the freezer, so I decided to go for it and I am here to tell you now that these brownies are amazing.


Bittersweet brownies with cranberries

You all. The brownies themselves, made with a mix of bittersweet chocolate and cocoa, are incredibly fudgy and dark with a gorgeous crackling crust. So the recipe would be a keeper for that alone. But the addition of the cranberries is, in fact, totally inspired - the sour, fruity pop against all that rich, dark chocolate is really delicious. We took the brownies to tea at our friends' house, where we each ate two pieces (Hugo included!) and then the men each ate a third while I tried to distract Hugo from demanding more by throwing myself on the floor and pretending to be a car. (It worked!)

In conclusion:

A.The world does need another brownie recipe.

B. Fresh cranberries in brownies are brilliant.

C. Anglo-German bakers have got the brownie thing figured out.

Oh, and furthermore! Do not repeat my dunderheaded mistake of always leaving the pan of brownies wherever I bring them. Make sure to keep a few for yourself the next day or you will regret it. Speaking from experience. Ahem.

Gerhard Jenne's Bittersweet Brownies with Cranberries
Adapted from Deservedly Legendary Baking
Makes 16
Note: The original recipe calls for 200 grams of chocolate and only 1 tablespoon of cocoa, but I didn't have enough chocolate in the house that day, so I made do with what I had and upped the amount of cocoa. I loved the result, so that's what I've listed below.

3 eggs
1 1/3 cups (275 grams) sugar
6 1/4 ounces (175 grams) butter
6 1/4 ounces (175 grams) dark chocolate (54 – 60% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces
1 1/3 cup flour plus 1 tablespoon (175 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 1/4 ounces (175 grams) fresh cranberries

1. Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper.

2. Break the eggs into a mixing bowl, then whisk in the sugar until frothy. Set aside.

3. Put the butter in a pan and melt over medium heat until it has completely melted and small bubbles are just beginning to rise to the surface. Turn off the heat, add the chocolate, and stir until melted.

4. Whisk the eggs and sugar again until pale and frothy, then whisk in the chocolate mixture until well combined. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and stir gently with a spatula until there are no white streaks remaining. Add the salt. Fold in the cranberries. (If you're using frozen, this will cause the batter to seize up slightly, so work quickly.)

5. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and even the top. Bake for about 25 minutes, then take the pan from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.