Last year when I was too poorly to cook, I would sit and create new flavour combinations and recipe ideas in my head, that I could try once back in the kitchen. I added to my list whenever inspiration struck and two recipes were easy winners: my gin and orange cake (the buttermilk sponge has been a real winner with Andrew) and spiced fig brownies.
Spiced fig was a real mash up of random happenings at the time. 1- I was eating fig rolls for the first time in ages and remembering how delicious figs are. 2- I didn’t make Christmas cake for the first time in years and wondered if there were any other use for mixed spice or if it were destined to sit in the cupboard for another year.
I then went down a fig worm hole- fig brownies, fig in salad, fig with yoghurt. Ooh fig porridge was a good winter brekkie too! A good dried fig is, it turns out, a sweet treat.
I decided that a little crunch texture wouldn’t go amiss and chestnut and figs are natural bedfellows. Buy chestnuts vacuum packed and chop roughly.
It was when making these spiced fig brownies that I discovered the thermostat in my oven is broken. I’d been burning lots of food but I put it down to clumsiness post op, and the need for a new element (granted they were hanging off). But when new elements didn’t stop the burn, I decided to buy an oven thermometer. It’s 20c hotter than the setting 🙁 In a way I’m glad- I seriously wondered if I’d lost my baking prowess. It does mean that I am having to go back through here and recheck recipes. I strongly recommend anyone who bakes gets an oven thermometer – they are only cheap but can save a whole lotta heartache.
I’ve honestly run out of ways to try and photograph brownies which make them different from any other brownie pic on here! So you will just have to take my word for it when I say that they are more tasty than they are photogenic! My brownies are all in one place in my ultimate brownie guide if you fancy the lowdown on the squishy stuff.
An unusual flavour combo for a brownie, but once you have tried it, you won't look back!
- 275 g dark chocolate chopped into small pieces
- 125 g unsalted butter cubed
- 3 medium eggs
- 250 g soft dark brown sugar
- 80 g Greek yogurt I use 0%
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 80g plain / all purpose flour
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 175 g dried figs I use Whitworth Smyrna figs
- 150 g roast chestnuts roughly chopped
Line a brownie tin.
Preheat oven to 170c.
In a food processor or stand mixer, mix together the eggs, sugar, yogurt and vanilla until light and airy. I use a processor and leave it to mix for at least one minute. Leave for 2 mins in stand mixer.
In a bain marie or bowl over a gently simmering pan of water, melt together the chocolate and butter. Ensure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
Add the chocolate to the sugar and mix well.
Add the flour, spice and baking powder and mix briefly until just blended. Pour in a splash of milk - just enough to loosen the mixture.
Stir through the figs and chestnuts - do this by hand if you are using a food processor.
Tip into the prepared brownie pan and smooth over the top.
Bake for approx 35-45 minutes until a cake tester comes out almost clean.
Remove from the oven and cool for at least 30 minutes before gently removing from the tin and leaving to cool on a rack. Slice when cold.
If you can't find chestnuts, try roughly chopping hazelnuts instead.
Begin to check your brownies around 35 mins - sometimes they take longer, sometimes shorter.
My baking tray is 27cm x 18cm. For smaller/deeper trays this recipe will need slightly longer. For bigger / shallow trays, reduce the cooking time down.
My fig obsession continues….hit me up with your fig-based ideas!