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Borough Belles: Catherine Slinn

Categories: Reflections and opinions

The Borough Belles, Borough Market’s neighbourhood branch of the Women’s Institute, is packed with keen cooks, happy to share their ideas and insights. This month: Catherine Slinn

Catherine SlinnI’ve been a Borough Belle for a couple of years now, and a committee member for about a year. As part of the committee I’ve done all kinds of things: from sourcing our lovely members’ bags, to running a hand cream making workshop at the Garden Museum and writing some of our blog posts—and of course baking the occasional treat for our meetings!

I absolutely love fresh cherries, so when they’re in season I treat myself to them as often as I can. If you want a decadent way to enjoy the current glut of local Kent cherries, you can’t go wrong with a chocolate brownie.

Rich and dark, and very simple to make, the cherries give them a tangy edge. My addition of ground almonds and chestnut puree create an extra fudgy texture and the vanilla softens the dark chocolate a little. Mouth-watering!

Dark chocolate and cherry brownies

Catherine’s dark chocolate and cherry brownies
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line an 18cm square tin with baking paper. Put 100g chopped dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water for about 5 mins, until melted. Remove and leave it to cool slightly.

Put 100g softened butter and 200g light, soft brown sugar in a bowl and whisk until light and pale. Gradually beat in 2 large free range eggs, then add 75g plain flour and 25g ground almonds and stir in 2 tbsp chestnut puree, 1 tsp vanilla extract and melted chocolate and mix until smooth.

Fold in 150g fresh, pitted and halved cherries and pour the mixture into the tin. Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool completely in the tin before turning out and cutting into 16 squares. Dust with icing sugar.