A large bag of spinach, gathered from the polytunnel before I cleared the overwintered plants a week or so ago, was going a bit limp in the fridge and needed using up quickly – time to make some spinach brownies!
Here is the spinach growing in the polytunnel, with some of the new season plants waiting to be planted.
This recipe makes a lot of cake-like brownie: the spinach puree helps to make it super-moist. I used a 30 x 23 cm baking tin and American cup measures.
Preheat the oven to 180 C (or equivalent)
700ml/ 3 cups pureed raw spinach
200g/ 1 cup soft brown sugar
200g/ 3/4 cup salted butter
300g plain dark chocolate, broken into pieces (about 3 cups loosely filled)
4 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
125g/ 1 1/2 cups of cocoa powder
150g/ 1 cup self raising white flour
150g/ 1 cup self raising wholemeal flour (or plain wholemeal plus 1 tsp baking powder)
6 medium eggs, beaten (mine were from the neighbour’s chickens so were different sizes)
First of all, puree the spinach by putting it in a food processor with a little water and processing. I wanted to use up all of the spinach remaining which took 3 full food processor bowls, adding around 2 tablespoon water to each one. (Leftover spinach puree will be frozen.)
Next, put the flours, baking powder (if using) and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl.
Melt the butter gently in a pan.
Add the chocolate pieces and sugar, stirring over a low heat until melted and combined. Remove from heat.
Beat the eggs in a different bowl, add to the mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
Pour on the melted chocolate mixture and mix well.
Add three cups of the pureed spinach to the bowl.
And mix thoroughly.
Pour into a greased baking tin lined with buttered greaseproof paper.
Put in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin on a cake cooling rack for 5 minutes, before taking the cake (still in the paper) out of the tin and placing on the cooling rack until cool.
Or alternatively put the brownie on a wooden board, cut in pieces and serve warm with cream, ice cream or possibly both …!
The brownie freezes well – cut into portions and pop into a freezer bag or freezer proof glass lidded container.
Whilst this was baking, I cooked a pan full of spinach, torn into pieces, in a little water. This will be frozen to be added to soups or curries.