Little Chocolate Cherry Brownies and a Charity Bake Off

15 Oct

Every year we run a charity bake-off “bake master” which is a little spin on the TV series Masterchef.  The idea is for each team to come up with  a theme, bake away and raise as much cash for the chosen charity of the year!  This year it was The Fred Hollows Foundation which is a charity which helps to restore sight to disadvantaged communities in Australasia and Africa.  This year we raised just short of $5,000 which is pretty amazing.

Fred Hollows

Fair to say though, this is no ordinary bake off, it is highly competitive with prizes for the best table and theme, and the best cakes, slices, savoury and biscuits….. Australian Country Women’s Association eat your heart out!!  But a little friendly competitiveness never does anyone any harm.  Especially when our team bought home three prizes… ( who said I was competitive!) including best table for “circus theme”…

There was however one complaint, one lady was very upset that I did not submit my chocolate cherry brownies, so I have finally got around to making them this weekend – bit late I know but I will know better next year!  And I thought I would share some photo’s of the winning stand (done on a budget of $20, begging from small children’s toy boxes and left over props from previous years) and my version on a Jamie Oliver recipe.

Little Chocolate Cherry Brownies

(this makes a lot so I usually half the quantities)

175g unsalted butter
200g good quality dark chocolate
100g dried sour cherries (available from delis and fruit and veg stores)
75g cocoa powder – sifted
100g plain flour – sifted
1tsp baking powder
300g caster sugar or golden caster sugar
4 large eggs

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c and line a 20cm by30cm baking pan with baking paper.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water ( be careful not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the water), stir gently until smooth and then add in the cherries and carefully remove from the heat.

Mix together the cocoa, flour, sugar and baking powder and mix this into the chocolate meted mixture.

Once combined, beat the eggs and add this to the mixture.

Pour the mix into the tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, you want the outside to be springy and the inside a little gooey so it should not come clean away from a skewer when you stick one in.

Allow to cool in the tray for thirty minutes ( while you enjoy the aroma of chocolate) and then move on to a board and cut into bite size pieces……

Grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy

Thanks for stopping by the circus….. on with the colourful journey


Posted by on October 15, 2012 in Cookery


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9 responses to “Little Chocolate Cherry Brownies and a Charity Bake Off

  1. EverydaySparks

    October 15, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I LOVE this idea, BCD! And I can see why your circus table won – looks fab. Is this a workplace thing? If so, how many people work at your place – the table is chockers! Those clown cupcakes are brilliant, I’m adding them to my memory bank for future birthday parties. And thanks for the recipe – a combo of two of my favourites…and I’ll interpret your direction for cutting into ‘bite size pieces’ in my own way… 😉

    • birdcagedesign

      October 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      Yes it is a work place thing, we used to have loads of little morning teas throughout the year which everyone felt cost more than we actually made so now we have an annual bake off which gets the competitive streaks flowing and the numbers are much bigger with about 7 tables. We have had a couple of “Sepia” pastry chefs and the lady who owns Sparkles cup cakes judge so pretty serious stuff!! The cupcakes are great aren’t they one of the EA’s made them ( they did not last long!). P.S Bite size pieces means that you just need to have a dozen bites!!!

  2. livingsimplyfree

    October 15, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Chocolate and cherries is a win any time, those brownies look delicious. Any chance you can send some to me through the computer? 🙂 I love the display you had with the circus theme. And Congratulations on raising so much money for such a worthy cause.

    • birdcagedesign

      October 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      I wish I could teleport them to you…. they are really easy to make though! 🙂 Thank you for your lovely comments it is a very worthy charity, although there are always too many worthy causes to choose (fortunately I do not have to make that decision!)

      • livingsimplyfree

        October 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm

        There are plenty of worthy causes which is actually sad when you think about it. But the number of people who actually care enough to help shows me there are way more good people than indifferent/or bad people out there. In my family, outside of charities for children, we give most of our money to Muscular Dystrophy as it’s what I was born with.

        • birdcagedesign

          October 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm

          Hopefully they will find a cure for you soon? Yes it is always those things that are close to home, and there are some good people out there who care enough to keep trying to make a difference, and if they need me to cook cherry brownies I am more than happy to do so! (although I do have a bit of a one for them one for me policy when baking so i could start get a little overweight!:-))

  3. Spencer Samaroo

    October 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Now that is my idea of Heaven! I would have loved to have been the judge taster!

  4. marsellaj

    October 16, 2012 at 10:34 am

    What a wonderful idea, display and recipe. I wish I could have been there.

    • birdcagedesign

      October 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      There is always next year, if you are in Sydney in September let me know!


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