Easy Bakes: Cherry Fudge Brownies and Chocolate Muffins

Baking has become a hobby for many over lockdown, but it can often feel daunting. These two recipes were my introduction to baking, are easy to follow, and only take 15-30 minutes. Baking is a great stress-reliever, so hopefully these treats will brighten your day!

Chocolate Muffins

Everybody’s got a sweet tooth!

Let’s start with a classic: muffins. Originally designed to make 9, it really depends on how much you fill your bun cases.

Ingredients

  • 100 grams plain chocolate
  • 170 grams plain flour
  • 25 grams cocoa powder
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 150 grams brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 250 millilitres milk

Equipment

  • 1 muffin tin
  • At least 9 muffin/bun cases
  • 1 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon
  • 1 mixing spoon
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 measuring jug
  • 1 whisk

The Recipe

  1. Line a muffin tin with bun cases, however many you wish to make. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Break the chocolate into small chunks.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in the sugar and the chocolate chunks, then make a well in the centre.
  3. In a measuring jug, beat the eggs and oil until foamy, then gradually beat in the milk and vanilla. Pour into the well and stir until just mixed (it’s important not to over-mix). Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, filling each no more than three-quarters full.
  4. Bake in the oven (200ºC), for about 20 minutes, or until the muffins have risen and are springy to the touch. Leave to cool for about 2 minutes, then remove from the tin. Serve warm or cold.

Top Tips!

  • It is not essential to sift the dry ingredients. It improves the texture, but there isn’t such a noticeable difference unless the person eating them is a confectionery connoisseur!
  • Using a double thickness of muffin cases to line the muffin tin helps them retain their shape, but it is not crucial.
  • I recommend eating them whilst warm, as the chocolate chunks do not fully melt, and are therefore gooey and delicious!

Cherry Fudge Brownies

“The best thing you’ve ever made” ~ Deb Hodkin

This is a fun twist on the classic gooey brownie. This may take a little practice, but in the end they are chewy, dark and rich. Depending on the size you cut each brownie, this recipe makes 4-12! You don’t have to include cherries, just add (or don’t add) whatever you’d like in

Ingredients

  • 200 grams plain chocolate
  • 225 grams butter
  • 115 grams plain flour
  • 25 grams cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 200 grams caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 150 grams glacé cherries, chopped

Equipment

  • 1 saucepan
  • 1 bowl
  • Baking paper/tin foil
  • 1 medium baking tin
  • 1 whisk
  • 1 teaspoon
  • 1 measuring jug
  • 2 bowls
  • 1 mixing spoon

The Recipe

  1. Line a baking tin with either baking powder or tin foil. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Break the chocolate into a bowl, then add the butter.
These chocolate chunks are about the right size, but it can help to cut them smaller to aid the melting process

2. In a different bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. In a measuring jug, whisk the sugar and eggs until they have thickened.

This is about the right thickness, you want it so the mixture all moves together as oppose to a watery liquid texture

3. Set the chocolate and butter bowl over a pan of simmering water; do not let the bowl touch the water. Once melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth.

The pan has a small amount of water in it; not enough to touch the bowl but not too little as to completely evaporate before the mixture as melted

4. Pour the eggs onto the chocolate mixture and fold together. Finally, fold in the dry ingredients and the cherries.

This can be tough to mix due to its density, but remember that the chocolate could potentially set if you don’t mix quickly enough!

5. Turn into the prepared cake tin and bake in the oven (180ºC), for 25 minutes. Test with a knife or fork (or cocktail stick); it should not come out clean, but the brownies should not appear raw. Remember they will continue to cook as they cool. Leave to cool before cutting into portions.

Here I cut 9 pieces, but I could’ve cut more or less

Top Tips!

  • This recipe can take a couple of tries. My first attempt went brilliantly, but on the second I slightly burnt the brownies. It’s important to stick at it, the end result is worth it!
  • There’s a certain knack to recognising when to take the tin out of the oven. For me, it’s when the mixture doesn’t excessively wobble.
  • Be careful not to over-mix. I did this once and the end result was very dense, and meant that the dry ingredients (cherries and chocolate chunks in this case) had sunk to the bottom of the mixture.

If nothing else, I hope you try and bake something! There are plenty of videos on the Student Life site about baking, so if these recipes fail to take your fancy, I direct you to there!