Good evening everyone, I’ve got an exciting recipe to share with you, and it’s mine! The lovely people at Mackays sent me a selection of jams to try from their range, one of which was spice ginger. I’ve got another exciting recipe to share soon too, using their strawberries and champagne preserve. I have also found an incredible use for their blackcurrant jam, overnight oats! Adding 2 tsp of it, with it’s juicy whole blackcurrants, is a taste sensation, and everyone who has had it in my house loved it!
Here are a few facts about Mackays (as taken from their website):
- The temperate climate in Scotland allows for the fruit to be grown for longer, resulting in stronger flavours. We only ever use whole berries in our preserves, for a great tasting product.
- We only use the finest quality ingredients in our preserves and marmalades. All our bitter oranges for our marmalades come from Seville – the home of the marmalade orange.
- Rather than granulated sugar we use pure cane sugar in our preserves, marmalades and curds to make a great tasting product.
- Our steam heated copper pans use a rolling boil method. The fruit and sugar is slowly boiled allowing the flavours to be released before gradually setting.
- There are no computers or robots in our factory: only experienced artisan jam makers who know how to create a product with the special home-made taste you expect from Mackays.
While ginger isn’t my favourite (apart from gingerbread!), I thought it would go really well with chocolate; so I sat down and had a little think about it, and it went like this:
Ginger jam –> chocolate –> hmm, what reminds me of Christmas? –> chestnuts! –> alcohol is always a thing at Christmas isn’t it? hmm, Disarrano would go well! –> oo, how about some cranberries in there?! –> UREKA! A BROWNIE!
I tried this once before and it just didn’t cook properly or as desired, so after rethinking it, and trying again, they came out perfect, thick and deliciously goo-ey.
- 100 g self-raising flour
- 85 g chocolate chips (dark 70%)
- 2 tsp ginger and mixed spice jam
- 2 tsp dried ginger
- 2 tbsp disarrano/amaretto (optional)
- 75 g pre-roasted chestnuts, chopped
- 75 g dried cranberries (or fresh cranberries now they’re in season!)
- 4 large eggs
- 200 g butter, softened
For the top:
- 100 g cream cheese, beaten until smooth
- 300 g caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4. Grease a 9″ square cake tin, and line the base and sides with parchment.
- Using a freestanding mixer or hand mixer, add all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat until evenly combined; spoon the mixture into the prepared tin.
- Spread gently and evenly and level the top with the back of the spatula or palette knife. Now, using your smooth cream cheese, spoon on top and then marble, don’t overmix or you won’t see it as it comes out of the oven!
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the brownies have a crusty top and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin and then cut into squares, enjoy and get in that festive mood!