Recipe: cashew olive oil brownies

During the week before I left for Hong Kong, I found a recipe for pistachio olive oil brownies, courtesy of Tastespotting, that wonderfully seductive foodie site. The combination of “olive oil” and “brownie” intrigued me. For the most part, I stuck to the recipe linked above (and reproduced below), though with a few minor tweaks.

RECIPE, adapted from Passionate about Baking (original recipe from Sabra @ Cookbook Catchall): makes 8-10 servings.

Ingredients:
Dark / bitter chocolate – 100gms (broken into pieces & melt in microwave) – I used Ghiradelli 60% cacao.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1/3 cup
Flour – 1/2 cup
Rolled Oats – 1/4 cup
Eggs – 2 large; at room temperature
Caster sugar – 2/3 cup
Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
Salted cashews – generous handful, coarsely chopped (the adapted recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, but since the cashews were salted, I omitted the salt). Save some whole cashews for garnish.
Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. I’m not picky about pans, so I just used a lightly oiled, approx. 12inx4in loaf pan. Can also use a lightly oiled and floured piece of parchment paper that overhangs the pan on two sides, which aids in removal later.
  • Whisk the oil into the melted chocolate. Leave to cool.
  • Whisk together the flour + oats together in a bowl.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until pale, thickened and billowy, about five minutes. Fold in the vanilla and the cooled chocolate mixture, then fold in the flour and nuts, stirring just until everything is combined. Pour into the prepared pan and distribute evenly.
  • Bake for 22-26 minutes. The top will be dry and crackly, though a toothpick inserted in the center should emerge still a little wet.
  • Cool completely, then cut as desired.

These were fantastically successful. I thought the saltiness of the cashews gave the brownies an edgy taste…they weren’t just overwhelmingly, monotonously sweet. I also thought the olive oil lent them a pleasant, fruity scent as well.  I shared them with some folks, and got positive reviews all around.

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