I hope 2016 started off well enough for all of you folks. While everyone has been organizing End of Year parties and dinners, my work colleagues from the Gynecology & Obstetrics Unit decided it would be a better idea to host a ‘Start of Year’ Luncheon. It was quite stressful to get everything together within the short span of time we had [being on call every 4 days did not help] but with all the team work and fusion of creative minds, I think we did a pretty good job with the mojito-style drinks, menu, hall décor and table set-up, right down to the ‘rosy speculums’.

The appetizers and main dishes had been pre-ordered from a nearby restaurant whereas dessert was 100% home made by myself. Baking a total of 7 Tres Leches cakes within a single night was no easy feat and to my relief, they were well received by the 100+ guests gathered in our Conference Hall. To get over the Tres Leches overdose, I baked this relatively healthy batch of cherry brownies from Epicurious. With a good measure of oats, cherries and dark chocolate, these little squares make a nice lunchbox treat for those resuming school this week.

DARK CHOCOLATE CHERRY BROWNIES

Ingredients:

1 cup quick cooking white oats

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon kitchen salt

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1/4 cup white granulated sugar

1/4 cup light muscovado sugar

2 teaspoons finely ground coffee

2 eggs, room temperature

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup cherries, chopped

Method:

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with cooking spray or line with baking paper.
  • In a bowl, whisk together flours, cocoa, baking powder and salt with wire whisk and set aside.

  • In another bowl, beat butter, sugars and coffee with an electric mixer on high for 30 seconds.
  • Add in the eggs one at a time; beat well on medium until thick mocha-colored mixture forms.

  • Add yogurt, vanilla and chocolate chips; beat on low till just combined. Add the flour mixture.
  • Beat on low until thick batter forms. Pour into the baking dish and top with chopped cherries.

  • Bake until edges are slightly firm but center is soft for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool it briefly in pan.
  • Turn out on a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes before cutting into squares. Makes 12 pieces.

Cherries & Dark Chocolate