Oat BrowniesPosted: October 16, 2015
Something simple and delicious for you this week which is also, my favourite detail, hugely adaptable. Confession: calling this a brownie is probably a bit of a liberty, especially if you’re a purist/expert like my sister. Nevertheless it is moist, richly in flavour, with the oats giving both texture and satisfaction. It can also be wheat free – gluten free if you like – containing just a tablespoon of regular flour. I’ve made it with white flour, gluten-free flour, barley flour, potato flour, more cornflour…honestly, the quantity is so small, it doesn’t really matter, it’s just there to soak up any excess moisture. Because it is so dry , adding an extra tablespoon of cocoa is probably the most delicious alternative.
The other unusual aspect is the dairy element. I’ve made it with cream cheese, fat-free quark, and curd cheese, just to see what effect each had on the texture. I was surprised to find that the curd cheese made it rather firm – too firm to be a brownie, but not hard enough to be a flapjack, but the texture of the brownie made with quark was almost as tender as the one made with cream cheese. If you’re not a fan of overly squidgy brownies, you can also firm up the end product by using a pan of larger dimensions, thereby spreading the mixture thinner. Totally your call.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t an all-singing, all-dancing, bells-and-whistles showstopper recipe. However, alongside another perennial favourite recipe – Jamjacks – it’s simple, quick, delicious, and can be made with ordinary ingredients you probably have in your cupboard/fridge.
And that’s a winning combination.
NB I don’t have an overly sweet tooth, so the quantity of sugar is on the low side. Add an extra 50g if you like. I’ve merely listed ‘flour’ below, so you can add whatever you have to hand/prefer. Same with the milk and butter.
150g steel-rolled oats
1tsp baking powder
200g soft cheese – cream cheese/quark/curd cheese
100g butter – melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg
150g caster sugar
- Warm the milk until almost boiling, then add the oats and set aside to soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C Fan.
- Grease and line a baking tin of dimensions 20cm x 20cm x 5cm (roughly, within 2-3cm is fine).
- Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.
- Mix in the cheese, followed by the rest of the ingredients.
- Lastly stir in the oats and milk.
- Pour into your prepared tin and smooth over.
- Bake for 1 hour. After 30 minutes, turn the tin around and cover lightly with either baking parchment or foil, to prevent the edges from getting scorched.
- Cool in the tin.
 Who still gave it a solid 7 on her scale of Brownie Excellence!
 Using gluten-free oats, obvs.
 Which is why, if you want to Chocolatize™ anything by adding cocoa, you then need to remove an equivalent quantity of flour, otherwise you’ll alter both the texture and taste of your bake.
 I made my own curd cheese (only because no shops nearby sell it), with vegetable rennet and rich Jersey milk, drained it exceedingly well, then pressed it under a weight, so it was very dry. Deli curd cheese might be less dry.
 If you like them squidgy, you could bake for a shorter time – I suggest 45-50mins.