Sunday, 17 October 2010

Coconut and Ground Cherry Blondies

I'm harvesting ground cherries (Physalis pruinosa) every time I get the chance these days.  It's not an easy job as they are ready only when they have fallen to the ground and they do this over a period of several weeks.  Now the days have drawn in, I can't get to our plot very often, so many of them are rotting in situ.  Harvesting generally means gingerly picking up what look to be the recently fallen and hoping that you don't get a slimy mess or a handful of slugs.  Because we have had a lot of dry weather recently, this task has been made easier and I have managed to accumulate a tidy number.  This is the second batch of blondies I've made using ground cherries: the first were in far too small a tin, so neither the dough nor the ground cherries got much in the way of baking and ended up being almost unappetising.  Thankfully, neither CT nor I are easily put off by raw cake dough.  Anyway, the idea was too good not to try again and this time I sensibly used a larger tin.  I took the blondie recipe I made last year and adapted it to use coconut flour and ground cherries.

This is how I did it this time:
  • Melted 3oz unsalted butter with 100g white chocolate (Green & Black's) and left to cool slightly.
  • Whisked 6oz vanilla sugar (use 1/2 or 1 tsp vanilla extract instead depending on how vanillary your chocolate is) with 2 duck eggs until mixture was very thick and pale.
  • Stirred in chocolate mixture.
  • Stirred in 4oz flour (spelt wholemeal), 2oz coconut flour and 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt.
  • Added 3oz ground cherries
  • Poured into a buttered 20 cm x 25 cm tin and baked at 180C for 20 mins.
  • Left to cool then cut into 12 squares.
Thankfully, they turned out well; they had a satisfying state of squidginess about them, with a nice crisp top and just about cooked through.  Suelle at Mainly Baking would have approved as these turned out to be about an inch thick, which she considers to be the optimum thickness for a brownie.  The coconut complimented the ground cherries which have a hint of pineapple about them.  In turn they gave a delightful tartness to offset the sweetness that the white chocolate brought to the mixture.  This is a good news story for ground cherries as we now have another way to eat them.  Last year I used them to make muffins and an upside down cake.  Having just revisited these two recipes, I think I'd better make them again too.

29 comments:

  1. Nice combo Choclette. I love cherries in chocolate but have never thought of ground cherries; only dried cherries.

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  2. These look delicious - I love blondies and the idea of adding the ground cherries. I have a feeling the blondies are quite addictive :)

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  3. Ground cherries? - I'm thinking what's a ground cherry? - a mushroom? a cherry that's fallen to the ground? something wild and foraged I've never heard of? So I googled it - thank the Lord - you mean physalis!
    phew... so now I know how scrummy these must be...

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  4. This osunds like new and great combination though cherries with dark chocolate is my fav, curious to try it a try

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  5. Thanks Gillian, cherries should not be confused with ground cherries - they're nothing like each other really except for the size. These are a type of physalis similar to, but not the same as cape gooseberry.

    Lucy - I think you're right, blondies are indeed addictive, but then so are brownies.

    Liz, sorry about the confusion, I've now put the latin name on the post. These are similar to cape gooseberry but not the same - different taste, different colour. Also known as cossack pineapple. Easy to grow and will often self seed.

    Ananda - cherries and dark chocolate are very nice, but these aren't true cherries.

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  6. These look wonderful - Great combination!

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  7. Lovely sounding combination & they look fab too!

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  8. I had to look up ground cherry too. I've never heard of them, but tasting like a cape gooseberry- I'd love to try it.
    Looks good.

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  9. Thank you for the idea, it is very interesting! And I've got a question))) You use duck eggs in your recipes. It is, because they are tasty? In Russia we put hen eggs in different dishes.

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  10. Delicioso!

    Beijos
    Carol

    http://cozinhando7.blogspot.com

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  11. I've never heard of ground cherries. They sound interesting but unlikely to be found in our concrete back yard :-(

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  12. You had me at "coconut" - looks amazing. Love the sound of ground cherries having a hint of pineapple...sounds like a win-win!

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  13. I've often wondered what they were called, I've seen them many times in the supermarkets and never knew what to do with them. Now I know.

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  14. Good Lord, is it ground cherry time again? Is it really a year since you were last making ground cherry cakes? Time flies. These look delicious.

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  15. Interesting - have never used ground cherries in baking (or any other kind of cooking, come to that!). I like the idea...

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  16. is a ground cherry like a 'Lincolnshire Oyster'? (a potato)... love the idea of using fallen fruit for food... chocolate scmocolate!

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  17. Lucy & Lila - thank you. I'm tucking into one as I type and I can confirm that it is a good combination.

    CityHippy - they are a good permaculture plant - almost grow like a weed, prolific and easy to prepare. Would probably do well down your way.

    Rafaella - duck eggs are meant to be better than hens eggs for baking cakes - have a look at my post on duck eggs
    http://choclogblog.blogspot.com/search/label/Duck%20Eggs

    Carol - thank you

    Johanna - they would be just the thing for your backyard. Grown in a pot and the fruit would fall on concrete so easy to harvest, less likely to rot and harder for the slugs to demolish!

    CC - and another win - they are tasting even better today.

    Bakelady - the ones generally found in supermarkets are cape gooseberries and somewhat different to these. I've never tried them in cooking, but don't see why they wouldn't work.

    Sushma - if you ever do try them, let me know how you get on.

    Kath - a very scary thought that, but yes one year on and it's flown by even faster than previous years :(

    Aforkful - they work particularly well in crumble.

    Dom - do they look like a potato? Feel a bit dubious about making potato cakes, but maybe I should give them a go - with CHOCOLATE of course.

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  18. Hey : )

    I love your blog so I gave you an award

    http://thesecludedteapartyshhh.blogspot.com/2010/10/well-then-what-week-so-far.html

    Have a fab week : )

    Miss Sue Flay
    x

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  19. Intriguing. Minimal food miles too, nice!

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  20. I can't add a comment to your about page, so I am using this post instead. Just to say I like the About Page. I am very impressed by the early start in bread making.

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  21. I do envy you your wee patch of garden - must be great to bake with food you have grown yourself. These blondies look fab!

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  22. Sue - thank you. Very kind of you to think of my blog, much appreciated.

    Oxslip - it is a sad fact that much as I'm into low food miles, my blog specialises in something that can never be local!

    Kath - oh thank you for reading it and for being so sweet. Wasn't at all sure if I should have an about page or not and even less sure about what to put on it. Feel rather reassured now.

    Chele - I wish we did have a wee patch of garden. We are very lucky to have a bit of someone's field, but it's not desperately handy to the house. But you're right, it's great to use fresh produce you've grown yourself.

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  23. Choc, I've never heard of ground cherries before. Thank you! I'm going to look them up now..

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  24. Your blondies look perfectly baked, and I've never seen blondies that incorporate fruit. A nice change!

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  25. Celia - it's a great but underutilised fruit which I'm glad to spread the word about.

    Les reves - thank you. Eating the last one right now and it's still good.

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  26. Great idea to use the cherries in a blondie. The coconut flour sounds like a very appetizing idea as well. I am going to have to keep my eye out for the flour at the stores. I really want to try that!

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  27. I'd never heard of ground cherries... at first I thought you meant dried cherries, pulverised to a powder! :-)

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  28. Bridgett - the coconut flour is great for use when baking with either fruit or nuts.

    Wendy - rather like your idea of cherry powder, I could definitely use some of that.

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