The sun is shining in Newcastle and we can finally dust off the barbecue and join the alfresco eating craze that seems to be sweeping the rest of the country. But, along with mountains of sticky ribs, honey roasted chicken drumsticks and haloumi skewers we need something sweet to satiate our ever demanding dessert tummy. Thanks to Levi Roots' excellent sunshiney book Caribbean Cooking Made Easy, I have found the perfect garden sweet treat, Caribbean Brownies. Take a pretty normal brownie recipe, add ginger, pecans and the special ingredient rum, yes rum and you've got yourself a special Caribbean brownie treat! Delicious.
So, what are you waiting for. Drag your barbecue to the patio, give your garden furniture a wipe down and have yourself some fun in the sun.
Caribbean Cooking Made Easy
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a 30cm x 20cm/12in x 8in, deep-sided cake tin with greaseproof paper.
Bring a little water to the boil in a pan, then reduce the heat until the water is simmering. Suspend a heatproof bowl over the water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water). Add the chocolate pieces and butter to the bowl and stir until melted and glossy. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar using an electric whisk until pale, fluffy and thick.
Add the melted chocolate mixture and rum, if using, then whisk again until smooth and well combined.
Carefully fold in the flour, using a metal spoon. Add the pecan nuts and stem ginger and fold into the mixture, then pour the brownie batter into the prepared cake tin.
Transfer the brownies to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch but a skewer inserted into the centre of the brownies comes out slightly sticky. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly in the tin.
When the brownies have cooled slightly, cut them into 18-20 squares or triangles and carefully remove from the tin. Pile onto a plate and dust with icing sugar, if using.