Somewhere between a cake and a bar – but easier than either – this lemon brownie slice is a great little pick-me-up with a cup of tea. By winter berries, I mean that they are from the freezer – blueberries or raspberries work best, but you could also leave them out altogether. For textural interest, scatter some flaked almonds on top of the mixture just before it goes into the oven. These brownies keep well if you wrap them loosely in baking paper, then kitchen foil.
200g plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp salt
250g unsalted butter, cut into large dice
300g castor sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
100ml lemon juice
3 small eggs, lightly beaten
120g blueberries or raspberries, frozen (or fresh)
icing sugar to dust
1. Preheat oven to 170C fan-forced (190C conventional).
2. Line a 20-centimetre-square cake pan with baking paper, allowing an overhang of 4-5 centimetres – this will make it easier to remove the brownie when cooked.
3. Sift flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
4. In a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and lemon zest. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine; don't be too vigorous as the butter will splatter. Continue to heat, stirring until the mixture is smooth, shiny and hot (but not boiling) – about 2 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and use a hand whisk to beat in the lemon juice, followed by the eggs. Pour the mixture into the sifted dry ingredients and whisk lightly until just combined.
6. Scrape mixture into the prepared pan and scatter the berries on top. Place in the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges begin to come away from the sides and the top is golden brown. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
7. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cake rack (about an hour) before lifting it out of the tin. Sieve over some icing sugar, then slice into squares or rectangles.