Lesley Russell's food is my idea of perfection; seasonal, achievable and delicious. And with a background working in big commercial kitchens, catering and teaching cookery, she is a talent we are lucky to claim for Orange. Lesley opened the Orange Regional Cooking School in 2005 and now runs a seasonal calendar of classes and events including regular baking mornings plus themed weeknight classes matched with local wines.
I visited her cooking school a couple of weeks ago to take some photos for Lesley's new recipe cards, and also managed to take home the above scones plus a few recipes for my own files, including this one (below) for her incredible chocolate fudge brownies. More of Lesley's recipes, including one for her 'big scones' (above) can be found on her recipe page.
Lesley's Chocolate Fudge Brownies
450g dark chocolate
170g unsalted butter
400g brown sugar
130g plain flour
Heat the oven to 170C (160C fan-forced)
Grease a shallow tin approx 27cm x 20cm.
Line the base of the tin with baking paper.
Place the chocolate and butter together into a bowl and set over a pot of
barely simmering water. The chocolate and butter need to melt very slowly so it may be necessary to
take the pan off the heat and allow them to melt in their own time.
Meanwhile, place the eggs and sugar into the bowl of a machine and whisk on high speed until the mixture is thick, pale and you can see the tracks of the beater.
Take the bowl off the machine and then pour the chocolate mixture into the whisked eggs. Sieve the flour on top and then carefully fold everything together.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 35 minutes. A skewer into the centre should come out clean and the brownie will be set and may have a cracked a little on top. Allow to cool then cut into 24 squares. The brownies keep well for 3-4 days and freeze successfully.