For any of you who were wondering-Don’s coping just fine without me. He’s been cooking up a storm at home- fish pie, beef stew with dumplings (with dumplings!), Thai green curry, the best pasta bake ever made in the world (the man’s own words) and these chocolate and raspberry brownies. It was not supposed to be this way. He was supposed to struggle and live off of the frozen packages that I left him. He was supposed to call for directions on reheating and sheepishly admit that yes, he did order another pizza in. He wasn’t supposed to thrive in my absence!
He made these brownies with a mate and in two weeks time he’s having a dinner party- a dinner party! I’m a afraid to come home! What if I don’t fit into my little slot in our home. What if we fight over who gets to cook dinner or whose spaghetti bolognase is better!? What if he decides he doesn’t need me around anymore!? Well, at least I know my little fish needs me- I know he’s not getting fed as often as he’d like.
The only comforting thing I can think of right now is these raspberry and hazelnut brownies. They are sensational, if I do say so myself. But what recipe with three bars of Green & Blacks 70% cocoa chocolate isn’t sensational? Melted down with butter so their fudgy and dense, bound with a smattering of toasted ground hazelnuts and then dotted with sweet and sour tasting raspberries and it’s hello, lover.
Can I even call these brownies? You probably won’t ever see them piled on a cake stand. No, no you’ll probably scoop it straight from the tin, and don’t be surprised if you feel an overwhelming urge to hide yourself away with the whole batch and a spoon. Best to whip these up with a partner in crime to prevent any rash behaviour.
Raspberry & hazelnut brownies
Oh how I love these brownies- so rich so gooey so, so unbelievably full of pleasure. Loosely based on Nigel slater’s very good chocolate brownie recipe.
Diet facts: more like diet heaven. Gluten free
250g/ 8 1/2 oz 70% cocoa chocolate, chopped
175 g/ 6 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
150g/ 2/3 cup caster sugar (US granulated is fine)
100g/ 2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts
50g/ 1/2 cup cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
170g/6 oz punnet small raspberries (not frozen)
1/ Heat the oven to180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a 23cm/9inch square baking tin with parchment paper so that it comes up over the edge at two opposing sides.
2/ Separate 50g/2 oz of the chocolate and set aside. Place the remaining 175g in a glass or ceramic bowl and put in the microwave for 5o-60 seconds (depending on strength of your microwave). Remove and stir until all of the chocolate has melted. If it does not fully melt in a minute then put back in the microwave in 10 second increments. Set aside. Alternatively you can do this over a double boiler.
3/ In the bowl of an electric mixer (or by hand) beat the butter with all but 1 Tbsp of the sugar with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
4/Meanwhile, in a mini food processor, grind the hazelnuts and 1 Tbsp of the sugar, using the pulse button until fairly fine. Add the cocoa powder and salt and pulse again just to combine.
5/ Add the eggs, a little at a time beating until incorporated over a medium-low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between each egg. Stop the mixer and pour in the melted chocolate. Put the mixer on low until the chocolate and butter mixture are just combined.
6/ Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the hazelnut/cocoa/salt mixture until barely combined. Gently fold in the remaining chopped chocolate and raspberries. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly- leveling the top with the backside of a spoon or off-set palette knife.
7/ Bake for 25 minutes, no more. At this point the brownies will be set only around the edges and they will be slightly pulling away from the sides of the tin. The middle will still liquidy (have faith!). Allow to completely cool before cutting (or spoon out if serving for dessert) and store in the fridge.