Brownies His Way

These brownies are stupidly good!

I used to dislike pistachios, but after having the most fantastic chocolate mousse with pistachios at Aquila in Bristol I found a new love for them.

Martin, a guy I work with at Anthem Publishing has an unhealthy obsession for brownies (or any baked goods really) and Beau, the new man in my life has a love for pistachios. So after receiving a copy of The Artful Baker written by Cenk Sömezsoy from Abrams and Chronicle at work, I just knew this had to be the first recipe I tried from the book!

Cenk’s pictures are absolutely stunning, whilst mine leave a lot to be desired. Despite my Journalism degree and my average camera skills, I am yet to invest in some good kit and so I apologise for the somewhat uninspiring image.

IMG_6328

Makes 25 tiny brownies (or around 9 large ones!)

Recipe:

Brownie:

  • 12 tablespoons (6 ounces; 170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into large pieces, plus more for pan
  • 8.8 ounces (250 grams) bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup (93 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (25 grams) Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (2 grams) fine sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

Topping:

  • 5 ounces (140 grams) bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (45 grams) whole blanched pistachios, coarsely chopped (and toasted, if desired)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (20.5-cm) square baking pan. Line the pan with two overlapping strips of parchment paper that are the width of the pan bottom and long enough to cover the bottom and sides with 2 inches (5 cm) of overhang on each side. Butter the lower parchment to secure the top sheet.
  3. In a medium heatproof bowl set over a medium saucepan filled with 2 inches (5 cm) of barely simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally with a silicone spatula. Remove the bowl from the pan and let cool completely, stirring occasionally.
  4. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a medium bowl.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or I used an electric hand whisk), beat the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is pale and thick, about 4 minutes. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat at medium speed until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and beat at the lowest speed just until incorporated.
  6. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the sides with a spatula, reaching down to the bottom to incorporate any unmixed dry ingredients. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with a small offset spatula.
  7. Bake on the middle shelf until a paper-thin crinkly crust forms on the surface of the brownie, about 25 minutes. A wooden toothpick inserted into the center should come out with thick, gooey batter clinging to it. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. As the brownie cools, the center will sink slightly.
  8. Using the parchment overhang as handles, lift the brownie out of the pan, peel away the parchment, and transfer it to a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
  9. To make the topping, in a medium heatproof bowl set over a medium saucepan filled with a few inches of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally with a spatula. Remove the bowl from the pan and let cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Scrape the melted chocolate onto the center of the brownie and spread it evenly over the top, allowing it to cascade over the sides. Scatter the pistachios over the top. Refrigerate, uncovered, until the topping is firm, about 1 hour.
  11. Using a cake lifter, transfer the brownie to a cutting board. Warm the blade of a large knife with a kitchen torch or under hot running water (wipe dry before using) and cut the brownie into 5 equal strips in each direction to make 25 squares, wiping the blade clean with a damp paper towel between cuts and rewarming it as needed. Serve cold.

Storage: The brownies will keep, wrapped airtight, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

These went down an absolute treat in the office! I’m not the best at following recipes, so with the topping I just chopped as many pistachios as could fit on top!

The recipe is from The Artful Baker: Extraordinary Desserts From an Obsessive Home Baker by Cenk Sönmezsoy (Abrams, £40)

9781419726491

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