There was a bit of a When Harry Met Sally moment when the cake tin was opened to reveal these beauties in the break room at work the first time I took some in. The groans were absolutely indecent! Hungry Hubby also took a batch in for his workmates to try and they were demolished quick time and even one colleague without a sweet tooth loved them, said they were his favourite yet.
When it comes to creating or even just choosing a brownie recipe there are a few observations I’ve made over the years of brownie eating that govern the final result. I’ve long been on record for saying that I believe there to be a brownie for every occasion and I stand by my word. These ones have a rather fabulous combination of a crinkly top, a hint of chew that goes along with it but underneath, oh my, underneath is a semi-solid fudgy belly that makes these brownies a complete dessert in, and of themselves. I mean, I’m sure I’m not alone in loving a scoop of ice cream or some fridge cold double cream on my brownie, am I?
The way you get this result is to use a relatively high proportion of sugar compared to the rest of the ingredients – that gives a characteristically crinkly top. It would also give the brownie chewiness through and through if it weren’t for the melted butter (rather than beating it with the sugar), using molasses dampened muscovado sugar (rather than just white caster sugar) and also using fresh, juicy raspberries which cut any sweetness from the little bit of extra sugar whilst adding moisture to the final bake.
Another secret tip for increasing the goo factor in your brownies is to allow them to cool down just a touch on a baking rack, but to put them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes thereafter to stop any further cooking, although you would have to overcook these brownies for a long time to end up with cakey brownies!
The only thing I urge you not to do is use frozen berries straight from the freezer – they cool the temp of the batter down too much and it takes forever to get the middle cooked, risking overcooking the edges. And as always, I use an oven thermometer on the same shelf as I plan to bake on as with brownies, you need the right temp to get them baked to perfection – I think everyone must have pulled out a puddle of goo or a pan of chocolate cake because your devious little domestic oven has betrayed the dial! They are so cheap I recommend everyone should buy one – it will improve your baking significantly.
Now, go have yourself a moment with a Chocolate & Raspberry Brownie. Perhaps not in polite company though as you are about to emit some pretty rude sounding groans of pleasure… ;)
- 200 g soft butter
- 100 g caster sugar
- 175 g light brown muscovado sugar
- 225 g fresh raspberries
- 4 large eggs
- 140 g plain flour
- 175 g melted dark chocolate
- 50 g chopped dark chocolate chips or dark choc chips
Line an 8x10 inch brownie tin with greaseproof paper or foil. You can use a 9 inch square tin without the cooking time being significantly different.
Preheat oven to 180˚C.
Melt the sugars, butter and 175g chocolate in a saucepan on low heat. Cool for a few minutes.
Beat in the eggs, sit over the flour and fold in.
Stir through the raspberries and the reserved chocolate (I quite like sprinkling the extra chocolate over the top before baking but you may want the chips in the batter to provide molten little nuggets when baked).
Bake for 45 minutes in centre of the oven - check at 40 minutes by wiggling the pan. It shouldn't wobble at lot and the top will be slightly puffed, crinkly and dry to touch. A skewer with come out with damp crumbs attached when it's baked, rather than covered in raw batter.
Cool on a rack for 15 minutes then to maximise the fudgy goo, put in the fridge to stop further cooking and leave the brownies very unctuous in the middle. I doubt you'll be able to leave them more than half an hour before you dive in!
I like 48-52% cocoa Callebaut dark chocolate - it's just dark enough without any bitterness.
If you use frozen raspberries, thaw at room temp in a sieve and gently dry off with paper towel before using - frozen berries will prevent the brownies cooking enough (goo is good but raw brownies aren't so much, and frozen ones lower the temp too much).