Saturday, 29 January 2011

Chocolate for Teachers - Chocolate Brownie Heaven

Here is the recipe I chose to celebrate being with good friends in a new house, a birthday and three inspirational educator saints (Angela Merici, Thomas Aquinas and John Bosco)  to help me get through my first month back in the classroom. Read about those who inspired it here. Enjoy :)

Raspberry and Amaretti Chocolate Brownies

250g finest chocolate (go Green and Black's or Divine, 70% min.)
300g golden caster sugar
250g butter
3 eggs, plus one extra egg yolk
60g plain flour
60g finest quality cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
about 5 or 6 Amaretti biscuits
two big handfuls of fresh raspberries

You need a baking tin, about 23cm square. I lined mine with greaseproof paper, and buttered it well before I started anything else.

Preheat the oven at 180C. In a big bowl mix together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk. You need to get it light and fluffy, so keep going until it changes to a nice light colour slightly, and becomes soft and creamy. Meanwhile, break 200g of the chocolate into a small bowl, and suspending it over a bowl of water, gradually melt it over a low heat. Alternatively use a microwave - very modern. Chop the remaining 50g of chocolate into small gravel sized pieces, and leave them to one side. Crush the Amaretti biscuits to about the same size too.

Break the 3 eggs into a bowl, and add the extra yolk. Mix them together a little. Add them slowly, bit by bit to the butter and sugar mixture. Whisk well. Sift together the flour and cocoa mixture, add the baking powder and pinch of salt. Once all the eggs are added and well mixed in, fold in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Do this with a large spoon, slowly, keeping the air in the mixture. Finally, add the small chocolate pieces, the fresh raspberries and Amaretti biscuits.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin, smooth the top, and bake in the oven for about 30 mins. The brownies will rise slightly, but will look soft in the middle. To test to see if the are done, pierce with a fork, if it comes out sticky, but not with raw mixture attached it is done. If there is still raw mixture, pop it back into the oven for a few more mins. The brownies will solidify as they cool, and this is worth thinking about as you do the test. Once completely cool, slice the brownies into 12 equal slices. Serve with ice cream, or cream or both!

You can make a cheats raspberry sauce to show off. Get a good quality raspberry jam, and in a little cup add a teaspoon of hot water to a tablespoon of the jam. Mix together until a decent dripping consistency and then make artistic designs on white plates before placing the brownies onto them! :)

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