Sunday, 13 December 2009

Chocolate, Chestnut and Fig Brownies

Decadence can only marginally describe this brownie. The recipe was created by Khalid Asyb, formerly of Ottolenghi. The brownie is rich and sumptuous, with a chocolate consistency that marries truffle with fudge. The figs soaked in brandy (in this case Calvados, which was what I had) and the chestnuts give the brownie more of a chew.

Brownies should come out covered with lots of gooey crumb but not dry crumbs, and musn't be the type of wet mix you started out with. It should be thicker and sticky to the touch, with a tendency to set once its cooled down. The brownies should have risen a little bit but the surface must be totally dry. If it looks oily, dab it with thick paper towels to soak up the oil or grease once it cools. These brownies should be served after meals in tiny squares with good coffee (Turkish would complement it well) or tea (a bitter tea like Iron Buddah would balance the rich/sweetness of it). I made these for Tasha and my office colleagues (she requested fudgy rich chocolate). Happy birthday Tasha!

225g dark chocolate
150g unsalted butter
2 free range eggs
1 free range egg yolk
45g caster sugar
120g cooked peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped
120g dried figs, stalks removed and finely chopped
120g white chocolate, roughly chopped
cocoa powder for dusting

190g digestive cookies
90g unsalted, melted

150C preheat oven. Grease 20cm x 20cm tin pan.

For base, place biscuits in bowl and crush with your hands. add melted butter and mix until paste. Set it on tin pan and flatten it down, then put in fridge to keep cool.
Melt dark chocolate and butter in heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and leave to melt, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from heat immediately.
Use electric mixer to whisk eggs, yolk and sugar together until thick and pale.
Soak chopped figs in brandy for 10 minutes, then drain.
Chop white chocolate.
Chop chestnuts.
Gently fold chocolate mixture into eggs.
Followed by chopped chestnuts, figs and white chocolate.
Spread evenly over biscuit base and bake in middle of shelf of the oven for 15-20 minutes. A skewer inserted into it should come out with lots of gooey crumb. Make sure you do not go beyond this point.
Leave to cool then refrigerate for a few hours until set.
Take foil out of tin pan, slice into small squares and dust lightly with cocoa powder. Let them come to room temperature before serving.

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