Monday, 23 June 2008

Cocoa-rich Brownies with Raspberries

A chocoholic's dream: dark cocoa-rich brownies and tart, seasonal raspberries. Growing up in Norway, we always baked cakes, muffins and brownies with unsweetened cocoa powder - an economical, under-rated ingredient which adds a dark, bitter chocolate flavour to baked goodies. I find using cooking chocolate can make these brownies too rich, but some prefer brownies that way. At any rate, these brownies are perfect for summer when raspberries are at their ripest, of course during cooler months one could always use frozen raspberries...

Serves lots of greedy chocoholics

Preheat oven to 180ºC, line a long, 20cmx30cm rectangular cake tin with greaseproof paper/baking parchment

  • 400g sugar
  • 250g butter
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 7 tbsp cocoa powder - green & black's is great
  • 4 eggs
  • 2-3 tbsp strong coffee or 1 shot espresso
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 150-200g raspberries
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, sift in the cocoa powder and stir until fully incorporated. Add the coffee/espresso and vanilla and set aside

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and fluffy (ca.5-8 mins). Fold in the cooled cocoa-butter into the eggs, stir through briefly with a large metal spoon being careful not to knock all the air out. Sift the flour and salt in to this mix and stir through until it looks even

Finally, add the raspberries and stir 2-3 times to distribute them. Spoon the mix into the long rectangular baking pan and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The surface of the brownie mix should feel slightly soft to the touch, and have a dry, paper-thin crust. If you're uncertain, check with a skewer to see if any wet mixture remains, if not the brownies are ready. Resist the temptation to bake the brownies for too long otherwise they dry out and become rather hard

Allow to cool before slicing into squares. Eat as they are or serve them with a dollop of fromage frais, creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream. These also freeze well for future use...

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