foolproof show stopper: chocolate raspberry brownies

chocolate raspberry browniesLast week, a last minute birthday lunch meant I needed a quick dessert for a chocolate loving birthday girl. As always, I found one in my trusted GoodFood magazine: these chocolate raspberry brownies are so easy to make and judging by the mmmmh’s that kept coming they were a big hit!

Get started by heating the oven to 160 C. Line a 20×30 cm baking tray with baking parchment. If you don’t have a baking tray, just use an oven tray or roasting tin, anything that can go in the oven will work, just make sure to line it with baking parchment. Put 200 g dark chocolate (broken into chunks), 100 g milk chocolate (also broken into chunks), 250 g salted butter (if you don’t have this, just use unsalted butter and add a good pinch of salt) and 400 g soft light brown sugar in a pan and gently melt, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon (you really need that much sugar, it’s surprising but true, I tried with less but ended up adding all of it anyway). Remove from the heat.

Stir 4 eggs, one by one, into the melted chocolate mixture. Sieve over 140 g plain flour and 50 g cacao powder and stir in. Stir in half of 200 g raspberries and scrape into the tray. Scatter over the remaining raspberries and bake for 35 min. Cool before slicing into squares. Enjoy while listening to You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate!

Brownie time

BrowniesA favourite the world over and always a crowd-pleaser at parties: I had every reason to make brownies! To add a little crunch, I slightly adapted Lorraine Pascale‘s recipe from Baking Made Easy. Several people already asked me for the recipe, so here it is:

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper (take a bit piece so it overlaps on the sides, that way you can easily lift the brownies out of the tin). If you don’t have a square tin, just use a round one. It will look a bit different, but taste just as great!

Put 165 g of butter and 200 g of dark chocolate (broken into chunks) in a bowl and melt in the microwave in 25-second blasts, stirring well each time. Whisk 3 eggs, 2 egg yolks and the seeds of 1 vanilla pod (or 2 tsp of vanilla extract) until they begin to get light and fluffy (takes about 5-10 min). Add 165 g soft light brown sugar in two additions, whisking between each. Pour it round the side of the egg mix so as not to knock out the air. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes stiffer and the mixer leaves a trail in the batter. Now pour the melted chocolate in (again round the sides) and add 2 tbsp plain flour, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, a pinch of salt and approx 154 g of biscuits broken into pieces (Lorraine suggests Oreos, but I don’t like those, so I used ChocoPrince instead – I’m sure any digestive biscuit with or without chocolate and/or cream will be fine. If you prefer, you can substitute the biscuits for toasted walnuts or pecans as well). Stir until fully combined (check the bottom and center of the dough well to make sure all the flour and butter got mixed in) and pour into the prepared tin. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 min until the top starts to look dry. Leave to cool in the tin (the top will sink and crack a little). Lift out the tin using the baking paper and cut into squares. For smoother cutting, heat your knife under the tap of hot water. Enjoy!!!