I’ve been rubbing this cake, its luscious batter and the impossibly moist texture, in the face of my poor Instagram-Story followers in the past weeks. I had many requests for the recipe so here it is!
This “Scandalous over-nutted brownie with white chocolate squares” has been inspired by one of the most prolific and creative recipe creators there are: Emma Knowles, food and style director of Gourmet Traveller.
I met Emma at Megan Morton’s School in Rosebery where I took an unforgettable Food Styling course. For shooting purposes she had made two massive brownies which were to die for.
The recipe was supposed to be in the Big Chocolate Special Issue of Gourmet Traveller but the one I found there had different ingredients so I decided to recreate this masterpiece, picking my own ingredients. The idea was to make it the ULTIMATE BROWNIE.
The cooking time is very important. There is nothing worse than a dry brownie, which is unfortunately the case of 99% brownies you eat in brownie stores or restaurants.
This one needs to be cooked for maximum 25 mins at 180°C. Don’t cook it more. It needs to be lusciously moist. When you insert a skewer it should come out with some uncooked cake on it, but not too runny.
See what I mean by moist?
Also, I fell in love with Bridget Bodenham‘s ceramics which I discovered at the Big Design Market in Sydney. I even made a little stop motion with her plates for the fun of it. She told me she loved it which made my day :)
See these golden polka dots??? Marvellous….
On the first photo at the top you can see the stack of brownie slices glistening with honey. Well… it was only for the photo… I don’t serve it with honey but what I wanted to show is that I very often enrich my chocolate recipes with a bit of good honey. It gives it a richer taste that I love.
This works for cookies, ice-creams and custards.
I add honey, big spoon or a squeeze, after the chocolate was melted and mix.
One of the ideas I stole from Emma’s brownie is the use of salty nuts. I couldn’t believe how delicious it is. She chops hers coarsely, I use my whole, and she spreads them on a baking tray over baking paper and roasts them for a few minutes, then adds a bit of salt.
I use salty pistachios, un-blanched almonds, roasted peanuts (salted or not), pine nuts, macadamias, walnut, Brazil nuts, pecan nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, etc. Sometimes all at the same time, but I mostly use whatever I have in my cupboards. It’s the ideal cake for all these littles packets of left-over nuts from previous recipes.
An important thing is to avoid at all costs any nut that doesn’t taste perfectly right before roasting. Any rancid taste will remain after roasting. Just chuck them, they will never be good.
The other thing that I copied from Emma’s killer recipe is the large chunks of chocolate. I used white here and milk in my previous one. So they’re not too overwhelming, I break every square in two. It’s still super chunky but more balanced I think.
So your turn now. Here is the recipe of the Scandalous over-nutted brownie, as promised. It’ll definitely not end up in the diet chapter of this blog but it’s totally worth the naughtiness…
NOTE: this post is not sponsored.
- 400g dark cooking chocolate
- 250g butter (a bit more for mould)
- 1 tsp of good rich honey
- 200g assorted nuts (almond, peanut, brazil, cashew, pine, macadamia, pecan, pistachio, walnut) use all of them, or some, or one only.
- 1 pinch of good coarse salt (fleur de sel would be ideal). Avoid fine salt as it will dissolve and defeat the purpose of an isolated salty touch. Keep a pinch for the final touch if you want.
- 250g brown sugar (or white but it's not as good)
- 5 eggs
- 170g plain flour
- 1 tsp Dutch cocoa powder (optional)
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 bar of white or milk chocolate (180g to 200g) broken in squares and then each square broken in two.
- Mould 24x34cm
- Heat oven at 180°C.
- Coarsely break the chocolate bars in a microwavable bowl. Add butter. Microwave for 1 min, then another 1 min and more 30 sec sessions if needs be. When butter is melted and chocolate is soft, add honey and mix with a spoon or spatula drawing figure 8 in the bowl. It's the best way to mix smoothly.
- Spread nuts on a tray covered with baking paper. Bake for 6 mins. Cover with a pinch of salt crystals when still hot and mix.
- In a large bowl, mix eggs and sugar until combined.
- Add chocolate (not too hot). Mix well.
- Sieve flour, baking powder, cocoa over the mixture and stir until combined but not too much.
- Tip nuts (keeping a handful for the top) and white (or milk) chocolate demi-squares.
- Butter mould.
- Pour batter in mould, sprinkle with the handful of nuts and a little bit of salt crystals.
- Bake for 25 mins, not more!
- Eat with crème anglaise, custard or ice-cream.