Cheesy as it may sound, some matches are made in heaven. Like cheese and wine… that’s cheesy enough, right? Sauternes and foie gras… Lobster and drawn butter… Another winning combination: chocolate and raspberries. They work together to awe your palate in a tantalizing way. And that is the match I offer today delivered in the shape of Raspberry & Chocolate Brownies. I found this recipe in a book I bought after Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories delicately twisted my arm. Amazing what we do to please a fellow food blogger. Yeap, going against my nature and unshakable will power, I purchased a cookbook. How could I not? Karen said it was her favorite cookie book, and she knows her way around baking. Obviously, I had no choice. Anyway, the book is called quite simply Simply Sensational Cookies, and I have three words to say about it: you need it.
RASPBERRY– BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE CHUNK BROWNIES
(reprinted with permission from Nancy Baggett’s Simply Sensational Cookies)
Nancy’s thoughts on the recipe: I tried teaming up raspberries and chocolate in brownie recipes several times in the past, but they weren’t nearly as fruity or fudgy as these beauties. They are dark, as rich as candy, and burst with berry and chocolate flavor.
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 cups (about 11 ounces) coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate, divided
1⁄2 cup good-quality unsweetened natural or Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted after measuring
1 cup granulated sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1⁄4 cup very finely chopped freeze-dried raspberries (see comments)
1⁄4 cup seedless raspberry preserves
1⁄2 teaspoon raspberry extract
1 cup unbleached all-purpose white flour
Heat the oven to 350 F and position a rack in the center of it. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil; let the foil slightly overhang on the two opposite sides. Grease the foil or coat with nonstick spray.
In a large microwave-safe bowl with the microwave on medium power, melt the butter and 1 cup chopped chocolate, stopping and stirring every 30 seconds, until the chocolate mostly melts. Stir until completely melted. Vigorously stir the cocoa, sugar, and salt into the chocolate mixture until smoothly incorporated, free of lumps, and cooled to warm. Vigorously stir in the eggs, then the chopped raspberries, raspberry preserves, and raspberry extract. Stir in the flour until the batter is smooth and shiny. Lightly fold in the remaining 1 cup chopped chocolate. Put the batter in the pan, spreading evenly to the edges.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges are just pulling away from the pan sides and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean except for the bottom 3⁄4 inch, which should still look moist and gooey. Transfer to a wire rack until cooled to room temperature. Refrigerate the brownie slab for at least 45 minutes so it will cut more neatly. Using the overhanging foil as handles, lift the slab onto a cutting board. Peel off and discard the foil. Using a large sharp knife, cut the brownie crosswise and lengthwise into quarters to yield 16 bars; or cut as desired. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the blade of buildup between cuts. Let the brownies warm up to room temperature before serving.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: Nancy suggests that if you object to the seeds in the freeze-dried raspberries, you can pulverize them in a food processor and sieve out the seeds. I did not do that, and thought the brownies turned out perfect, with some little chunks of raspberries peeking through them. If you prefer a smoother texture, you can get rid of the seeds.
I really love this cookbook! It is divided in the following chapters: Extra-Easy Cookies, Drop Cookies, Hand-Shaped Cookies, Rolled Cookies, Brownies and Bars, Slice & Bake Cookies, Biscotti, Semisweet Crisps, Savory Cocktail Cookies, Cookies-in-Jars Mixes, No-Bake Cookies, Semi-Homemade Cookies… and a few more general chapters on techniques and finishing touches. Each recipe starts with quick general notes. For instance, for the brownies I shared today she added: Fairly Easy One-Bowl, one-spoon mixing. Gourmet taste with easy technique. Exactly right. My only modification of the recipe was to omit the raspberry extract, because I did not know if what they had available at the store was good enough quality. I often hear that extracts can ruin a recipe unless you get the very best. For my taste, the brownies were perfect, they had a distinct raspberry flavor thanks to the use of freeze-dried fruit and the preserves. She suggests a chocolate ganache to top them, but I decided to keep them simple. They were very rich, definitely can stand on their own without gilding the lily. Fantastic recipe, two thumbs up!
Nancy, thank you for giving me permission to publish your recipe! I gave a Kindle copy of your book to one of my nieces in Brazil, the one who got all the good baking genes in the family, and she fell in love with it too… And of course, thanks Karen for bringing this cookbook into my radar…
To order your copy of Simply Sensational Cookies, click here.
(No, I am not going to make a single penny out of your purchase, I recommend it because it is a great book).
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