Sunday, February 23, 2014

Raspberry Truffle Brownies with Aleppo Pepper Ganache

Before I say anything else, I must say this, make these brownies. They are a revelation. The root of this brownie is the all cocoa powder recipe by Alice Mendrich. Her recipe seems to be widely regarded as the gold standard with which to judge other lesser brownies. Yes, lesser. These brownies highlight the deep and rich flavorful aspects we all love in chocolate. They are oh so chewy with a perfect crust on top. The raspberry jam and ganache additions by Garnish with Lemon just make them all the more beautiful.

My clever gift

I made these brownies as a part of my husband's Valentine's Day box of spicy culinary treats. I also made guajillo kettle corn, cayenne and cranberry red pepper jam, and chocolate ghost chili almonds. To fit with the theme I spiced the ganache on the brownie with Aleppo pepper, which was the perfect addition, if you aren't afraid of a little heat. I must say I was quite pleased with myself for coming up with this creative gift for my spice loving husband. In the last five years, I have begun to surprise myself with my Martha Steward like creativity. Where did this come from? I have recently found myself drawn to crafting. Should I be concerned? My husband mentioned he thinks I may be preparing for kids down the line. So yes, concern may be warranted. Until then has anyone seen my glue gun?

Raspberry Truffle Brownies with Aleppo Pepper Ganache 
Modified slightly from Garnish with Lemon, Makes one square 8 inch pan

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
Heaping 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used my favorite Valrhona)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup raspberry jam
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream
Optional: 1 tbs Aleppo pepper flakes (cayenne would work too, use 1/2 tsp)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 8 inch pan with parchment paper enough so that it hangs over the sides.

Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a large microwave proof bowl. Heat for 1 minute and stir, heat for an additional 30 seconds, and repeat as needed until the butter is all melted. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Add vanilla and eggs to the cooled cocoa mixture and whisk vigorously. Gently stir in the flour until combined. Pour in the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center still comes away with a little moist batter. Cool on a rack.

Once cool spread jam over the top. Place brownies in the fridge, while your prepare the ganache.

Place chocolate chips and cream in a microwave proof bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until melted and combined. Stir in Aleppo pepper flakes, if using. Spread ganache over the brownies with a flat spatula.

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