Choco­late, Earl Grey and honey-ganache brownie

SERVES 14-16 // PREP TIME 30 MINS // COOK 30 MINS (PLUS COOL­ING, IN­FUS­ING, CHILLING)

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Food -

“You could ar­gue that no one needs yet an­other brownie recipe, but this one is rather spe­cial,” says Lee. “In­spired by a David Everitt Matthias recipe, it is deeply choco­late flavoured, yet light enough to in­vite re­peated spoon­fuls. Dress it up with shards of hon­ey­comb, co­coa nibs and maybe some thick cream, or serve it sim­ply as is, and not too cold, to al­low all the flavours to bloom.” Be­gin this recipe about 8 hours ahead. 2 eggs

150 gm brown sugar

150 gm un­salted but­ter, coarsely chopped

240 gm dark choco­late (51%-55% co­coa solids), chopped 20 gm co­coa pow­der, sifted

½ tsp bak­ing pow­der

60 gm buck­wheat flour

40 gm nat­u­ral al­monds, roasted and crushed

Ca­cao nibs and dou­ble cream (op­tional), to serve

GANACHE

250 gm dark choco­late (68%-70% co­coa solids), finely chopped

270 ml pour­ing cream

Finely grated rind of 1 orange (berg­amot orange, if avail­able)

2 tbsp loose leaf Earl Grey tea (see note)

½ tsp agar agar (see note) 60 gm (2 tbsp) honey ⅓ ti­ta­nium-strength gela­tine leaf, soft­ened in cold wa­ter

HON­EY­COMB

165 gm (¾ cup) caster sugar 60 gm (2 tbsp) honey 1 tbsp liq­uid glu­cose

1 tsp bi­car­bon­ate of soda

1 Grease a 23cm round spring­form pan and line base and sides with bak­ing pa­per.

2 Pre­heat oven to 190°C. Whisk eggs and brown sugar un­til thick and pale (4-5 min­utes). Melt but­ter, choco­late and ½ tsp salt flakes in a heat­proof bowl over a saucepan of sim­mer­ing wa­ter (don’t let bowl touch wa­ter). Fold choco­late mix­ture into egg mix­ture, sift in co­coa, bak­ing pow­der and flour, add al­monds and fold to com­bine. Trans­fer to pre­pared tin and bake un­til puffed and a skewer in­serted with­draws with wet crumbs (20-25 min­utes).

Cool (1½-2 hours), then re­move bak­ing pa­per lin­ing the sides and level top of brownie with an off­set pal­ette knife or a spat­ula. Re­frig­er­ate un­til needed.

3 For ganache, place choco­late in a tall heat­proof con­tainer suit­able for use with a hand­held blender. Bring cream to a sim­mer in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Re­move from heat, add orange rind and tea, stand to in­fuse for 5 min­utes, then strain through a fine sieve. Re­turn cream to saucepan, bring to the boil, then add to choco­late. Whisk agar agar and 300ml wa­ter in a small saucepan to com­bine. Whisk­ing con­tin­u­ously over medium-high heat, add honey and ¼ tsp salt flakes un­til a rolling boil, then re­move from heat. Squeeze ex­cess wa­ter from gela­tine, add to pan and whisk to com­bine. Pour honey mix­ture over choco­late mix­ture, and blend with a hand-held blender on low speed un­til just com­bined (be care­ful not to over-aer­ate). Strain through a fine sieve over brownie and chill un­til set (3 hours, or overnight).

4 For hon­ey­comb, grease a 23cm x 13cm loaf tin and line with bak­ing pa­per. Place sugar, honey, glu­cose, ½ tsp salt flakes and 50ml wa­ter in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat, stir­ring to dis­solve sugar, then boil, swirling oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til syrup reaches 154°C on a sugar ther­mome­ter (about 4 min­utes af­ter boil­ing; hard crack stage). Re­move from heat and whisk in bi­car­bon­ate of soda (be care­ful, hon­ey­comb is hot and will foam up). Work­ing quickly, pour hon­ey­comb into pre­pared tin and set aside to cool and set (45 min­utes to 1 hour). When cool, break into shards with the tip of a knife. Hon­ey­comb will keep stored in an air­tight con­tainer for 3 days.

5 Bring brownie to room tem­per­a­ture (an hour be­fore serv­ing). Gen­tly warm sides of tin with a blow­torch or a hot, damp tea towel and re­move brownie. Top with hon­ey­comb and ca­cao nibs and serve with cream. (A hot knife will make it eas­ier to slice.) Brownie will keep in an air­tight con­tainer for a week.

Note Lee rec­om­mends Mariage Frères Earl Grey French Blue tea, avail­able from La Belle Mi­ette (la­bellemiette.com.au). Agar agar, a set­ting agent de­rived from sea­weed, is avail­able from health-food shops and Asian gro­cers.

All props stylist’s own. Ke­fir scones & choco­late brownie

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