If you came to see our head chef Jean Michel Raynaud's demonstration at the Smooth Festival of Chocolate here in The Rocks last weekend, you would have seen the incredible time and technique required to make his Crimson cake.
This brownie is the base layer of Crimson, and the good news is that it's the easiest part to make!
With layers of cassis (blackcurrent) mousseline, vanilla and earl grey tea brûlée, and brownie base, the Crimson cake may seem a little daunting to make at home - and that's before decorating with chocolate spray, glaze, tempered chocolate and gold leaf!! - but the message in Jean Michel's demonstration was that you can always take just one element of a complex recipe to make and enjoy, like this delicious brownie. Taking a little extra time to make sure your butter is soft gives this brownie a texture to die for; soft, crumbly, and tender. Feel free to switch the raspberries for other frozen berries; and the almonds for walnuts or pistachios.
CHOCOLATE, RASPBERRY & ALMOND BROWNIE from CRIMSON
- by Jean Michel Raynaud
280g butter, at room temperature
160g dark chocolate (70%)
225g whole eggs (4 large eggs)
280g caster sugar
5g baking powder
150g frozen raspberries
100g whole almonds
Pre-heat oven to 180C. Roast the almonds on a baking tray for 8-10 minutes, set aside to cool and then chop roughly. Sieve and whisk the flour and baking powder together, set aside. Grease and line a deep-sided brownie tray (approx. 20cm x 25cm x 4cm).
Melt the dark chocolate over a bain marie or in a microwave on 30 second bursts, stirring each time. Set aside. Place the softened butter and the melted chocolate into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Fold in the eggs, then the sugar. Lastly add the flour and baking powder mix.
Mix together the soft (not melted) butter with the chocolate to a creamy pomade, fold in the eggs, then the sugar. Finally the sieved flour and baking powder. Carefully pour into the prepared baking tray and scatter the frozen raspberries and almond pieces over the top.
Bake at 180C for about 20min or until just cooked – the surface will form a crust and a skewer inserted will come out almost clean, but not wet. Set aside to cool, then cut into squares and serve at room temperature.
Tip! The incredible texture in this brownie comes from the method of mixing butter and chocolate – it’s important the butter is about 28-30C temperature and easily whisked.
If the butter is too cold, chop into small cubes and microwave on 5 second bursts until it can be whisked, but be careful not to melt it.