Chocolate brownies with caramel ice-cream

Chocolate brownies with caramel ice-cream

By
From
Botanical
Serves
4
Photographer
William Meppem

These brownies are best served warm. Feel free to garnish them with whatever you enjoy with chocolate – roasted apricots, liqueur-poached cherries, caramelised bananas are all perfect with this recipe.

Chocolate brownies

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
335g good-quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
150g good-quality butter
4 eggs
200g sugar
75g plain flour, sifted
100g good-quality dark chocolate buttons

Caramel sauce

Quantity Ingredient
500ml pouring cream
100g caster sugar
80ml water
50ml dark rum

Garnish

Quantity Ingredient
4 packham pears, peeled
1 1/2 litres Stock syrup
4 cinnamon sticks
1 lemon, sliced
150g pecan nuts
50g butter
100g icing sugar
25ml vegetable oil
150g caster sugar
icing sugar, for dusting
1 quantity Caramel ice-cream

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 140°C.
  2. Lightly butter a baking tray about 20 cm long and 21⁄2 cm deep, and line with greaseproof paper.
  3. To make the brownies, melt the roughly chopped dark chocolate and butter together over a bain marie, then set aside at room temperature and allow to cool a little, but don’t let it become cold.
  4. Using a food processor, whisk the eggs and sugar together to a thick ribbon stage. Fold the melted chocolate into the egg mixture, then gradually fold in the flour and chocolate buttons until completely absorbed, ensuring there are no lumps of flour remaining in the mix.
  5. Pour the mixture into the baking tray. Smooth over and tap the bottom of the tray firmly on the work surface to ensure the mixture settles and bakes evenly. Bake for 35 minutes. When cooked, the brownie should have a firm crust but still have a slightly moist and runny interior, which will firm as the chocolate cools. Refrigerate the brownie for 1 hour, then cut into your desired shapes – round or square. Always bring back to room temperature or warm to serve.
  6. Cover the peeled pears in a heavy-based saucepan with stock syrup, cinnamon and lemon slices. Cover with a circle of greaseproof paper then bring the pears to the boil gently over a low heat. Cover with a small lid that fits snugly over the greaseproof paper to keep the pears submerged and cook gently for 25 minutes until the pears are soft. Allow the pears to cool within the syrup.
  7. To make the sauce, first warm the cream. Then in a large saucepan over a low heat combine the caster sugar and water. Once the sugar has dissolved bring to the boil, washing down the insides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in a little cold water to prevent any crystals forming. Cook until the sugar turns a deep golden-brown colour, without stirring, then remove from the heat. Whisk in the warm cream. Add the rum and return to the heat. Bring to the boil once more, then allow to cool.
  8. Cover the pecan nuts in water and bring to the boil. Drain, pat dry and put into a bowl. Melt the butter and pour over the pecans, then add the icing sugar and toss the nuts until they are evenly coated in sugar. Add the vegetable oil to a wide frying pan and heat to 180ºC over a medium heat, and lightly fry the pecans until caramelised. Transfer to a tray to cool.
  9. Meanwhile slice the pears lengthwise into 1–2 cm round, pear-shaped slices, avoiding the core, so you have 6–8 neat slices per pear. Place on a heatproof tray, sprinkle with caster sugar and heat with a blow torch until well caramelised.
  10. To serve, reheat the brownie portions or serve at room temperature. Place the brownies on serving plates, lightly dust with icing sugar, then arrange slices of pears and caramelised pecans around them. Surround with caramel sauce and top with a perfect scoop of caramel ice-cream.

Chef’s note

  • The addition of mashed bananas to the chocolate mix makes the brownies even more moist and delicate.
Tags:
restaurant
chef
high end
cuisine
Botanical
complex
challenging
fine dining
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