Sunday, May 1, 2011

Raspberry Brownies with Raspberry Jam and Frozen Raspberries

rich brownies with raspberry jam
These homemade brownies with raspberry jam are a delight!
These Billion Raspberry Brownies are decadent and truffle-like . . . very rich, with a great raspberry taste. Beware, lovers of cake-y brownies: the raspberry truffle brownie will not be fluffy. Fudge-y by design, and downright gooey at their best, eat these raspberry-infused brownies and prepare to meet your demise. My apologies.

This delicious raspberry brownie recipe is one of the best you'll try.
A layer of chocolate ganache, a layer of raspberry jam, and raspberry-infused brownie batter = an amazing raspberry brownie.
I've tried several homemade brownies in the last few weeks, and most of them have been very good. But few are as surprising and unique as brownies with raspberries. The first time I tried a raspberry brownie was a shared meal hosted by a friend. The recipe was a hand-me-down from a friend's mother, and I've had a copy of it ever since.

This time, though, I've started with a recipe from Epicurious, and based on what I've learned from experience and my friend's mother's version, I've made several additions and modifications to boost both the chocolate and the raspberry flavors.

To pump up the raspberry flavor, not only did I add 1 1/2 cups of raspberries to the batter before baking, I also spread 1/4 cup of raspberry jam over the brownies after taking them out of the oven.  Then, I drizzled chocolate ganache in a thick criss-cross pattern over the surface. The raspberry brownie recipe follows...

closeup of homemade brownies (raspberry brownies) in a row
These rich brownies with raspberry jam are some of the best raspberry brownies out there!

Raspberry Brownie Recipe

Pan for baking: 9x9 inch pan lined with aluminum foil and greased (Makes 16 brownies)

7 oz (200 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
8 oz unsalted butter
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
1 3/4 cup brown sugar
4 eggs at room temperature
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa, sifted
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (no need to defrost the frozen raspberries)

Raspberry topping:
1/4 cup raspberry jam - seedless preferred, but anything works

Ganache topping:
3 oz semisweet chocolate
3/8 cup heavy cream

Fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 345°F.  Combine sugar and eggs in a bowl. Beat for ~3 minutes on medium speed. Stir in vanilla.

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler until melted, stir until smooth. Add instant coffee granules (intended to deepen the chocolate flavor, not to impart a coffee flavor). Stir to dissolve and combine. Allow to cool briefly (so as not to cook the eggs) and then combine with the sugar, egg, and vanilla mixture.

Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa together, add the salt, and combine with the wet ingredients. Mix until combined. Pour into 9in x 9in foil-lined and greased pan. Gently press the raspberries (fresh or frozen) into the batter. Bake for about 35 minutes or until set. These may take longer than 35 minutes to set, though don't let them go for too long: the longer you cook them the less fudge-y/truffle-y the raspberry brownies will be, and the more cake-y/dry they will get.

Raspberry Jam Topping:
Heat raspberry jam briefly in microwaveable bowl until melted and pourable, adding a teaspoon or two of water if necessary, stir, and pour on top of baked brownies. Spread into a thin layer.

Chocolate Ganache Topping:
Heat cream in microwave or double boiler. Add chocolate and heat, stirring occasionally until chocolate is fully melted and smooth. Before the ganache fully cools, pour it carefully over the brownies, leaving some areas open so the jam and berries can show through (if you're into that). For more control, you can pour it into a pastry bag (or into a ziplock bag, and then cut the edge off). The ganache will harden as it cools.

Truffle Brownie Notes:
These are best if eaten in the first few days of baking. I've tried freezing them, but in my experience, it has a negative impact on quality.

I'm tempted to make delicious truffle brownies again and to further intensify the raspberry flavor by adding seedless raspberry preserves to the batter...

Enjoy your homemade brownies with raspberries!