Friday, May 18, 2012

Raspberry Tea and Chambord Brownies

Well today would have been one of my own creations but I have had to hold off until next week.  Apparently the arrival my ordered ingredients is coming via horseback, but I am told also that it has to be made first!  Anyhow, since I have things planned out for several weeks, it did not really put me in a bind.

These particular brownies are really rich.  One small piece does go a long way.  The brownies, since they have no baking soda or powder are very dense, but the texture is not chewy. The decadent dark chocolate is paired up with Chambord (raspberry liqueur) and raspberry tea.  The recipe states you can use whatever fruit tea and matching liqueur flavor you want, but I chose this one. I particularly favor raspberry and dark chocolate, however I am sure there are lots more of delicious combinations that can be done.

These brownies will be packed up for donation and quickly transported in a cooler. I have deemed these to be something for a special occasions due to their richness. Valentine's does come to mind due to the flavor combo. The recipe states that these are to be cut into 36 squares, so that means 1X1 inch.  Even though small, the rich depth of flavor does linger.

 Raspberry Tea and Chambord Brownies
adapted from Glorious Liqueurs

4 oz of bittersweet chocolate (finely chopped)
2 oz of unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
3/4 cup of water
3 tbs raspberry liquor (Chambord)
1/4 cup raspberry preserves
3/4 sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp raspberry tea leaves

Prepare a 8 inch square baking pan by buttering the inside and lining the bottom with parchment paper and also buttering the face up side of the parchment.  Set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Take the 3/4 cup of water and put in a heat proof mug.  Cover and place in microwave and heat until boiling.  Mine took about 2 minutes. Then stir in 2 tsp of the tea leaves and let steep for 5 minutes.  Place a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter over the top of another heat proof mug. Pour the tea into the strainer or filter.  After the liquid has gone through, discard filter or rinse out and clean strainer.

Place a small saucepan over low heat and fill with unsweetened chocolate and butter.  Stir occasionally until all is melted and blended.  Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

While this is cooling, sift together the flour and the salt.  Set aside.  Then fill a medium size mixing bowl with the eggs and beat until frothy.  Add the sugar and beat again until mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.

Add to the egg mixture the cooled chocolate, 2 tbs of the strained tea and 1 tbs of the raspberry liqueur.  Beat until all is blended, about 1 minute.  Then, using a wooden spoon, fold in the sifted ingredients until no dry streaks remain.  Pour mixture into cake pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until done.  Brownies will be done when they pull slightly from the edge of the pan and batter is firm. Remove pan and place on rack to cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes invert brownies and remove from pan.  Peel off parchment and then carefully turn back over and let rest on rack.

During the cooling time, mix together one tablespoon of the strained tea and 2 tablespoons of the raspberry liqueur.   After the 10 minutes cooling time of the brownies has passed, brush this mixture  over the top until all has been completely used up.

Place a small saucepan over medium heat and fill with the preserves.  Stir and cook until it has melted into a liquid.  Place a mesh strainer over a heat proof bowl and pour the melted preserves into the strainer.  After straining, brush melted preserves over top of the brownie.

Clean both the sauce pan and the strainer, for you need them again for the chocolate topping.  Fill the saucepan with heavy cream and let come to a boil.  Remove from and mix in the remaining 2 tsp of raspberry tea leaves.  Let sit 5 minutes.  Then pour into a strainer placed over the bowl of chopped chocolate.  Let sit one minute.  Stir until all the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Spread the chocolate ganache over the brownies.  Then place in fridge for about 20 minutes partially and then mark or score your cutting lines with a knife. Then refrigerate another 10 minutes and then remove  Let come to room temperature, cut and serve.  To store, lightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Tips and notes:
1. The tea I used worked out to being 1 tsp of leaves per bag.
2. The ganache will crack if you cut when cold, so it is best to wait for room temperature when cutting.
3. The paper coffee filter only worked with me on the water/tea leaves, the cream/tea leaves and preserves were too heavy to strain through paper.
2. Act fast on brushing the melted preserves, mine sat up back to a thick state in no time.
                        **LAST YEAR: Coconut Banana Coffeecake**