Chocolate, rye and walnut brownies

Chocolate, rye and walnut brownies

By
From
The Tivoli Road Baker
Makes
one rectangular 33 × 23 cm (13 × 9 in) tray, (around 24 pieces, depending on how big you like them)
Photographer
Bonnie Savage and Alan Benson

I am a massive chocoholic, and brownies are about as chocolatey as it gets. I love the contrast between the nice crust and classic soft fudgy centre of a great brownie, with walnuts adding another textural element. We use good quality Valrhona chocolate, and the earthiness of the rye flour complements it perfectly, as well as giving the brownie a beautiful soft, light texture.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids
210g unsalted butter
30ml espresso coffee (or 1 tablespoon strong instant coffee)
150g wholegrain rye flour
15g cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 eggs, at room temperature
450g soft brown sugar
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
250g walnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Grease a 33 × 23 cm (13 × 9 in) baking tray, and line with baking paper.
  2. Half fill a saucepan with water and bring to a simmer, then place a metal mixing bowl over the pan, ensuring that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Melt the chocolate, butter and coffee in the bowl, mixing occasionally with a spatula to combine thoroughly. (Be careful not to overheat the chocolate.) Turn off the heat and leave until ready to use. If the chocolate mix starts to set, gently heat it over the pan until it is just melted again.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the rye flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, whisk the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla for about 10 minutes on medium speed until pale, light and airy. Using a spatula, gently fold in the chocolate mixture, in three batches. Be careful to fold very gently so you incorporate the chocolate without losing aeration in the egg mix. Mix until just combined, making sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Sprinkle half the dry ingredients over the surface of the egg and chocolate mixture, and use a spatula to gently fold them through. (Sprinkling the dry ingredients over the mixture means you don’t lose too much of the air.) Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined, ensuring that you scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything fully. The mixture should be quite runny.
  6. Gently fold in the walnuts until just combined, then pour the mixture into the baking tray. Gently spread it out evenly in the tray using the tip of the spatula.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the tray and bake for another 5 minutes. The top should be shiny and smooth, with perhaps one or two cracks appearing. Cool the brownie in the tray for 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and sprinkle with sea salt. This will give you nice gooey edges in contrast to the crisp top. Cut the brownies once completely cool, or as needed (they will keep longer uncut). The brownies will last for 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature, or a week in the fridge. (I personally like them straight from the fridge, cold and fudgy.)

Bakery Notes

  • To achieve the desired gooey centre and crispy top, it’s important to maintain as much air in the mixture as possible. Make sure to fold and mix very gently, and as little as possible, until the ingredients are just incorporated. When whisking the eggs, use a medium speed instead of a high speed. It will take longer but the aeration will be more stable because the bubbles will be smaller and less likely to collapse.

    Don’t overheat the chocolate or it will crystallise, burn and become bitter. Heat it until it is just melted and don’t take it any further.
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