Sunday, 4 January 2015

Another Version of Chestnut Brownies

When I decided to make these I had three requirements of my chosen recipe - that it contained chocolate, that it was reasonably portable and that it used up the half tin of chestnut purée in the fridge. I was making a dessert for New Year's Day, but the children would be taking home any leftovers, as we still have tons of Christmas goodies to finish up!

Brownies seemed the obvious answer, but my previous attempt at chestnut brownies (Dan Lepard's recipe) used whole chestnuts rather than purée, and weren't loved by everyone here. Choclette, at Chocolate Log Blog, had adapted Dan's recipe to use chestnut purée, and I made slight adaptations to her recipe which I hoped would make the result more chewy and brownie-like, rather than melt in the mouth.

I upped the sugar content, as I like sweet chewy brownies (and I was using unsweetened purée) and reduced the chestnut purée (to use the amount I had available!). Choclette often bakes with duck eggs, but I used large hen's eggs, keeping the number at two, in the interests of getting the more cake-like
texture I wanted. I also baked in a smaller pan to give deeper brownies. So, I used:

175g butter, 200g 70% plain chocolate, 225g dark muscovado sugar, 200g unsweetened chestnut purée, 2 large eggs, 100g spelt flour

I followed Choclette's standard method for making brownies, melting the chocolate and butter together, then beating in the sugar and chestnut purée until the batter was smooth. The eggs were then beaten in, one at a time, and lastly, the spelt flour was folded in. The batter was quite thick by this stage and needed spreading and levelling in the baking tin. (This batter didn't spread or flow as it started to warm up in the oven, so I recommend smoothing the top carefully to avoid unsightly lumps and bumps on the finished brownies.) I baked in a 8"(20cm) tin, for 25minutes at 170C, by which time only damp crumbs clung to a test probe. After cooling in the tin, I cut the cake into 16 portions. (I cut the brownies while they were still slightly warm, to try and get a photo or two before the light was too bad, and they were quite fragile while still warm)

The brownies weren't quite the texture I'd hoped for - I'd call them truffle-like - so I didn't quite achieve what I wanted, but they made a great dessert, eaten with whipped cream! After cutting, I was worried that they would be too fragile to pack up and transport, but they firmed up a lot as they cooled completely. I don't think unsweetened chestnut purée has as strong a flavour as sweetened, so here the chestnut was very much a subtle backnote, rather than a predominant flavour.

I still didn't manage to get many good photos, and all the leftovers went home with FB and CT, so there was nothing to photograph the next day, either! Poor light is one of the curses of winter baking!


Snowy said...

What a good way to use up the chestnut purée, and they look good. I made some brownies on Saturday using my favourite Nigel S recipe. I find it difficult getting exactly the texture I want for brownies.

Katie said...

They look lovely and fudgy. I love the flavour of chestnut and chocolate together. I often find freezing brownies before eating them help improve their gooey texture. I hate these dark gloomy winter days too, makes taking photos so difficult!

Alicia Foodycat said...

They do look good! Maybe some chunks of marrons glace folded through? (I got a jar of cheap marrons glace and no plans of what to do with them...)

Suelle said...

Extra marrons glacé sounds perfect, Alicia!

Choclette Blogger said...

Gosh it's a long time since I made these Suelle, but truffle like sounds about right for the texture. I like Alicia's suggestion of maroons glacé. I always struggle with the winter light too :(

Phil in the Kitchen said...

I like the way that chestnut purée works in cakes but there's no doubt that it tends to give that truffle-like texture. Not that I'm complaining, it's a texture that I like especially for dessert. The light may have been poor but I think they look very inviting.