from one generation to the next
Am I alone in harbouring random vivid food memories beginning from early childhood?
I have a vast databank of delicious tastes connected to particular places stored deep within. Today I made a slab of gluten free brownie, nothing unusual in that, but with fond memories of Manhattan, February 1995, I added a scattering of raspberries over the batter before it went into the oven.
It was difficult to find strong espresso coffee in New York 20 years ago. Typically it was made with a dripolator and served long and weak, “caffe Americano.” Desperate for a real coffee hit we chanced upon a cafe with a large Italian espresso machine manned by a young African American who has no idea how to extract flavour from coffee beans. He was willing to learn though, so I gave him an on the spot lesson in grinding and tamping, temperature and extraction, and while he found my powerful brew much too strong for his liking, I got the coffee hit I needed.
True, our experience with American coffee was disappointing but the slice of chocolate Brownie served to me by my young barista friend has stayed with me all this time. What made it truly memorable was the inclusion of raspberries. The berries kept the brownie super moist and added a tart note in contrast to the sweetness. The flavour was so luscious that I’ve kept the taste tucked away in my memory bank all these years.
I’ve posted several Brownie recipes on my blog, but this was the first time I’d added raspberries to the mixture. As I bit into my first mouthful, I was immediately transported back to a cold February day in mid town Manhattan, 21 years ago.
Flourless Chocolate Brownie with Raspberries
200g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cacao
200g unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla essence ( I used homemade)
2 large eggs
120g castor sugar
120g almond meal
3/4 cup frozen raspberries, crumbled (do not thaw)
Preheat the oven to 170C. Lightly grease a fluted tart tin with a removable base 10cm X 35cm. Line the base with a sheet of baking paper.
Melt the chocolate and butter together over a low heat in a heavy based pan. Remove the pan from the heat as soon as the chocolate as melted then stir in the vanilla essence and sugar.
Set aside to cool.
Once the chocolate mixture is cool, beat in the eggs and stir through the almond meal.
Tip the brownie batter into the prepared tin and spread to the edges and smooth the top.
Scatter the raspberries every over the surface.
Bake until firm to the touch in the centre, 20-25 minutes.
Remove to a cooling wire and allow to col for 30 minutes.
Remove the brownie, on the base from the tin and allow to cool completely.
Cut into fingers and store in the fridge.