When my friend Viivi asked me if I could do the catering for her birthday party, she wanted specifically brownies for the sweet side of the menu. She was even quite specific about the type of brownie she wished to have: with raspberries. I gladly accepted the challenge – and I call it a “challenge” because I had never made any brownies before that!
And so I worked and worked hard on making the perfect brownie. Some didn’t set, some became too dense, what was the amount of raspberries supposed to be, what was the ratio of chocolate-flour supposed to be? After working on the recipe quite many times, I finally did the perfect brownies with perfect consistency, inspired by a basic brownie recipe I saw in one of my cookbooks. I had to adjust the measurements slightly to balance the added ingredients, which, in this case, are raspberries and pistachios.
If you know what a brownie is, then you also know that there are two types: fudgy and cakey. This recipe leans slightly to the cakey side, with raspberries giving perfect moisture.
Finding the baking equipment for brownies was a little tricky. I have one square baking tin which I used at first trials. However, it was too deep and so it wasn’t good for keeping track of the baking process. I also have 20×30 baking dishes which were too round in the edges and also was slightly too big for these measurements, making the final slices too thin.
And so I finally used an aluminium baking tin, 19.5×32.3cm that I bought from S-market (3 in 1 package) and it ended up being the perfect tin for this brownie. I also made a hazelnut version of this recipe (no raspberries, no pistachios, just hazelnuts) and this aluminium tin was also perfect for hazelnut brownies.
A few important things I learned from my brownie trials: 1. you must use the best quality ingredients: best chocolate, best butter etc. 2. your ingredients should be all in room temperature – it is not good to take the raspberries out of the fridge right before putting them in the batter. 3. if you don’t know how your oven will react with this recipe, better watch out what’s happening inside the oven closely and you should not blindly follow the baking time instructions. Baking time should gradually be adjusted according to each oven.
Enjoy your delicious brownies!
Difficulty: ★★☆ (Medium)
(makes 18-20 slices, I used an aluminium mould of 19.5×32.3cm)
I found that the exact measurements is very important for best brownie baking, that’s why I’m using only grams in this ingredients list, to get as precise as possible.
185 gr. dark chocolate, 53%*, coarsely chopped
185 gr. butter, cubed
275 gr. granulated white sugar
80 gr. all-purpose flour
45 gr. cacao powder
100 gr. toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
100 gr. fresh raspberries**
butter to grease the mould
baking paper to cover the base of the mould
*I didn’t use too dark chocolate, because it made too bitter. But if you like a bit more bitter taste, go with 70% chocolate.
**In Finland, you can generally find fresh raspberries in 125 gr. packages. If you buy that and you want to use all of it, you can. But you may want to decrease the pistachios to balance the total volume.
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease your baking mould with butter and put a baking paper to cover the base.
2. Bring some water to boiling in a deep pan and let it simmer. In a heatproof bowl, put chocolate and butter and put the bowl on the pan with simmering water. Let the butter and chocolate melt. Once they melt, take away from the pan, clean the bottom of the bowl from remaining water and put aside to cool down while you do the rest.
3. In a mixing bowl, put eggs and sugar and beat until light coloured and creamy, first in medium speed then in high speed.
4. Pour egg/sugar mixture into melted chocolate/butter mixture and immediately whisk until well mixed.
5. Sift flour and cacao into the batter and then fold until all ingredients incorporate.
6. Put some of the pistachio into the batter and leave just a little to spread on top at the end. Fold the pistachios into the batter gently.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared mould. Smoothen the surface. Spread the pistachios you set aside earlier on top of the batter. Put also the raspberries on top and slightly press them into the batter. Put the brownie into the oven, on medium rack and bake for 30 to 35 minutes: until the surface is set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean-ish, with just a bit of batter (if it comes out completely clean, the brownie will be too dry). When the brownie is baked, take out of the oven and let it cool for at least 1 hour (and if possible, even more) on wire rack before slicing. The brownie should be in room temperature all over before you start slicing. Enjoy your brownies for up to 4 days, in an airtight container. Yum!