Recipe: The Brownie Queen

Recipe: The Brownie Queen

I love my job as a food columnist. Last month I spent a morning talking chocolate with Deborah Peralta, co-founder of Dello Mano brownies (the sweet treat that's so perfect Ashton Kutcher once requested it be couriered to his birthday party in Paris).

One-time food scientist Deborah shared her fascinating career journey with me in this month's New Farm Village News but also, a beloved family recipe.

As with all recipes I share in the column, I tested it, and I can tell you it's one I would make again. And again. The perfect sandy, crumb base was enough to keep me coming back. It would be the perfect Christmas-meal-ender.

Double Chocolate Pecan Fudge Slice

Base

¼ cup             pecans, chopped finely

100g               butter, melted

⅓ cup             brown sugar

1 cup              plain flour, sifted

¼ teaspoon    baking powder

Filling

1 can               sweetened condensed milk (395g)

1 cup              brown sugar

125 g              butter, chopped

120g               pecans, coarsely chopped

100 g              dark chocolate, chopped

Topping

60 g                butter, chopped

200 g              dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 170°C, then grease and line a brownie-style pan [26.5cm x 16.5cm x 5cm].

To make the base, combine butter, sugar and pecans in a bowl. Add flour and baking powder. Mix until well combined. It won't look like enough dough but use your hands to spread the base into the cake pan. Bake for 18 minutes, until golden and firm to touch.

For the filling, combine condensed milk, sugar and butter in a large microwave safe jug or bowl. Cook uncovered, stirring every 30 seconds for 3 to 5 minutes. Mixture should be boiling and golden. Stand for 1 minute. Add chocolate, stirring constantly until melted then fold in pecans. Pour mixture over warm base and set aside to cool completely.

To make the topping, melt butter over a low heat then add chocolate. Stir until smooth then pour over fudge slice. You can then decorate with a few additional chopped nuts, otherwise just refrigerate for 15 minutes to set and cut into squares.

Tips: if you don’t have a food processor to chop the nuts place them in a ziplock bag, wrap a tea towel around it and give it a good bashing with a rolling pin. Deborah uses dark Belgian chocolate, naturally, but it comes down to personal preference and I found plain dark chocolate worked fine. The Peraltas adapted this from a Stahmann Farms’ recipe.

Recipe: Barbara's Mulberry Muffins

Recipe: Barbara's Mulberry Muffins

Rock Christmas, Like a Nana!

Rock Christmas, Like a Nana!