Friday, 29 January 2010

Chocolate Brownies with Chestnuts & Figs

The only cookbook I got for Christmas was Ottolenghi. This was good, as my cookbook shelf is full, and I didn't want the usual semi-novelty cookbooks I usually seem to receive ('101 Biscuit Recipes' anyone?)

I had a packet of chestnuts in the cupboard leftover, so I decided to make Khalid's Chestnut & Chocolate Bars.

The digestive base was easy enough, and the chocolate mix for the top was also very simple, with the most strenuous part being chopping a large pile of chestnuts, figs and white chocolate. It went in the oven, and came out very, very, very wobbly. So it went back in the oven for another 10 minutes and was still wobbly. The recipe said it wouldn't be totally cooked, but I didn't expect it to basically look the same as when it went in. I put it in the fridge to see if that would harden it up. Maybe the chocolate would set solid.

A few hours later, it was still way too wobbly. I tried to turn it out of the tin (luckily I'd used a silicone one) but it was obviously going to end in disaster. I gave it another 10 minutes in the oven, but it was STILL wobbly! I shoved it back in the fridge as I was not in the mood to deal with a massive pile of fail goo at that moment.

The next day I was immersed in the domestic bliss that is the life of the self/un-employed. After warming up with bouts of bed making, laundry and sweeping, I decided to deal with the fail. I thought I might spoon some over ice cream and bin the rest.

It had set! I was not expecting that at all. A bit of a push and it popped out of the tin in one lovely firm lump, and sliced up with a crisp finish that is just so satisfying.

After all the abuse I'd put it through, I wondered whether it would taste any good. The chocolate mix was flourless, so although it was firmer than it should have been, it was still moist, almost like a giant truffle. The chestnut and the figs were there, but weren't as overpowering as I'd worried they might be, but not really that flavourful either.

Chestnut & Fig Brownie Bars

I guess I'll have to give this another go before I reject the recipe altogether, but I wasn't that impressed. It was just digestives with a eggy ganache on top, with no stand out flavours or textures. Not offensive, but just not that amazing either.


Joy said...

Good luck with the next recipe!

Chele said...

What a shame - they look so brownie-ish and yummy too.

Jenny said...

Joy - Thanks. Am having a bit of a cooking mojo failure at the moment. I blame January.

Chele - I think I'll give them another go at some point. They had potential but maybe my failure to trust the recipe ruined it!

Deeba PAB said...

I'm plodding through the book too, but hav eloved every recipe so far. I have my eyes on these brownies as well. Will let you know if I fare any better!!

Ellieurs said...

I too tried these recently, with a spelt shortbread base, which didn't really work. I too had major issues with the baking timings. I cooked it for 35 minutes in the end, and left it in the tin to set. It set, but I'm going to look up and see if there are any mistakes with this recipe. I would add more sugar next time I think.