Week 207: Pistachio brownie

One of the best thing about baking is the ability to bake something for the meaningful people in your life. And that means baking with flavours they like. Despite having known each other for such a long tine, I realised I do not know what Vincent’s favourite flavours are, until we met for dinner last week and while he was savouring the palet d’Or I brought for him.

Since we were meeting again over the weekend, I decided to test my baking speed and rush it out before we meet. I have been eyeing this recipe from Majavase for the longest time, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to test it out. Which resulted in late nights on Thursday and Friday and a very tired Saturday.

And as I result, I did not get the chance to properly photograph this particular bake. This looks somewhat different from my usual photography style but, I supposed a special bake deserves a special shoot. I just hope all that late nights are worth it.

Bake all pistachios at 200°C (no fan) for 3 minutes

For the brownie

80g dark chocolate couverture

40g unsalted butter

65g eggs

100g granulated sugar

20g plain flour

7g cocoa powder

1 generous pinch fleur de sel

25g green unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped

1) Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over a water bath and remove from heat.

2) Add eggs and sugar and stir into the melted chocolate mixture.

3) Sieve in flour and cocoa powder, then add fleur de sel and chopped pistachio. Stir until incorporated and pour the batter into a square cake tin (6″ x 6″) lined with baking parchment.

4) Bake brownie for approximately 20 minutes at 175°C (no fan) and allow to cool completely.

For the pistachio praline ganache

30g sugar

35g green unsalted pistachio nuts

1 pinch fleur de sel

195g white chocolate, like Ivoire 35% from Valrhona

100g heavy cream

1) Gently melt the sugar into golden caramel in a saucepan.

2) Immediately take the saucepan off the heat and stir the pistachios and salt in. Pour the caramelized nuts onto a silicon mat and let them cool off.

3) Blend the nuts into praline paste.

4) Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a water bath and take the bowl off heat.

5) Bring the cream to the boiling point in a small saucepan and pour it over the chocolate while stirring in the middle of the bowl. Continue stirring until the ganache turns smooth and shiny.

6) Stir in the pistachio praliné. Pour the ganache on the brownie and place it in the freezer for an hour.

For the milk chocolate ganache

120g milk chocolate

80g heavy cream

15g glucose

1) Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a water bath and take the bowl off heat.

2) Bring cream and glucose to a light boil in a small saucepan and pour it over the chocolate while stirring in the middle of the bowl. Continue stirring until the ganache turns smooth and shiny.

3) Pour ganache on top of the pistachio layer. Put the mold back in the freezer overnight.

4) Cut into 7 portions of 2.5cm x 12.5cm

For the milk chocolate cremeux

1/2 gelatine leaf

180g milk chocolate, like Jivara 40% from Valrhona

2 egg yolks

20g sugar

105g whipped cream

105g whole milk

1) Bloom gelatine in cold water.

2) Place the chocolate in a bowl.

3) Whisk egg yolks and sugar in another bowl.

4) Warm cream and milk to just below boiling point in a small pot and temper the egg yolks.

5) Pour the mixture back into the pan and heat it up to 83°C while stirring constantly. Take the saucepan off the heat.

6) Squeeze excess water from gelatine leaf and stir it into the warm cream.

7) Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir in the middle of the bowl until the cremeux is smooth and glossy.

8) Cover the cremeux with cling wrap and put it in the fridge overnight.

For the chocolate glaze

390g milk chocolate, like Jivara 40% from Valrhona

39g canola oil

39g green unsalted pistachios

1) Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a water bath and take the bowl off heat.

2) Stir the oil in.

3) Chop the pistachio nuts well and stir in. Put the pistachio chocolate into a small bowl. Cut the frozen cake into smaller pieces. Slice two toothpicks into one of the cakes and give the cake a quick deep into the chocolate so that the bottom and sides are covered. Repeat with the rest of the cakes.

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