14 June 2019

WHITE CHOCOLATE FUDGE FROSTED BROWNIES

In the category of everyday desserts, this is one of my favourites. Fudge brownie base, white chocolate fudge filling, and ganache topping; as simple as that. Classics do not have to take a lot of time to be prepared. Sometimes, only a few hours is enough, or more than plenty.
When desserts have only a handful of ingredients, they heavily rely on how much flavour they have, and on the wonderful new flavour combinations they can create together. Aromatic vanilla and sweet white chocolate create the perfect contrast to the rich, dark chocolate fudge base. And the contrast is not only visual; the textures pair incredibly well, as the creamy milk custard balances the dense chocolate brownie.
If placed in the freezer for a short time before serving, it will resemble a most delectable ice cream. It is truly best served in small pieces, almost in the same manner you would serve pieces of fudge, with a dainty dessert fork, and of course, strong coffee.


Ingredients
For the brownie base
100 grams plain flour
30 grams semolina
30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking powder
150 grams granulated sugar
200 grams vanilla yoghurt
150 grams dark chocolate
150 ml vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the white chocolate fudge filling
500 ml whole milk
80 grams cornflour
100 grams granulated sugar
120 grams butter
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
100 grams real white chocolate
For the ganache
150 ml double cream
100 grams plain chocolate (50% cocoa)
50 grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
For serving
100 ml double cream


Preparation
To make the brownie base, take a large bowl, pour in the yoghurt and the vanilla, sift in the cocoa powder and the baking powder, tip in the sugar, and whisk vigorously for a minute or so, until the mixture becomes smooth and glossy, almost resembling frosting. Place a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add in the chopped up chocolate and the oil, and let everything melt slowly. Once done, set it aside to cool down slightly, then add it to the cocoa mix, and stir until very smooth and silky.
Finally, sift in the flour and the semolina, and gently fold until smooth. Take a small square pan (18x18 cm), line it with baking parchment, then transfer the batter to it and level it as much as possible. Bake the brownie base immediately, in a preheated oven, at 180°C (350°F), for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs. Check them for doneness fairly early, to make sure they aren’t overbaked and dry. Once baked, let them cool down to room temperature.
To make the white chocolate fudge filling, start by taking away about 150 ml of milk, and whisking it really well with sifted cornflour and the sugar in a medium bowl. Pour the rest of the milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and place it over medium heat, so the milk can come up to a boil slowly. Once it starts boiling, add in the cornflour mixture in a thin stream, and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens up, and becomes a very rich custard, about 2-3 minutes. You will need to stir quite vigorously because it will be very dense, almost coming together into a ball of fudge.
Remove it from the heat, add in the vanilla and the chopped white chocolate, and mix well with a wooden spoon, until it is melted. After the chocolate, start adding in pieces of butter, beating the mixture with an electric mixer as you add. If you mixer is struggling, switch to a wooden spoon and fold the fudge filling over itself until all of the butter is incorporated. Let the filling cool down to room temperature, folding it over itself as it cools down. Depending on the type of chocolate you use, the filling may seem a tad separated at one point, but that is to be expected; it will be smooth and combined once it has cooled down.
To assemble the dessert, line a small rectangular cake tin with a removable bottom (18x18 cm) with cling film, for easier removal of the cake later on, and place the cooled brownie base on the bottom of the tin. Spread the fudge filling carefully and evenly over the base, and place the tin into the refrigerator.
To make the ganache, chop up the chocolate and bring the double cream almost to a boil, then pour it over the chocolate and set it aside so the chocolate starts to melt. Mix the ganache vigorously with a spatula until everything is melted. Pour it over the fudge filling, and tap the cake gently on the counter a few times, so that any possible air bubbles come up to the surface. Place the cake back into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. To serve, whip up the double cream until soft peaks form, and gently place dollops on top of the ganache layer and serve. Yields 16 servings.

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