V-day pudding: Neven Maguire’s raspberry chocolate brownies

There is definitely something about chocolate that’s addictive. It contains several stimulants, including caffeine and pleasure-inducing endorphins. These are intensely chocolatey brownies, which get smothered in a salted caramel sauce. If the brownies have gone cold and you want to heat them up in a hurry, pour over some of the sauce and flash under a hot grill until bubbling.

Neven Maguire’s Raspberry Chocolate Brownie with Salted Caramel Sauce

Makes 16

Ingredients

For the brownies
400g plain chocolate, finely chopped (at least 55% cocoa solids)
225g butter, diced
4 eggs
275g caster sugar
100g self-raising flour
75g cocoa powder
100g toasted pecan nuts, roughly chopped
200g raspberries
vanilla ice cream, to serve

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For the salted caramel sauce
100g caster sugar
75g butter
250ml cream
½ vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out
1 tsp sea salt flakes

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Line a 30x20cm deep sided baking tin with parchment paper.

Place 100g of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl with the butter. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water until the chocolate and butter have melted, then stir to combine. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a bowl until they’re stiff and holding their shape, then whisk in the sugar until you have achieved a stiff sabayon that can hold a trail of the figure eight. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the sabayon and lightly fold them in. Add the melted chocolate mixture with the remaining finely chopped chocolate and the pecan nuts, and continue folding gently until all the ingredients are just combined. Finally, gently fold in the raspberries.

Pour the batter into the lined baking tin. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is crusty but the centre is still a little soft.

Meanwhile, make the salted caramel sauce. Place the sugar in a pan with 150ml of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until golden brown, without stirring. Stir in the butter, cream, vanilla seeds and salt and mix well over a low heat until it’s a thick sauce consistency. Serve hot or leave to cool until needed.

To serve, remove the brownies from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, then remove from the tin and peel off the parchment paper. Reheat the salted caramel sauce in the pan. Cut the brownies into 16 rectangles and arrange on serving plates with the hot salted caramel sauce and scoops of ice cream.

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