From the Valentine’s Day chapter in Cookie Swap, this recipe is sure to have chocolate fans falling head over heels. In this triple-decker brownie, the season’s favorite aphrodisiac factors into three places: a buttery crumb crust, a dense chocolate-raspberry filling, and a glossy ganache on top.
Yield: 2 dozen (1 3/4- to 2-inch) squares
Prep Talk: Store unglazed brownies at room temperature up to 3 to 5 days. Keep them covered (and uncut) in the pan until ready to glaze. Once glazed, the brownies must be refrigerated. (The glaze is perishable.) Because the brownie layer will harden if refrigerated too long, the glaze is best applied 1 1/2 to 2 hours before serving. The brownies will be softest and most flavorful if served at room temperature.
Cocoa Shortbread Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sifted superfine sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg yolk
Raspberry Brownie Filling:
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 6 ounces premium semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 1/4 ounces premium unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup sifted superfine sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 4 1/2 tablespoons Chambord (raspberry liqueur)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup seedless red raspberry jam, stirred to loosen (for topping)
Raspberry Truffle Glaze:
- 8 ounces premium semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon Chambord
- About 2 ounces premium milk chocolate, melted
1 | Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang around the top edge of the pan. Lightly coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2 | Make the crust. Combine the flour, superfine sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Using a fork or your hands, mix in the butter and egg yolk until the mixture is uniformly moistened, but crumbly. (There should be no dry spots.) Press the dough into an even 1/4-inch layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 14 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is dull on top and slightly puffy, but still soft. Do not over-bake. Transfer to a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
3 | Prepare the raspberry brownie filling. Combine the butter, semisweet chocolate, and unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water. Stir as needed until the chocolate and butter are just melted. Remove from the heat and gently whisk in the superfine sugar, followed by the beaten eggs, Chambord, and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour, mixing just until smooth and shiny. (Do not over-mix or the batter may break.) Pour the batter on top of the crust and spread it into an even layer with a small offset spatula.
4 | Spoon the red raspberry jam evenly over the top. With a small offset spatula, spread it into a thin layer that completely covers the brownie filling.
5 | Bake about 20 minutes. Do not over-bake. When done, the brownie will be set through to the middle and slightly puffed around the edges. A cake tester inserted into the center will come out with very damp crumbs on it.
6 | Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before glazing or storing. (The brownie will set further upon cooling.)
7 | Prepare and apply the truffle glaze. Put the chopped chocolate into a large bowl so it forms a shallow layer. Heat the cream to the scalding point and pour through a strainer onto the chopped chocolate. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes without stirring; then bring the chocolate and cream together by stirring slowly with a whisk. Stir in the corn syrup and Chambord. Immediately pour the glaze evenly over the brownie. Gently tilt or shake the pan so the glaze completely coats the top.
8 | Decorate (optional). For a marbled top, work quickly while the ganache is still fluid. Fill a parchment pastry cone with the melted milk chocolate. Pipe thin lines across the ganache, spacing them 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart. Draw a toothpick (or cake tester) back and forth through the chocolate and ganache to create a marbled pattern.
9 | Set the pan in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the ganache is firm enough to cleanly cut. (Do not over-chill or the brownies will harden.)
10 | Remove the brownies from the pan in one block by gently pulling up on the foil overhang, and place directly on a cutting board. Remove all foil and trim any uneven edges before cutting the block into 1 3/4- to 2-inch squares. For the neatest cuts, slice the bars while the ganache is firm and wipe the knife clean with a warm, damp cloth between slices. Serve at room temperature.