Indulgent brownies for Easter
Easter means chocolate for many of us, although how the two came to be inextricably entwined is a bit of a mystery to me. I'm guessing the ending of the fasting period of Lent imposed by Christian religions meant it was okay to let your hair down and eat way too many sweet things.
Eggs have been a symbol of rebirth and fertility for many centuries, but chocolate eggs only arrived on the scene around the early 19th century, crafted in France and Germany.
Now, of course, we have chocolate everything sold to celebrate Easter, from bunnies (another symbol of fertility) to bilbies.
And as we all know, there's more than one way to eat chocolate -like today's recipe for brownies topped with a dreamy, creamy Bailey's flavoured mousse. Indulgent, much?
Needless to say, there is absolutely nothing healthy about this dessert - not even the fresh berry garnish will save it. Serve in small portions and go for a long walk afterwards.
To save time and effort I've used a commercial brownie mix for the base today. If you'd like a from-scratch recipe, email me and I'll forward my favourite.
1 packet brownie mix, 6 large free-range egg yolks, 6 tbsp sugar, 3/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur, 2 cups chocolate chips, divided, 1 3/4 cup pure cream, 1 cup icing sugar, raspberries and fresh mint to serve
Make up brownie mix according to packet instructions. Set aside to cool in the baking tray. Combine egg yolks, sugar and liqueur in the top of a double boiler and cook over barely simmering water, whisking constantly until the mixture starts to thicken, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Set aside 1/4 cup of chocolate chips. Melt remaining chocolate over a bowl of warm water or in the microwave. Don't allow water or steam to touch the chocolate or it will be spoiled. Whisk melted chocolate into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
Whip cream with sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold about three tablespoons of the cooled chocolate mixture into the cream, then gradually fold the cream into the remaining chocolate mixture.
Spread the mousse over the brownie then refrigerate for at least four hours, preferably overnight. To serve, cut into squares with a sharp knife and decorate with remaining chocolate chips, raspberries and mint sprigs.
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