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Earl Grey brownies

Makes 25

The batter makes a thick brownie that is chilled after baking. The top is coated with a layer of rich chocolate ganache before the mixture is cut into squares. For both the brownie and the ganache, Chocolate Idol winner Blanche Ip recommends using a top quality bittersweet chocolate in the range of 66 to 72 percent chocolate liquor.


Butter (for the pan)
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut up
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving 2 inches hanging over two opposite sides. Butter the foil.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring often. Add 1 cup of the sugar and stir for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup sugar and the eggs. Whisk well. Pour 1/2 of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, stirring to combine.

5. In an electric mixer, beat the remaining egg mixture for 2 minutes or until thick and pale colored. Fold the beaten egg mixture into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the flour mixture.

6. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake the brownies in the middle of the oven for 35 to 38 minutes or until the top is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out lightly streaked with chocolate. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the brownies in the pan for at least 1 hour. (The brownies can be made up to 1 day in advance.)


8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons Earl Grey tea leaves or 2 Earl Grey tea bags
1. In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate and honey. Set a fine strainer over the bowl.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the cream and tea leaves or bags and heat over medium-high heat until bubbling. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Pour the cream through the strainer into the chocolate mixture. Use a rubber spatula to stir the cream and chocolate until the chocolate melts.

3. Set aside 1/2 cup of this ganache mixture at room temperature.

4. Refrigerate the remaining ganache in the bowl for 45 minutes or until it sets.

5. In an electric mixer, beat the chilled ganache for 1 minute or until creamy and lightened. Spread it over the brownies. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

6. If the 1/2 cup ganache you set aside has thickened, heat it for 10 to 15 seconds in a microwave or set it in a bowl of warm water and stir until it is pourable. Pour it onto the chilled ganache layer. Return the pan to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until firm.

7. Holding onto the foil overhang, lift the brownies out of the pan. Set them on a cutting board. Using a thin, sharp knife, and wiping the blade clean after each cut, make 4 cuts in one direction to yield 5 rows. Give the pan a quarter turn and make 4 cuts in the other direction to yield 5 more rows. Lift the brownies off the foil. Adapted from Blanche Ip

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