Dipping strawberries in chocolate is a favorite spring and summer dessert and decoration, and it makes sense. What doesn’t go with chocolate? What doesn’t enhance a strawberry?
Justice for Berries
This is a great idea, but I am never sure it does justice to the berry. Because a fine, plump, perfumed berry plucked from the plant is such a prayer, a poem that I hate to do anything to them. Ok, call it boring to serve a big bowl of berries but that’s my way.
As We have Our Fill, Then…
Until the strawberry season begins to wane. They are still magic, their flavor filled with summer sun (at least here, where the strawberry season extends all summer), their perfume heady enough to stop you in your tracks when you pass them. We’ve had bowls and platters of them, and the abundance gets you thinking about ways to enhance them.
Enter the brownie. It’s a favorite in my household and my circle. This is because I have an amazing recipe from a friend of mine who lives in New Orleans. He isn’t a cook but he’s a maestro with brownies, making them when he’s not managing the jazz festival or saving the city from high water. He shared his special recipe with me which is, as might be expected, studded with pecans. And I’ve been making it for decades to his, and all of my friends’ delight.
The Combination was Born
The other day I was in need of a dessert and I had berries. Rather than dip them in chocolate I thought about this version of the combination. It has everything – cake, richness, chocolate, and juicy, delicious berries.
Recipe for Brownies
I supply you with the recipe for the brownies – you are more than welcome! It’s up to you to cut them the size you want, but think bite-size. Then place a berry atop each piece. I like to leave the green stem on for looks but I admit you then have to ask people to pull it off. I think of that as the price of perfection.
Remember the Dusting
Then, dust the confections with confectioner’s sugar and bring them on. They’re perfect because they’re small, richly flavored but not heavy, and just the thing as the evening cools, the wine warms in the glass, and everyone is settling into the late evening!
The Best Brownies - Les Meilleurs "Broonies"
- ½ cup;70g flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 ounces;120g butter
- 1 cup;200g sugar
- 4 ounces 120g chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup;70g pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Butter and flour a 9-inch square pan.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt onto a piece of waxed or parchment paper.
- Place the butter, sugar and the chocolate together into a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, to melt. Stir it occasionally until all of the ingredients are melted, and remove from the heat. Mix in the dry ingredients, then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Fold in the pecans if using, then turn the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Bake the brownies on the center rack of the oven until they are gooey but cooked, about 20 minutes. If you prefer your brownies more cakey, extend the baking time to 25 minutes.