First of all, Chasing Delicious has got to have some of the most beautiful food photography I've ever seen. Visit his site when you have a chance - it will change the way you see food. The two recipes I prepared today, I'm proud to admit, are all his.
Blackberries are such a gorgeous little fruit, aren't they? They're packed will all kinds of goodness, have such a fun texture, and can be used in so many different ways. Today, I coupled them with fresh mint, homemade whipped cream, and gooey chocolate. My kind of late-afternoon treat.
The recipe was originally listed with almost all "ounce" measurements. It was not my favorite at first, but forced me to remember my metrics, and convert the ingredients accordingly. I have yet to purchase an ounce scale, and would have loved one today, but I survived without it.
Making whipped cream from scratch is amazing. I'm not hard core enough to shun the store-bought stuff, but I've learned to really appreciate the depth of real flavor homemade whipped cream provides. Also, this recipe was the first time I've used cake flour. Felt the same.
I've always used this technique, but never really knew the name for it. It's called: bain marie. I've used it mostly to melt chocolate, but in this case today I was able to use it with a few more ingredients. Bain Marie is when you take a bowl of food (I use my medium metal bowl), and place it into a pan with simmering water. The steam heats up the bowl of food with gentle, slow, heat. I know you're beyond excited.
All in all, the overall flavor of this dish was perfectly decadent. The mint-infused whipped cream was the perfect touch. However, this recipe took a while to prepare. I'm sure there's a much easier way (store-mix brownies, mint extracts, (heck, you could just do mint brownies), store whipped cream, and use some good 'ol blackberry jam...
But you'd seriously be missing out. The extra time in this case = extra depth of flavor.
Blackberry & Mint Brownie Parfait
recipe from chasing delicious
1 brownie recipe (*See Easy Fudge Brownie recipe below)
12 oz whole blackberries
1/2 C sugar
2 T mint leaves, finely chopped
1 T honey
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 C water
1 1/2 C heavy cream
6-10 mint stems with leaves
3 T sugar
Prepare the brownies according to the recipe and set them aside to cool completely.
Prepare the blackberry macerate by putting the blackberries, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons mint leaves, honey, vanilla extract and water in a bowl. Mix with a fork, mashing some of the blackberries, until everything is evenly distributed. Set aside at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare the mint-infused whipped cream by placing the cream and the mint stems and leaves in a heavy-bottomed pot. Heat the mixture over medium heat just to the scalding stage – don’t let the cream come to a simmer or a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool at room temperature before placing in the fridge to chill completely.
Once ready to whip – making sure the cream is cold – strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve – saving the cream but discarding the mint. Place the cream in a bowl and whip at high speed. Once the mixture begins to thicken, slowly add the 3 tablespoons sugar and continue whipping until the mixture forms stiff peaks – this will take longer than whipping normal heavy whipping cream. Set aside.
To assemble the parfaits place a few brownie chunks in the bottom of a cup. Spoon the mint-infused whipping cream on top of the brownies and then spoon blackberry macerate onto of the whipped cream. Repeat these steps until the cup is filled to the top (I placed a couple large chunks of brownie and some fresh mint leaves on top for decoration).
Only assemble the parfait just before eating. Store the parts separately refrigerated for up to a couple days (you will have to re-whip the cream a bit if you let it sit longer than a few hours).
*Easy Fudge Brownies
recipe adapted from chasing delicious
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chopped
1 3/4 C sugar
3 1/2 oz unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 C choc chips
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, cold
1/2 C cake flour
Butter a 9×11 pan (I used a cookie sheet - that way I could have smaller pieces for the parfaits); preheat an oven to 325°F with a rack in the bottom third of the oven.
Place the butter in a large bowl over a pot of simmering water - (bain marie). When it begins to melt, add the sugar, cocoa powder and chocolate bar. Stir occasionally until the butter and chocolate have completely melted and mixture is completely mixed together–it may still appear a bit grainy.
Remove the bowl from the bain marie and allow the temperature of the mixture to cool slightly.
Add the vanilla and stir. Then add each egg, one at a time, mixing well after each to completely incorporate it.
Add the cake flour and mix until it is completely dispersed. Continue to mix for another minute to ensure the mixture is smooth. The batter will be very thick.
Pour batter into the pan and spread it out evenly if needed. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 22 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out covered in crumbs and a paste-like substance, but not a liquidy looking substance (it should stick to the toothpick and not run or fall off).
Allow the brownies to cool to room temperature.
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