This cake is based on a delicious spelt brownie recipe created by super baker Claire Ptak of Violet Cakes, in London.
We’ve gilded the lily by adding a drizzle of ganache and sprinkling some coarsely chopped pistachio nuts and a few rose petals on top.
Makes 10 brownies
– 175g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
– 350g dark chocolate (approx. 60–70minimum per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces (we use Valrhona)
– 50g cocoa powder
– 225g white spelt flour
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp salt (3/4 teaspoon if using sea salt)
– 400g caster sugar
– 4 organic eggs (approx. 200g)
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 50g pistachios, chopped, to garnish
– 3 tsp dried rose petals, to garnish
– 125ml double cream
110g dark chocolate, chopped into pieces
– Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4. Butter and line a 20 x 30cm baking dish with baking
1. In a heatproof bowl, melt the butter and chocolate over water that has been brought to the boil and then taken off the heat. Leave the mixture to rest, stirring occasionally as it melts.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together the cocoa, flour and baking powder. Sprinkle over the salt.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
4. Slowly add the melted chocolate mixture, followed by the combined dry ingredients and pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes – the brownies should be set but with a slight wobble.
5. Meanwhile, make the ganache. Put the cream into a heavy-bottomed stainless steel saucepan and bring it almost to the boil.
6. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. With a wooden spoon, stir the chocolate into the cream until it is completely melted.
7. Transfer the chocolate cream to the bowl of a food mixer and leave it to cool to room temperature.
8. Slather a little chocolate ganache on top of the brownies. Sprinkle with the pistachios and rose petals. Cut the brownies into squares and enjoy.
Growing your own food is exciting but, when it comes to knowing how to make the most of your produce, it can be daunting.
In Grow, Cook, Nourish, bestselling author Darina Allen draws on more than 30 years of experience gardening at Ballymaloe to take you through an extensive list of vegetables, herbs and fruits with each entry including explanations of different varieties, practical information on cultivation, growing and maintenance, plus instructions for the best ways to cook produce as well as preserve and utilise a glut.
Taken from Grow Cook Nourish by Darina Allen, published by Kyle Books. Photography by Clare Winfield.