Thursday, 18 April 2013

Chocolate brownies

Chocolate brownies are a signature bake of one of my patisserie heroes, Gerhard Jenne. I met Gerhard at a party, for which he had done the catering,  many years ago. The center piece was a cake that, I had assumed, had been covered with a brown velvet cloth. It was only when it came to be served that one realised that the rippled brown velvet was the cake. I can still remember that it tasted of german spices so reminiscent of Christmas markets, proving that it tasted as good as it looked. You can see an image of a very similar cake here on the Pinterest page of Jenne's patisserie: Konditor and Cook.
Gerhard was extremely down to earth and personable at the party and he invited me to come and see his shop anytime I was in the area. Circumstances prevented me but a few years later was surprised to find it on the corner of the street which houses the London home of the company I work for. After that not a meeting went by without a bag of chocolate brownies.

So, it appears that there are two types of chocolate brownie: cakey or fudgy. The Konditor and Cook ones are definitely fudgy and these are the type I prefer. I love the crumbly flaky crust on top of the soft, creamy interior. There are as many different variations on the recipe as there are cooks some using a melted chocolate base and some cocoa powder. My preferred method is to add cocoa powder and the other ingredients for the brownie to melted butter and then to add chunks of chocolate and pecan nuts to add some structure and crunch. I love using a bitter cocoa and a sweet milk chocolate to create a real contrast in chocolate flavours. Living in Switzerland there is a lot of choice for chocolate but my favourite for brownies is Cailler, Cuisine Chocolate au Lait. You can vary the recipe with chocolate and nuts of your choice, for example white chocolate and pistachio. As long as you use cocoa, they are still brownies.

Here are some pictures of my latest batch which my colleagues enjoyed this week.


  1. These really are the best brownies I've ever tasted

  2. I'm also a fudgy brownie fan. I don't know what those cakey people are thinking. Keep on baking (and bringing your samples to work)!

  3. I'm planning a batch with white chocolate and macadamia nuts ... watch this space :)