These ridiculously dense brownies are a variation of the brownie recipe from the Max Brenner Chocolate: A Love Story cookbook (the brownie recipe is properly titled, in true Max style, “A philosophical highly concentrated fudge brownie made of 70 percent dark chocolate thoughts”). Even I was disturbed by the fact that they had almost a kilogram of chocolate in them, so much so that I didn’t believe it at the time and only bought 500g of chocolate because no recipe could possibly need more than that. I ended up rummaging around in the cupboard to find enough chocolate to make up the full 900g. Amazing.
The idea with the rosewater is to just add enough that the flavour isn’t obvious (or even necessarily identifiable) but it’s still there and changes the overall perception of the brownie flavour subtly. And I added pistachios because they pair well with rosewater as kind of Middle Eastern ingredients. Plus I just like pistachios. Although these brownies are retrospectively dedicated to Tash because she likes both rosewater and pistachios (impeccable taste). Recipe after the cut!
225g unsalted butter
250ml thickened cream (pouring/heavy cream)
900g dark chocolate, broken into pieces or roughly chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
6 large eggs
335g caster sugar
2-3 tbs of rosewater
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup pistachios
Preheat the oven to 175°C. Grease a large brownie tin with butter and line with baking paper.
Melt the butter and cream over a low heat in a saucepan then bring just to the boil. Pour it over the chocolate in a large bowl. Leave the chocolate to melt for a little while, then start stirring to combine the mixture until it’s smooth (if there are still lumps of chocolate that won’t melt because the mixture has cooled too much, just microwave it for 15-20 seconds, then stir again until smooth). Allow to cool a little bit.
Stir vanilla into chocolate mixture. Briefly whisk one egg in a small bowl then stir it into the chocolate mixture with a fork, making sure it’s thoroughly combined. Do this for the rest of the eggs, one by one. Add the sugar and stir until combined. Add the rosewater too (2 tbs if you just want the tiniest hint of rosewater flavour, 3 tbs if you’d prefer it to be a bit more obvious… 5 tbs if you want these to be undeniably rosewater flavoured).
Optional: you can roast the pistachios at this point. Just put them in the oven for 5 minutes until they start to turn slightly golden. If you prefer to keep the green colour or just like raw pistachios, don’t bother with roasting them. Chop the pistachios (roasted or not) coarsely.
Sift 3/4 of the flour and all the salt into the chocolate batter and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Toss the pistachios in the remaining 1/4 of the flour then add to the chocolate batter, again stirring until combined (but try not to over-stir).
Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 25 minutes (insert a cake-tester/toothpick/skewer into the brownie and it should come out almost clean). Allow to cool, then wrap in cling-wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. To remove the brownies from the tray, you might need to place the base of the tray in hot water to melt the butter that was used to grease the tray. Then the brownie slab should fall out quite easily. Cut into little squares and serve with something to drink because they’re astoundingly rich!