Stiff Peaks

An indulgent journey into baking

Grasshopper Brownies

I do love a good brownie. And now that my chocolate abstinence has ended after a year, I felt like making a piece of chocolate indulgence. Enter the Grasshopper Brownie.

Ingredients

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker: Grasshopper Brownies

Brownie

  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 150ml boiling water
  • 60g cooking chocolate
  • 60g unsalted butter (melted)
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 500g granulated sugar
  • 220g plain flour
  • 3/4tsp salt
  • 180g dark chocolate (chopped)

Creme De Menthe Filling

  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 80g cream cheese
  • 3tbsp creme de menthe
  • a pinch of salt
  • 350g icing sugar

Chocolate Ganache

  • 400g dark chocolate
  • 125ml double/whipping cream
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1tbsp vanilla extract

Equipment

  • 23cm x 33cm brownie tin (9inch x 13inch)
  • oven preheated to 180º celsius (fan 160º)

Method

Line your tin with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven before starting the brownie.

The theme to begin with is whisk whisk whisk. Until you start adding in the flour, you can aggressively whisk together the ingredients without concern. You can do this by hand, with an electric whisk or with a freestanding mixer. So begin by whisking the cocoa, espresso powder and boiling water together in a large bowl until smooth. Add the cooking chocolate and whisk until melted and combined. Next, whisk in the butter and oil, and hold your nerve as it might look like it’s splitting. Add in the eggs, yolks, and vanilla extract and whisk until consistent, then throw in the sugar and whisk until you have a smooth mixture again. It’ll start to thicken up at this point.

With your wet mixture prepared, fold in the flour and salt gently with a spatula until just combined. Finally fold in the dark chocolate chunks, and your mixture is ready for the tin. It’s quite a wet mixture so don’t worry if it seems runny.

Pour the brownie evenly into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out nearly clean. Brownies will continue to cook once you remove it from the oven, and you’ll want a semi-gooey texture unlike a cake. Set the tin on a cooling rack, leaving the brownie inside to cool.

For the filling, you’ll find it much easier on your arms to do everything with a freestanding electric mixer or an electric whisk. Beat together the butter and cream cheese for around 2 minutes on a medium speed until well combined. Slow the speed of the mixer and pour in the creme de menthe and add a pinch of salt. Still mixing slowly, gradually add the icing sugar (mainly to stop it going EVERYWHERE). When you’ve got everything in the mixer, crank up the speed and beat until smooth and fluffy. Spread the mixture over the now cold brownie in an even layer and chill the lot in the fridge for 30 minutes.

For the ganache topping, place the chocolate, cream, and butter in a bowl over a simmering pan of water. Make sure that the water is not touching the bowl or else your chocolate will burn. Stir the mixture together gently until the chocolate has completely melted. Remove from the pan and add the vanilla, then let cool to room temperature. Once you have a firmer chocolate mixture, spread it over the creme de menthe layer and return back to the fridge for another 30 minutes until firm.

With all layers now set, you can remove the brownie from the tin and divide into squares. You can make 24 generous portions, or 35 sightly more sensible slices. I had a bit of difficulty as my ganache was too firm and my buttercream too soft, so I tweaked the ingredients to try and address both.

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