Some of you may know that I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect brownie for a few years now. I’m pleased to say I finally found them thanks to a little help from my dear friend Pedro Ximenez (PX) and the Bourke Street Bakery.
When it comes to alcohol, I’m not a big drinker, but I do go a little weak at the knees for a glass of good PX. My favourite is the Valdespino brand, which I first tried when we went to Stefano’s last year. We brought a bottle back with us and I was extremely sad to drink the last drop as I hadn’t found it anywhere in Melbourne. I tried a few other brands but didn’t enjoy them anywhere near as much and then, much to my delight, D came home one day saying he’d seen it at a bottle shop near work. Only he didn’t actually buy any. Hmpf.
Me: “So why didn’t you buy any?”
D: “Because we already have two other bottles on the shelf.”
D: “I’ll go next time I’m in the area in a few weeks.”
Fast forward ahead to me flicking through the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook and seeing the recipe for prune brownies where the prunes were soaked in brandy. A lightbulb went off in my head. Prunes + chocolate + PX = match made in heaven.
Needless to say, when I told D he’d have brownies as soon as I had PX, he came home with two bottles the next day 🙂
These brownies are everything you want a brownie to be – a little crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, loads of chocolate and a little crunch from the walnuts. Plus the added bonus of prunes soaked in PX. Have I sold you yet?
I added chopped walnuts to the recipe as we think they’re nice with the added crunch, but feel free to leave them out. As the prunes need to soak for a while, you’ll have to start the recipe three days ahead.
Chocolate Prune Brownies
Adapted from the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook
300g pitted prunes, quartered
200ml Pedro Ximenez
55g plain flour
40g unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
300g good quality dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
80g unsalted butter
300g caster sugar
4 large eggs
100g sour cream
145g dark chocolate melts/buttons
1/2 – 1 cup chopped walnuts (toasted or untoasted)
- Place the prunes in an airtight container and pour the PX over them. Seal and set aside to soak for three days.
- Heat the oven to 170C (325F) non fan-forced. Grease a 20 x 30 x 4cm rectangular cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.
- Put the chocolate, butter and sugar into a stainless steel bowl and sit over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir for 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has melted. Allow to cool.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder into a separate bowl.
- Transfer chocolate mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the flour mixture and mix to combine. Add the sour cream, chocolate melts and prunes (with any remaining soaking liquid) and mix until just combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until just set. Place your hand on top of the brownie in the centre and wobble to feel if it is set.
- Allow to cool completely before turning out of the tin. Use a hot knife to cut into squares and enjoy.