Gefiltefest & a recipe for perfect chocolate brownies

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We’ve been very lucky that Michael Leventhal has shared his recipe for Perfect Chocolate Brownies with WimShul Cooks. Michael is the founder of Gefiltefest, a Jewish Food Charity that embraces every aspect of Jewish food and its traditions. Its annual festival of food is on Sunday 19th May at the London Jewish Cultural Centre.

WimShul Cooks is planning an outing north of the river to attend the festival. Would you like to join us? Cheaper group and ‘early-bird’ tickets are now on sale. Please email wimshulcooks@gmail.com if you would like to join the group outing. Tickets can be bought directly from the following website: http://www.ljcc.org.uk/events/2614-gefiltefest-early-bird-individual-ticket-sales.html

Perfect Chocolate Brownies

By Michael Leventhal (Founder & Director, Gefiltefest)

Perfect chocolate brownies (c) Michael Leventhal 2013

Perfect chocolate brownies (c) Michael Leventhal 2013

For the following brownie recipe I’ve taken the ingredients of Tarryn Klotnick – a wonderful Gefiltefest volunteer – and used a few techniques from the French cook David Lebowitz, mixed in with my own ideas.

  • 200g dark chocolate. The better the chocolate, the better the brownies.*
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 175g caster sugar, 50g soft dark brown sugar
  • 130g plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Vanilla essence
  • 150g pecan nuts

*If you are using less than 75% cocoa, reduce the need the amount of sugar (because the chocolate is less bitter).

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Line a tray with two sheets of silver foil perpendicular to each other and grease the top sheet.

2. In a medium saucepan melt the butter, then add the chocolate and stir on a gently low heat until everything is smooth and melted.

3. Remove from the heat, stir in the sugar and a drop of vanilla essence.

4. Beat in the eggs, one by one.

5. Add the flour and stir very energetically for about 75 seconds until the batter becomes smooth and glossy. Don’t skip this crucial step!

6. Stir in 150g of chopped pecan nuts – they should be toasted first for just 5 minutes on 170 degrees.

7. Bake for 30 minutes – underbake rather than overbake – then leave to cool completely before taking out and cutting. If you put a knife into a jug of hot water it will slice through the brownies more easily.

8. If you freeze them in the tin before cutting you’ll get perfect lines and they won’t crumble so much – but there are less crumbs for you to hoover up yourself!

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