Mentally I’ve written and re-written the introduction to this post a thousand times. Inspiration has never felt so desperately out of reach. It’s like curling your fingers into a fist in the air and hoping to capture a butterfly – in a room where there’s none. The cure can only be fresh air and freedom, but it’ll be some time yet that I – perhaps most of us – can get both back. Till then I wait with bated breath.
Strawberry Lemon Brownie Cake
makes a 7 inch cake
For the brownie:
180 grams dark chocolate, chopped
90 grams unsalted butter, cubed
200 grams sugar
zest of 1 lemon
45 grams all-purpose flour
15 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
For the ganache:
140 grams milk chocolate
2 egg yolks
15 grams sugar
80 ml heavy cream
80 ml milk
zest of half a lemon
Make the brownie: Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare a 7 inch round cake pan.
Gradually melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave. Stir until combined and set aside.
In a separate bowl, rub the lemon zest into the sugar until fragrant. Whisk in the eggs until combined. Stir in the chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour, cocoa powder and salt.
Scrape batter into the cake pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out with a moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature before chilling in the fridge until cold.
Make the ganache: Melt the chocolate in a microwave and set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together and set aside. Bring the cream and milk to a simmer in a saucepan, gradually whisk into the egg mixture. Pour mixture back into the saucepan and stir over low heat until the custard thickens (at approximately 83C). Pour into the bowl with the melted chocolate and stir until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Refrigerate for a few hours until firm enough to pipe.
Decorate the cake: Transfer the ganache to a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe generous blobs of ganache onto the top of the brownie. Decorate with whole and halved strawberries (for visual interest), mint leaves and freshly grated lemon zest.