Raspberry Halva Brownies

TIMEAugust 1, 2019

Raspberry Halva Brownies

I’m not the kind of food person who describes edible things as sexy, that’s not me, but I will admit to feeling things for these brownies. I think you could use them to success­fully woo someone. They’re that good.

Makes 12 brownies

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 10 ounces “72 percent cacao” chocolate, chopped
  • 1 ounce unsweetened baker’s chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 6 ounces vanilla halva candy, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see Note)

Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 x 12 x 2-inch baking pan and line the bottom and long sides with parchment paper, leaving a 1 1/2-inch overhang at the sides.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

Fill a medium saucepan one-quarter full with water. Set over medium heat, and bring the water to a simmer. Combine the butter, 72 percent chocolate, and baker’s chocolate in a very clean heatproof bowl and place over the simmering water. Stir gently until the butter and chocolate are melted and completely blended. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and place it on a dry towel.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and eggs. Beat vigorously with a whisk until the mixture is lighter in color and very creamy looking; you can use an electric mixer for this step if you like. Add the chocolate mixture, and whisk to combine. Incorporate the flour mixture, mixing just until no dry bits remain.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Scatter the raspberries and halva candy over the batter and gently press them into the surface. Gently rap the pan on the counter to dislodge any air pockets in the batter.

Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and continue baking until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out with very moist crumbs still clinging to it, about 20 minutes more. (I prefer to underbake these brownies. They will continue to carry-over cook while they cool, and the center brownies will set up nicely and become fudgey and toothsome rather than cakey.)

Remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan. Once completely cooled, carefully remove them from the pan by lifting the parchment paper at the sides. Cut into 12 brownies. Because of the raspberries, these brownies do not have the same shelf life as a standard bar cookie. They are best eaten within 3 days, but keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Note: Halva is a traditional confection from Middle Eastern cuisine that is made from sesame paste and sugar. In these brownies it has a softer, gentler peanut-butter character. You can find halva candy in specialty food stores or online.

Reprinted from “Dappled” by arrangement with Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright 2019, Nicole Rucker.