Thyme Brownie single

I do not watch much television but I must admit I am smitten with Master Chef.  I missed the episode last night, but apparently there was a bit of a tasting challenge on.  I can only recall my taste buds being ‘tested’ once.  It was during my behind-the-scenes tour of Gérard Mulot in Paris last year.  During the tour, Chef Antoine Hesloin generously handed out a range of chocolates for us to try.  We were asked if we could detect the flavours.  One stumped me.  That flavour was thyme. 

I had never tasted this herb in a ‘sweet’ before.  But the earthiness of the thyme complemented the bitter dark chocolate well.  As I was reminded of my own tasting challenge, I thought I would attempt my own spin on the thyme infused chocolate.

I have been on the hunt for a brownie recipe recently.  I am quite particular about my brownies.  Some brownies are more cakey.  Some brownies are more fudgey.  Some brownies are more chewy.  My favourite?  Chewy.  No question.  It seems the lovely Y, over at Lemonpi, also is a fan of the chewy brownie.  I asked her about a Belinda Jeffery brownie she made some time back.  I mentioned I was looking for the perfect chewy brownie.  She suggested the bacon brownie recipe she recently made.  They looked absolutely delicious, so immediately knew I would give them a try.

I made just a few adjustments to the recipe to accommodate the thyme flavour.  I omitted the coffee as well as the vanilla as I was worried about it interfering with the thyme.  I also only wanted to make half the recipe.  Y originally had 5 eggs in her recipe, but I cut that down to 3.  Mostly because I did not want to fiddle with half an egg, but also because I wanted the extra boost of egg to ‘set’ the brownie a little more.

The result?  The thyme flavour was subtle.  In hindsight, I could probably double the thyme used to achieve a slightly stronger flavour.  But I was very happy with the texture of the brownies.  They were chewy and had the right amount of ‘bite’.  I wonder if I now need to search for another recipe ever again?

Thyme Brownie

{ Thyme Brownie }
Adapted from Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

* Ingredients *

½ cup + 2 tablespoons plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dark unsweetened cocoa powder
150g dark chocolate
110g unsalted butter
¾ cup caster sugar
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2-3 sprigs of thyme

* Directions *

Preheat the oven to 170C or 340F. Prepare a 20cm or 8 inch square cake tin.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt and cocoa powder together.  Put the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.  Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.

Add 1 egg to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Do not over beat the batter.  Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it

Makes 16 brownies