A hint of salt, the tang of raspberry and the freshness of meringue elevates this dessert above the classics and yet retains the essence of their simplicity.
Let it be said: I don’t like chocolate in desserts. Brownies are my Achilles heel – especially served with a fresh dollop of local clotted cream, so they’re just melting in the mouth. And I’ve found a way to make them even tastier; the addition of salt has completely shook up my baking repertoire. No longer is the chocolate too bitter, too sweet, too much. Now it’s perfectly balanced and even enhanced in the most gentle of ways. I am sure even devout chocoholics will benefit from a little Himalayan sea salt with their chocolate from time to time!
Baking without butter is a great exercise. Not only is it wonderful for those worried about their butter intake, but it completely alters the texture and consistency of most cakes. It’s also great for practicality. Once you know how, if you find yourself too short of butter it’s easy to replace it with oil instead. There was a time when I didn’t know you could use olive oil to make cakes, but those dark days are now gone.
The raspberries atop the brownie serve to make a delicious sauce between brownie and meringue. To up the ante on the presentation, you might choose to serve fresh fruit across the top, or make a syrup from the baked juices, like me.
Sea Salt, Olive Oil & Raspberry Brownies Meringue Cake
Gooey, crispy: the classic brownie and meringue combined to make a showstopper cake.
For the brownie:
- 220g dark chocolate
- 170g granulated sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 60ml olive oil
- 30g self raising flour
- Sprinkling of sea salt
- Smoked salt flakes or Himalayan sea salt (to garnish)
For the meringue:
- 2 large egg whites
- 120g caster sugar
- Vanilla extract (optional)
For the brownie:
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Line a round baking tin with parchment/baking paper, or, alternately, grease with butter and flour.
- In a medium sized saucepan boil water on high heat. Using a heat-resistant bowl, set it in the boiling water and use it to heat the chocolate and olive oil, until combined and completely melted.
- Remove the bowl from heat and turn off hob. Now add sugar to the mixture, beating with an electric or hand whisk until it is no longer grainy.
- Add eggs one by one, whisking as you go.
- Now slowly using a metal spoon, fold the flour into the mixture until it resembles a smooth, shiny paste. Add a sprinkling of coarse salt, stirring as you go.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan and arrange raspberries evenly before grinding salt flakes across the top of your brownies.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, until cooked through and gooey in centre with a slightly crispy top. To check, insert a sewer into the brownie. If it comes out clean, then it’s ready to be taken from the oven. Allow to rest before you add the meringue.
For the meringue:
- In a very clean bowl (any trace of fat will hinder this process), beat egg whites to soft peaks. This means they will have expanded considerably, be fluffy, and still stand in peaks when you take the whisks out.
- Continue whisking but now start to add your sugar, pouring very slowly. You want to achieve glossy, thick meringue.
- Spread your meringue evenly over the top of your brownie and bake in oven for between 1hr-1.5hrs, depending on if you prefer mallow-soft texture meringue insides (like mine) or crunchier insides.