Clearly, we do not celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK (although it’s always a good excuse to watch this). Having been in the US for the few months though, I’m feeling quite full of the spirit of the season. I’ve purchased a few sparkly turkey decorations to hang around the house and watched one of the Thanksgiving episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine at least 17 times (I’ve definitely exhausted the entertainment options on British Airways). We even had a Thanksgiving potluck in the office last week although our contributions were limited to whatever we could pick up at the local supermarket.
This year, Thanksgiving will coincide with my birthday (31!). It will be (and I appreciate that I haven’t shared this here although it’s not really a secret) my last birthday before my boyfriend and I get married next October. In the middle of our crazy work/travel schedules and sporadic but intense bursts of wedding planning, this year more than ever, I’m feeling pretty thankful for what I’ve got.
All this week, some of my favourite bloggers will be sharing recipes for our own virtual friendsgiving, organised by Renee and the good people at J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works. Their sun-dried salt is produced from an ancient ocean under the Appalachian mountains in West Virginia (here’s a short video if you’re interested in learning a bit more).
I have always been fairly loyal to my preferred brand of salt but this stuff is really rather special. These brownies, a riff on my go-to flourless brownie recipe, are my contribution. I’ve thanksgiving’d them up with the addition of pecans and a splash of bourbon. A heavy hand with the salt gives you a rich chocolate-y treat that is most definitely on the adult end of the brownie spectrum. If you’re based in the US, you can also win a little 1 oz pot to try it yourself (see the rafflecopter thingy below). Other bloggers will be hosting giveaways all this week too – you can find all the details in this post.
The level of salt you want to use here depends partly on your tastes but also on the kind of salt that you're using. I like to taste as a I go along because I am not at all squeamish about raw brownie batter but I think it's always wisest to err on the side of caution if you're not sure how much salt to use. You can always sprinkle a bit more over the cooked brownies if you want but it's very hard to take salt away from something!
- 300g (12 oz) dark chocolate (70% is ideal), roughly chopped
- 175g (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 170g (1 cup less 1 tablespoon) demerara sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 50g (1/2 cup) ground almonds
- 35g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 100g (1 cup) pecans, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a 23cm square tin with greased paper.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a bowl of barely simmering water, stirring constantly until they're all liquidy. Pour the chocolate mixture into a bowl, add the sugar and beat well. Add the eggs, one by one, followed by the vanilla and a splash of bourbon and continue to mix until combined. Finally, gently mix in all of the dry ingredients, reserving some of the pecans to scatter on top.
- Pour the batter into a tin and bake for about 30 minutes until just firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting.