Neapolitan Brownie

Neapolitan Brownie

This is an idea I’d been toying with for a while but was only recently able to bring into a baked (and chilled) product. Neapolitan being such a traditional ice cream flavour combo but something I thought would work so much better in another form.  So here it is…

Neapolitan Brownie
Serves 10-12

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Ingredients
for the brownie base

  • 125g plain chocolate, chopped
  • 125g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 50g plain flour, sifted
  • 25g cocoa powder, sifted

for the crème légère

  • 200ml full-fat milk
  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 10g plain flour
  • 10g cornflour
  • 150ml double cream

for the macerated strawberries

  • 200g fresh strawberries
  • 10g caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Method
For the brownie: preheat the oven to 180°C (170°C fan)/350°F/gas mark 4, grease a 23cm round tin and line with non-stick baking paper.

Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water stirring occasionally until melted. Transfer the melted mixture to a large mixing bowl and leave to cool for a few minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla to the bowl with the cooled mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the flour and cocoa powder, until evenly combined.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin, spreading evenly, and bake for 20-25 minutes. The brownie will develop a papery crust when ready. Leave to cool in the tin before placing on a serving plate, meanwhile prepare the crème légère.

For the crème légère make a pastry cream: heat the milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil. While the milk is heating mix the egg yolks, vanilla extract, sugar and flours in a heatproof bowl until smooth. Once the milk comes the boil, pour into the egg mixture, stirring continuously with a whisk to prevent the eggs scrambling.

Pour the milk mixture into a clean saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring continuously with a whisk. Boil for two minutes until the mixture has thickened considerably, keep stirring and scrape the bottom of the pan so the mixture doesn’t catch. Transfer to a wide, shallow dish and cover with cling film, sticking it right to the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin forming. Leave to cool over ice then chill in the fridge, meanwhile prepare the macerated strawberries.

For the macerated strawberries: remove the tops of the strawberries then cut into quarters and toss in a bowl with the sugar and vanilla extract. Cover the bowl with cling film then leave to macerate in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.

Assemble the Neapolitan Brownie: beat the chilled pastry cream in a large bowl until smooth and whip the double cream for the crème légère in a seperate bowl until stiff. Fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream then spread over the cooled brownie, leaving a 2cm rim around the egde. Top with the macerated strawberries, arranging into a mound and leaving a 2cm rim of crème légère. Serve chilled.

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