Last week’s recipe, the tahini and chocolate cookies, may well have been your first introduction to the perfect pairing of chocolate with rye flour (or maybe it was my crinkle cookies) but today, with the help of Doves Farm (LINK), we’re taking this magical combination to its logical conclusion, brownies! Rye flour is another example of an ancient grain, and another of my favourites. Rye might be more well known as the flour used to make dark, flavoursome loaves of bread most often associated with Scandinavian baking but using it in sweet recipes adds a wonderful depth of flavour not found with regular wheat flour - malty and nutty. Rye happens to be lower in gluten (though not gluten free) which helps makes these brownies extra tender and because of the added flavour coming from the rye, these have a deeper more interesting flavour. But even if you like good old fashioned brownies don’t worry you’ll still love these, they’re just..well..better.
When it comes to choosing your flour you have two types of rye, white and wholewheat, just as with regular wheat flour. And just as with wheat flour the choice of which you use will affect the flavour. Personally I almost always use the wholewheat variety as it has so much more flavour and in these brownies it is competing with a strong flavour in the form of chocolate, so the nuances would just be lost with white rye.
Rye Chocolate Brownies
175g Doves Farm organic wholemeal rye flour
50g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
200g unsalted butter, diced
300g dark chocolate (65-75% cocoa solids)
150g caster sugar
220g light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan). Lightly grease, and line with parchment, a 9x13 inch brownie pan.
Into a large bowl sieve together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. The main reason for this is to remove any lumps of cocoa but there will also be a little bran from the rye flour left at the end. This can either be added to the dry goods or omitted, depending on your preference (it’s still quite finely ground bran so it doesn’t add much texture so I tend to leave it in, plus the bran has lots of flavour).
Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl, set over a pan of simmering water, and heat, stirring occasionally, until fully melted. Remove and set aside for a few minutes.
Meanwhile place the eggs, sugars and vanilla into a large bowl and using an electric mixer whisk together for 3-4 minutes or until the eggs have increased in volume and the mixture is pale and fluffy. This whisking action helps to give the finished brownie a shiny crackly crust and the ideal dense and fudgy texture. With the mixer still running pour in the cooled butter and chocolate mixture, whisking until fully combined. Switching to a spatula pour in the dry goods and mix together just until everything is combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared brownie pan and spread into an even layer. As I think all chocolate recipes benefit from salt you can also add a little extra sprinkling of salt at this stage, in the form of flaked sea salt. This really helps to bring out all the flavours in the rye and chocolate and makes these brownies shine. You can omit this is you prefer, just don’t omit the salt in the batter as the finished brownies will taste flat and dull.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. The finished brownies will be puffed up a little but still gooey inside. As the brownies cool the mixture will sink back a little, creating the perfect dense fudgy texture we all love. Allow to cool at room temperature for an hour before transferring to the fridge for a couple hours to cool completely. Lift the brownies from the pan and use a sharp knife to cut into squares. The brownies are on the rich side, they are brownies after-all, so I tend to cut them into 16 small squares.
Kept in a sealed container the brownies will keep for at least 4 days.