Sunday, May 25, 2008

Inspired Ideas in Food

I was reading yet another post from Ideas In Food last night about the combination of olives, chocolate and carrageenan used to create an olive ganache. Seriously lacking in both hydrocolloids and cash, I went searching for a slightly more traditional method of binding chocolate and olives. Fifteen minutes later, my inquisitions were answered by a recipe on Epicurious for dense chocolate and olive oil brownies. I wonder why I never attempted to pair the two flavours before? I used to make luscious chocolate ganache tarts served with sea salt and almond oil ice cream although it's not quite the same as they were still two completely separate components.

I'm not a fan of overly sweet desserts and am constantly trying to combine sweet with savoury. Of course I was curious about matching a bean puree with chocolate and just had to try it for this month's WTSIM. By the way did you know that botanically speaking, beans are actually fruit?
Anyway, this adapted brownie recipe turned out pretty darn well. The cooking time and temperature needed a little adjusting to compensate for using the gas oven at work. I also added a little more salt than the recipe suggested as I wanted my brownies a touch more on the savoury side. The seasoning really enhances the fruity notes present in the oil and if you're wondering, I used a Jingilli extra virgin olive oil. It's beautifully spiced, fruity and not too bitter, made with Western Australian grown Tuscan olives and has been awarded with numerous accolades for the last 8 years running.

Lemon-Infused Bean Puree
100 g dried cannellini beans, soaked for 10 hours
20 g unsalted butter
1 brown onion, brunoise
1/2 bunch lemon thyme
1 lemon, zest
pouring cream
salt and sugar to taste
Melt butter in a medium pot and sweat off the onion, thyme and 1/2 lemon zest with a little salt.
Drain the beans and rinse.
When onions are translucent and beginning to caramelise, add the beans and enough water to cover.
Cover, bring to the boil then reduce heat so it barely simmers.
Allow to cook for an hour or more until soft.
Strain off excess liquid, remove thyme stalks and puree with a food processor.
Add a splash of cream for a smoother consistency.
Season to taste, add more lemon zest if needed.

Chocolate & Olive Oil Brownies
230 g dark chocolate
160 g extra virgin olive oil
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
5 g salt
4 eggs
270 g castor sugar
170 g walnuts, toasted, skinned and roughly

160 g flour
Preheat oven to 185ÂșC.
Combine chocolate, olive oil, vanilla and salt over low heat until melted. Set aside to cool.
Cream eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until the ribbon stage (about 5 minutes).
With the mixer running on low, slowly add the chocolate oil.
Gently fold in the chopped walnuts then the flour.
Pour into a sprayed and lined tin and bake for 25 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before cutting.


  1. must win the award for the most original recipe in this round of Waiter. Many thanks for sharing

  2. how did they taste together?
    i can imagine salty chocolate brownies, but can't imagine serving them with a lemon & bean puree. did it work? would you repeat it?
    i neeeeeed to know!

  3. of course i would do it again! :D they tasted great together and my friends loved it although i did get a few weird reactions when asked what was in it mwuahahaha!
    perhaps though you might like to add a smidgeon of vanilla to the puree to help bring the flavours together. have fun!


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