Aeris' Heavenly Truffle Brownies
Hi! I discovered this through chibiritsuchan's journal. These divine brownies are delicious, and I feel that Aeris would love them. And since Aeris is Certa, of course there can be Lifestream cooking. Right?
Zack wasn’t too sure what Aeris was doing, but whatever it was, it involved a lot of metallic clanking. Turning the corner of the hallway—how was it that there could be buildings (or building-like structures) in the Lifestream anyways? Maybe that was just some more of Aeris’ magic—he came upon a lovely sight. Aeris was standing, back to him in a kitchen-like room, wearing a cute apron and almost covered in flour. Stealthily, he crept towards her, intending to pick her up and twirl her around while also grabbing a bit of the chocolaty whatever-it-was that was filling the room with a heavenly aroma. But before he could get to her, she spun around, clean wooden spoon in hand.
“No,” she said. “This is not for you. It’s for Cloud.” Zack’s face fell then brightened.
“Well we went through so much together, so he won’t mind if I…”
The spoon waved dangerously in Zack’s face.
“Nuh-uh,” Aeris said. “You’re not getting anything. Don’t touch it.” His hands evaded her waving spoon with SOLDIER speed, reaching for the rich batter. SMACK!
“Don’t touch it,” she stressed as he yelped and waved his stinging hand.
“Ouch, Aeris,” he cried. “What is wrong with you? I just want a taste. Please?” His puppy dog eyes were in full throttle, but Aeris was immune.
“None for you,” she glared and made a preemptive move against one of his sneak attacks. Seeing the look in her eye, he wisely decided to flee beyond the kitchen doors. Her eyes followed his movements, spoon at hand in case he tried to come back. Satisfied that he had been scared away, one delicate finger dipped into the batter.
“Hey!” came the outraged cry as she hummed in pleasure.
“Baker’s rights*,” she responded before dunking the spoon in the batter. “Good things come to those who wait.”
“But I won’t be getting it!” he wailed. “You said it was for Spike!”
“Yes,” she replied calmly, “it is for Cloud. And Tifa. And Marlene. And Denzel. Somehow I’ll get it to them.” As she talked, she slunk forward towards him. “But there’ll also be a treat for you tonight,” she said in a breathy whisper, almost plastered against him. Gently, she pushed his mouth shut with one finger and sauntered away.
“But you’ll have to wait for tonight. After we’ve delivered the brownies.”
He swallowed dryly. “Promise?”
“Promise!” she chirped.
*It is Peek-chan’s pleasure to introduce the Baker’s Rights to the unaware. Baker’s Rights mean that the baker can taste any food she (or he) makes despite warnings to anyone saying the opposite. This is because the baker works hard on her (or his) creation and therefore gets supreme rights. Baker’s Rights can be shared with others by way of licking the spoon or bowl or sucking the morsel off the finger** but it is the Baker’s right alone to share these.
**but I wouldn’t recommend that when the oven is on, sometimes this can lead to something equally delicious, but more scarring for the other occupants of the house*** as Yuffie found out when Tifa discovered this recipe.****
***If you live alone, go right ahead, but make sure to turn the oven off first. There’s nothing less romantic than a house on fire or the smell of something solidifying itself onto your oven walls.
****Seventh Heaven just “happened” to have a copy floating around after Tifa wondered exactly how that delicious brownie was made. Aeris is sneaky when she wants to be.
Aeris’ Heavenly Truffle Brownies: Dictated by Aeris with comments from Peek-chan
Note from Peek-chan: This is an extremely delicious recipe that is slightly complicated, but SOOOOOO worth it. The ganache topping is to kill for (it’s the true secret of the Certa. Jenova never could get it right and the horror of her creations drove poor Sephiroth mad…of course she used box mixes) but this recipe also takes a lot of patience. If you can get quality ingredients from a specialty shop, that would be best (especially for the chocolate and vanilla) but even stuff from the local grocery store will do. I, Peek-chan, have made notes where substitutes can be used. Both Aeris and I may admit we have a bias for cookware (especially wooden spoons), because she feels that the metallic taste sometimes leaks into the food and I have always feared melting the rubber based spoons (I might have accidentally set one on fire one time…).
For the batter:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter plus butter to coat pan
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk (but any type will do)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (the expensive stuff is best, but any type will do (even if it’s not pure!))
9 or 9 ½ inch springform pan
Wooden spoon (the better to defend your batter)
Spatula (the rubber kind, not the ones for icing or for frying eggs)
Glass mixing bowl
Double boiler or pot and glass bowl combination that fit together
Toothpick or bamboo skewer
1. Pre heat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan (however a 9 ½ will do as well, you’ll just have thinner brownies. Considering the richness, this might be a very good thing.)
2. Make batter: put butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or double boiler and stir until melted. *if using the pot and bowl, make sure that the steam from the water doesn’t get near the chocolate—this could ruin it.
3. Let cool slightly while whisking together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
4. Put sugar and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment, and mix on medium speed until fluffy (~4 min.) Add chocolate mixture along with milk and vanilla and mix until combined.
5. Reduce speed to low and add in flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl with spatula until well combined and tasty!
6. Pour batter into buttered pan and bake until a skewer inserted comes out with a few crumbs, but is not wet. Do NOT test the center or the outer edges. This should take 27-30 minutes, but if your oven is fussy (like mine) it may take longer or shorter depending on the oven’s mood. -_-;;
7. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. This will take time, so be prepared to do something else.
8. Once the brownies are completely cool, start the second stage of this production.
1. Put chocolate in bowl and heat cream in saucepan over medium-high heat until just simmering.
2. Pour hot cream over chocolate and let stand 5 minutes. DO NOT STIR. This is very important.
3. After 5 minutes are up, gently stir until smooth.
4. Let ganache cool, stirring every 10 minutes until slightly thickened (~25-30 minutes). This is the most dangerous part. Occupants of your house will be attracted by the heady smell of melting chocolate and attempt to sneak a finger in. YOU NEED ALL THAT CHOCOLATE. Do not let them get away. A second wooden spoon not used for stirring, I have found helpful for discouraging eager “taste testers*”
5. Pour ganache over cooled brownies in pan. Make sure that the chocolate covers all uncovered parts of the brownies. Let set 20 minutes.
6. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour until ganache is firm to the touch.
7. Before serving, let brownies stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before removing springform ring. Some people like to decorate with sprinkles, but we find that most people** have found the waiting too hard and “just want to eat it now before I die of old age!”