In which I finally overcame my unsucsessful tram-navigation record...motivated solely by chocolate. I visited one of Melbourne's chocolate artisans...with the little red door on Lygon Street...to buy ingredients for their amazing chocolate brownie recipe, shared recently by Jade on The Design Files.
I once caught a tram in St Kilda, having studied the map, 150% convinced I was headed towards the centre of Melbourne. To this day I still don't know how I got it so wrong. I remember at one point looking out the window at the skyscrapers of the city centre...merely miniatures by that stage...and I was soon to discover what the end of a tram line looked like. Same thing happened on a bus in Salzburg...though I could blame the language barrier there at least...so I have never really understood trams once they leave the city centre....until now. Of course, it took chocolate to motivate me to figure it out...
I've been following Jade's series of recipe posts on The Design Files featuring Monsieur Truffe ingredients & expertise. Jade shares my obsession with Nutella...so in the words of Anne of Green Gables...I immediately considered her an online kindred spirit of sorts. The Monsieur Truffe factory places high importance on single origin chocolate, organic ingredients and environmentally friendly packaging. They love nothing more than to share their experiences in chocolate making with the community in the form of tastings, behind the scenes peeks, and through a shared space with East Elevation cafe. Their machinery is a beautiful bright red...Jade's outfit co-ordinates in the photos...I love these little details.
So, armed with Google Maps and a draining iPhone battery...I caught a tram out into Brunswick to find them. One of my favourite things about trams is the people watching...unless everyone is jammed in like sardines...you need to avoid rush hour to enjoy rattling along with a random selection of strangers. I overheard the conductor yelling at crazy drivers, a mother telling her daughter how the harpist at the hospital where she works plays to help heal the patients through music, a kid who couldn't have been more than 7 telling his mates he prefers blondes to brunettes (?!) and an adorable little old lady refusing help from at least half the tram when it came time to disembark with her trolley of groceries.
Monsieur Truffe were closing early when I got there...an issue with plumbing in the cafe...but luckily they still let me in when I said I was there to buy chocolate! I bought the dark chocolate hazelnut spread...and their Milk Gianduja for this recipe. The ingredient intimidated me a little bit on paper...but it turned out to be just a block of the most delicious hazelnut chocolate i've ever tasted...so you could substitute that with other choc-hazelnut blocks if need be. In other news, I seem to be on a winning streak with tram navigation...I'm looking forward to venturing further afield to find other lovely places to share. One thing is for sure, I am coming back to Monsieur Truffe :)
I visited them at 351 Lygon Street, Brunswick. You will find other locations/suppliers on their website.
This recipe first appeared on The Design Files by Jade Bentley here.
190g 70% dark chocolate (buttons or chopped in small pieces)
50g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
150g caster sugar
180g block of Monsieur Truffe milk gianduja (chilled and diced into small pieces)
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (150 fan-forced) and butter your tin. You can choose to use a square muffin tin for individual brownies here or a large tin 22cm x 14 cm in which you can then cut brownies to desired size.
Place dark chocolate and butter in a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let bowl touch water) and melt together. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a small bowl sift flour and cocoa powder together.
With an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sugar to a thick, pale ribbon stage, then gently fold in chocolate mixture and finally the cocoa/flour mixture. Stir to just combine, then transfer mixture to prepared tin.
Dot with the chopped up pieces of gianduja (press pieces into the mix so that they are three-quarters submerged) and cook for 20-25 minutes. Brownies should be soft and gooey when tested, they will solidify a lot when cooled. Cut in desired shapes or just pop out of the tin.