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Macadamia Nut Brownies With Fig Chutney Glaze

Remaking the Palmer House brownie for modern tastes
Macadamia Nut Brownies With Fig Chutney Glaze recipe - The Daily Meal
Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

The Palmer House brownie is an iconic symbol of Chicago and its role hosting the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. The brownie was created in Chicago, the story goes. Bertha Palmer, president of the fair's Board of Lady Managers, is said to have asked the hotel chef for a dessert to serve at the exposition—and thus the Palmer House chocolate fudge brownie was born. This recipe updates the famous brownie for modern tastes, with the addition of rich macadamia nuts and a fig chutney glaze.

This recipe was adapted by Mark Graham in the Tribune test kitchen from a recipe by pastry chef Alison Cates, who herself was updating the Palmer House brownie. This recipe was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.

Ready in
4 h and 35 m
3 h and 45 m
(prepare time)
50 m
(cook time)
12
Servings
419
Calories Per Serving

Ingredients

For the brownies:

  • 1 bag (12 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips, 63 percent cacao
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, cut in tablespoon-size pieces
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup cake flour
  • 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 Cups (4 ounces) macadamia nuts, lightly toasted, whole or roughly chopped

For the fig chutney:

  • 2 Cups dried figs, stemmed, quartered
  • 1/2 Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 Cups water
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

For the glaze:

  • 1 Teaspoon gelatin
  • 1 Cup water

Directions

For the brownies:

Step 1: Lightly grease the bottom of a 9-by-12-inch straight-sided baking pan; line with parchment paper. Heat oven to 325 F.

Step 2: In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt together 1 bag (12 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips and 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter (cut in tablespoon-size pieces), stirring until smooth and very shiny. (The water level should be low enough so that it does not touch the bottom of the bowl.)

Step 3: In a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 1 cup cake flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 2 teaspoons salt. Stir until thoroughly blended. Add the chocolate mixture; mix on low speed with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl during mixing as needed, about 4 minutes.

Step 4: Add 2 slightly beaten eggs; mix on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Batter will be thick.

Step 5: Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan, using an offset spatula; top with 3/4 cup (4 ounces) macadamia nuts, pressing them lightly into the batter.

Step 6: Bake until just set, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.

For the fig chutney:

Step 1: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat 2 cups quartered, dried figs, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 3/4 cup water, 1 split vanilla bean and 2 cinnamon sticks. Stir occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and figs have softened, about 25 minutes.

Step 2: Remove from heat; discard vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks. Pulse fig mixture in a food processor to make a chunky chutney, about 5 pulses.

For the glaze:

Step 1: Bloom 1 teaspoon gelatin in 1 cup water, about 5 minutes.

Step 2: In a small saucepan, stir together fig chutney and gelatin mixture. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, over medium-low heat; simmer, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.

Step 3: While hot, spread glaze with a pastry brush in a thin layer over the chilled brownies. Chill until set, about 2 hours. Cut into 12 pieces to serve.