With two layers of brownie and the infusion of raspberries, topped with your favorite frosting, you simply must have more than one piece of this decadent treat. You have the luxury of two layers here: The bottom being ooey-gooey with the top being a little more cake-like, but still dense and chocolaty. So when you first take a taste, you will have that slight crunch of this "black-bottomed" cake mingling with everything else going on ... delicious! 1 pint fresh raspberries
1/2 cup honey
Nonstick cooking spray
2 sticks butter or margarine
1/2 pound chocolate chips
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour plus more for dusting pan
2 cups your favorite chocolate frosting*
Pulse the raspberries and honey in a food processor or blender for 20 seconds or until well pureed. Spray an 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan(or equivalent) with nonstick cooking spray liberally. Dust with flour, tapping out the excess. In a small saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add applesauce, stirring to combine. Stir in sugar, 2 eggs and vanilla until smooth. Slowly stir in the flour, lumps are perfectly fine. Fold in the pureed berries and transfer half the brownie mixture to prepared pan. Refrigerate 10 minutes, uncovered, or until oven has reached temperature.
Preheat oven to 325-degrees F. Beat the remaining 2 eggs and fold into the remainder of the brownie batter. Pour this on top of brownie mixture already in pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until just set in the center. Let cool in pan before spreading frosting decoratively on top. Cut and serve.
[To make your own Fluffy Chocolate Frosting: Place 4 ounces chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute or until melted; stir until smooth. Beat 1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening,(or use butter or margarine),softened, 1 cup marshmallow fluff and 2 teaspoons vanilla well with electric mixer on high. Reduce speed to low and slowly add 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa powder, beating until smooth. Gradually beat in another cup powdered sugar and the melted chocolate.]
Bonus recipe: Old time ‘mashed and horseradish’
3 pounds potatoes, unpeeled and diced
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 tablespoon dried chives (or 2 tablespoons fresh snipped)
1/2 cup half-and-half, light cream or milk
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F. In a large pot, boil potatoes until fork tender; drain. Return potatoes to pot and mash with half-and-half, salt and pepper to taste, all sour cream except a1/4-cup and the chives.
Transfer mashed potatoes to a shallow casserole dish.
Meanwhile, stir together the mayonnaise with the horseradish, sour cream and mustard. Evenly spread over the top of the mashed potatoes and bake 20-25 minutes, or until hot, bubbling and starting to brown on top. Remove to serve immediately.
[Makes about 6-8 cups.]
Chef Jim Baley -- The Yankee Chef -- is a noted food columnist, cookbook author and the foremost New England Food Historian. He is a third generation chef and historian and lives in Maine with his wife and four children. He welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.