Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownies

You know how a peanut butter and jelly sandwich kind of just hits the spot sometimes? Well, I can assure you that peanut butter and jelly brownies hit a whole new spot you never new existed! Peanut butter custard is swirled through chocolatey brownies where every bite contains a sweet bit of fruit...Oh, my!! Man, these are goood. And, I can only imagine how much better these would taste with proper American peanut butter! I used strawberries, as this is my little guy's absolute favorite, but raspberries (as in the original recipe) would be great as well. This recipe is from Jamie Oliver's latest book 'Comfort Food'. If you could see the number of pages I have bookmarked...

I think I swirled my custard a bit too much and too deep. I would have liked for there to be bigger pockets of the peanut butter flavor. But, in the end it doesn't matter. Take these brownies to a function and I guarantee they will be devoured!

*I made one very slight adaptation. Americans love their vanilla extract. It's so much more convenient than dabbling with a vanilla bean, which will inevitably end up with me cutting my finger. The original recipe called for one vanilla bean, split open and the seeds removed, and it all placed in the saucepan with the milk while it simmers. This can certainly be done, ignoring the vanilla extract below. Just discard the vanilla bean when you are ready to put the peanut butter custard on the brownies.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownies

15 brownies

Ingredients

For the custard:

  • 1 cup (120 mL) reduced-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract (or see note above)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) super fine sugar
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon (10 g) cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons (21 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons smooth peanut butter

For the brownies:

  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces (226 g) quality dark chocolate (70%)
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (225 g) super fine sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons jam (strawberry or raspberry work well)
  • 2 1/2 ounces coordinating fruit (same fruit as the jam), cleaned and prepared as needed (i.e. slice the strawberries)

Directions

Make the custard first... Gently warm the milk in a small saucepan, over low heat, to a slow simmer (*see note above). Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and softened butter. While constantly whisking, slowly pour the hot milk into the bowl until combined. Pour the custard mixture back into the saucepan and return it to the stove over low heat. Stir gently until the mixture thickens, a few minutes (I had to crank the heat up a bit). Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract, then leave it to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Line a 8" x 12" deep baking pan with parchment paper.

Melt the butter in a nonstick saucepan over very low heat. Break up the chocolate into pieces and add them to the butter, stirring regularly with a spatula until melted and smooth. Leave to cool slightly. Add in the eggs, one at a time, stirring until well combined. Add the vanilla extract, then add the flour and mix well.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared baking dish. Dollop on the peanut butter custard sporadically, then use a knife to gently swirl it around (leave some bigger globs!). Then add little globs of jam, erratically distributed (don't swirl). Finally, add the fruit pieces.

Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked around the edges but still a bit gooey in the middle. Allow the brownies to cool for 1 hour, then cut into portions.

From Jamie Oliver's book 'Comfort Food'

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