Culinary Concierge

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ViaMedina is a culinary concierge service providing private chefs, cooking lessons, exclusive events, and interactive food and wine tours.

Soil Block Brownie

Let it never be said that we here at ViaMedina don't appreciate a little bit of sweetness. 


The soil block brownie came out of our first year at Casa Caponetti, where Ginger and I split our time between kitchen, construction and garden. I can't remember which one of us it was but while we were seeding the vegetable garden and creating the small blocks of soil that seeds must grow in before being planted in the ground, one of us noticed how much this little pile of dirt looked like it would make a really tasty treat. Of course, that was dirt. 

We both really liked the idea of a brownie that was sort of smashed up a bit and then stuck back together so I encourage you to think about that yourself. But if you're a purist and like a good crunchy chocolate brownie, this will not disappoint. 

For garnish I like to serve the brownies with an aromatic on top or a small flower bud, and then with some of the crystallized chocolate 'dirt' that is actually really easy to make and does a great job adding texture to the brownies. 

Right I'll stop talking now, and let you get to the chocolate. 


Soil Block Brownies 

200g Chocolate
200g Butter

360g Sugar
190g Whole Eggs

85g Cocoa powder
50g Nuts
65g AP Flour
4g Baking powder

  • Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water
  • Whisk eggs and sugar until ribbon
  • Fold together the chocolate and egg mixes
  • Fold in the rest of the ingredients
  • Pour into greased pan and bake at 170C for approx 25 mins (depending on the depth of your tin) 
  • The edges of your brownie should be crispy with the center a little undercooked (the residual heat will finish the cooking and leave your brownies soft inside) 

Crystalized Chocolate  (garnish)

80g 70% chocolate

200g sugar
75g water

  • Met Chocolate over water
  • Mix sugar and water in a sauce pan and put on the heat
  • bring the sugar mix to 135C and pour over chocolate
  • as you pour whisk the mix to break up the crystals