Claire Ptak’s Chocolate rye brownies

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Pastry chef Claire Ptak came up through the ranks of Alice Waters’ legendary Chez Panisse before opening her own bake shop in east London. “The Violet Bakery Cookbook offers her tips on baking (e.g. whisk rather than sift your dry ingredients; or weighing versus measuring), while speaking to her characteristically balanced approach to “season and place, sweet and savory, flavor and health.”

When working with alternative grains, Claire says the key is not to mask, but to instead highlight the ingredients’ natural flavors and textures. Her own rye chocolate brownies are inspired by Tartine Bakery’s Chad Robertson, whom she credits for her switch from spelt flour to whole grain rye flour. The result is a “chewy, rich, gooey, nutty chocolate treat” from which she’s never looked back.