Saturday, 7 November 2015

Christmas Brownies

Just over a year ago, I made a large batch of chocolate and sour cherry mincemeat. With it, I made normal mince pies and these mincemeat Eccles cakes. However the sheer quantity I made meant I still had two big jars left this year. It's not a big deal, as it keeps, but I do want to get through it so I can try something new, although that probably won't be till Christmas 2016 now!

I've thought about making brownies with mincemeat before, hadn't got around to it until yesterday. I thought they were really good, and you could use your own homemade or shop bought mincemeat- no need to make the chocolate and sour cherry one. I do like the cherries with the chocolate though.

There were a few changes I made from the basic brownie recipe I use. Because the mincemeat is sweet, I reduced the sugar down to a mere half kilo. I also used the juice of half a large orange in the brownie mix. Possibly because of the mincemeat, I found this took longer to cook than normal, just over an hour, and I had to cover them with foil mid-bake t stop them from getting too dark. Finally, I wouldn't usually bother, but as these are Christmas brownies, I gave them a  snowy dusting of icing sugar.

These would be nice for a pudding, especially if slightly warm- I would serve them with some lightly whipped cream to which I had added a slug of Cointreau or Grand Marnier.

200 grams butter
200 grams plain chocolate
500 grams caster sugar
4 eggs, large
250 grams plain flour
4 tablespoons cocoa
350g mincemeat

Preheat oven to 180C, Gas 4
Prepare a small rectangular roasting tin or oven proof dish approximately 8 x 12" (20x30cm). Melt the butter and chocolate over a pan of simmering water. Cool slightly. Stir in the sugar and juice from the cherry jar.Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring until well blended each time.
Add the flour and cocoa and beat for about 1 minute, until smooth. Fold in the cherries. Pour into prepared tin, and bake for about 1 hour, covering with foil if it starts to look too dark. The mixture needs to be just cooked, so start testing with a cocktail stick at about 40 minutes - it should have moist crumbs, but not wet batter, still clinging to it.
Cool in tin until cool enough to handle, then turn out and leave until completely cold before cutting into squares.

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