Despite the weird weather, we are meant to be heading into party season – that time of year where soirees abound and food is given the recognition it yearns for during other times of the year. Christmas dinner and holiday themed food is a major affair, bringing with it the sort of preparation it takes to raise a small child – fruit puddings made months in advance and hams, turkeys and proteins ordered from gleeful butchers the country over. For some reason, every year people fear a global shortage of ham. I don’t think there has been one since the depression but there they are in October ordering big for fear of a celebration sans ham. I adore the frenzy, and I love that food goes bite-sized. Miniature delights are the perfect way to eat. The ones you don’t like can be artfully spat into a napkin or swallowed whole; while the ones you love, you can have six of as long as you stand in a direct line to the source of catering and spend the rest of the event hovering nearby. These chocolate and butterscotch bites are exactly that – decadent tastes to be enjoyed more than once. The use of almond meal also prolongs their life – they taste just as good a few days in if kept in the fridge as they do straight from the oven.
300g dark couveture chocolate
100g brown sugar
100g almond meal
1 tsp baking powder, sifted
100g butterscotch chips *
icing sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Melt dark chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the eggs and sugar on high until thick and creamy. Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Gently stir through the almond meal, baking powder and butterscotch chips until just incorporated.
Spoon into greased mini muffin tins or tins of your choice. Bake for approximately 20 minutes – the middle should still be ever so slightly soft like a brownie. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.
Butterscotch chips can be purchased online at http://www.usafoods.com.au or some specialty confectionary stores.