Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dark chocolate peppermint brownie with chocolate mint

How did that happen. Somehow 3 weeks have passed between the last blog post and today. Sorry. Life intrusively (and inconveniently) got in the way.  But I'm hoping you'll forgive me. I come with gifts, specifically gifts of the brownie variety. Surely, surely that means you'll let it pass this time.

I like to think of this as a safe place. One where I can openly admit to liking peppermint slice, aero or the odd sneaky peppermint cream. There is something intoxicating about mint and chocolate. Add brownie into the mix and well, that seems self-explanatory.

People divide – some like brownie dense and fudge like, some prefer it to be more like cake with a flaky crust. This version seems to sit happily across the two. Its middle gives way while the crust and flaked top gives some resistance. And it’s fresh despite being rich thanks to the addition of a good quality dash of peppermint oil. Make sure you add the oil slowly and it is worth the extra dollar or so to use an oil rather than the peppermint essence which is mouth cloyingly sweet. I like to add it at the very end, depending on the bitterness of the chocolate, it can dull the peppermint so taste, taste, taste. There you go, I just provided the ultimate excuse to eat brownie batter. Enjoy. It’s a party in your mouth. A very minty, chocolatey and amazing party.

Serves 12

280g butter, softened
500g caster sugar
5 eggs
30g dark brown sugar
125g good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
185g dark chocolate, chopped
185g plain flour, sifted
1-2 drops good quality peppermint oil
Icing sugar, sifted to dust
Chocolate mint leaves to serve

Preheat the oven to 150C. Grease and line a 30cm x 23cm x 4cm baking tin with baking paper.
Cream the butter and caster sugar together until light and pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then mix in the brown sugar. Sift the flour and cocoa together and fold into the mixture. Stir through the chocolate and carefully add the peppermint oil stirring until well incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin.
To serve cut the brownies into large squares, dust with icing sugar and scatter over the chocolate mint. Best served at room temperature.

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