So everyone…….how are the Christmas preparations going?
Are you one of those annoyingly organised people? Do you have all you Christmas presents bought and wrapped? Christmas cards written and sent? Tree up and decorated? Really…..you’ve done all those things already. Hmph……s’not fair!!
Don’t take my little outburst personally. It’s just that I have none of those things done. Not 1!! December always seems to disappear at a speed unknown to man. I complain that the Christmas chocolates are in the shops too early in September, and then whoosh…..Christmas is here and I’ve done nothing!!
But, and this is a good but…
I have made chocolate brownies!!
Sticky Toffee Brownies
175gs Dark Chocolate
130gms Unsalted Butter
130gms Dark Brown Sugar
130gms Plain Flour
1⁄2tspn Baking Powder
1⁄2tspn Ground Mixed Spice
2 Large Eggs
75gms Chopped dates (optional)
1x 20cm (8”) round baking tin, lined withgreaseproof paper and greased with butter.
50gms Unsalted Butter at room temperature
1tbsn Toffee Ice-cream Sauce or Golden Syrup
Green Food Colouring
Pre-heat the oven to 140c, (120c Fan), Gas Mark 2
Break up the chocolate and put into a heatproof bowl with the butter and place the bowl over a saucepan of constantly simmering water (ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water)
Stir the chocolate and butter with a wooden spoon as it melts
Once the chocolate and butter are completely melted remove the bowl from the saucepan and mix in the Dark Brown Sugar.
Next sift together the Plain Flour, Baking Powder mixture and Mixed Spice and stir into the chocolate mixture.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and lastly stir through the dates so they are evenly distributed.
Pour into the baking tin, and smooth to the edges
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Some people like their brownies chewy, others a bit drier. The longer you bake your brownies, the drier and less chewy they become.
When your brownies are done the top will have acrust, the edges a bit crunchy, and the middle slightly soft to the touch.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, before turning out onto a wirerack and leaving to cool completely.
Whilst they are cooling, you can make your frosting: Using either an electric mixer, or a wooden spoon, beat your butter until soft and smooth. Mix in the icing sugar (gently at first or you’ll be lost in a cloud of sweet powder), and finally beat in the Toffee Sauce or Golden Syrup. If you want to make your trees green add a small amount of green food colouring. With the frosting, the more you beat it, the lighter and fluffier it’ll become, so keep beating for between 5 and 10 minutes.
Once your Brownie has cooled cut into sixths or eighths (depending on how big you want your slices), and either pipe on your frosting or smooth on with a spoon. Decorate with sweets or sprinkles, and stick half a straw into the bottom for the trunk.