Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mint choc brownies with hot mint choc sauce

Apologies for the absence - there has been no baking in the Pink House due to chicken pox and book-writing and birthdays. That's right, not even a birthday cake! But normal service has now resumed - and how - with these brownies!

Top of my birthday list was Fat Witch Brownies - oh my what a tempting book it is - but very American in its measurements (fine if you're an American of course!!). And today I tried my first recipe from there (see below for my tweaked version with Europeanised measurements). Oh mama! I added my own simple chocolate sauce recipe, adulterated with mint and served with vanilla ice cream - though for the total full-on experience this calls for mint-choc chip ice cream as well! These are moreish, and if you will believe me, refreshing because of the mint.

Makes 16
Preheat oven to 170 C
Line a 9 inch square tin with foil and grease with butter.

6 oz butter
4 oz chocolate (I used 3/4  70% dark and 1/4 left over Easter egg - yes we STILL have lots!!)
10 oz sugar
6 oz plain flour
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp peppermint extract/ essence
4 oz mint chips (optional )  - have no idea where to get these- but I remember them from childhood

Melt the butter and chocolate very gently in a small saucepan - remove from heat before completely melted and stir till melted. Leave to cool a little.

In a bowl whisk eggs and sugar till smooth using a electric whisk.

Add chocolate mixture, peppermint and vanilla and whisk again. Then flour and whisk briefly till combined. Fold in mint chips if using.

Pour into prepared tin and cook for 20-25 mins until a tooth pick comes out with crumbs not batter - do not over cook!

Leave to cool in the tin, cut into 16 squares. Serve alone at tea time or with ice cream and the sauce below for dessert.

Chocolate sauce 
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp good dark cocoa powder
2 tbsp sugar
8 tbsp boiling water
a few drops of peppermint extract

Mix together in a small pan, bring to boil and simmer till thick and syrupy - check for sweetness- if too sweet add a little more cocoa and use a whisk to disperse the lumps (about 5 mins). Stir in the peppermint extract totaste. Serve hot/ warm/ cold!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Gingerbread robots

A quick, simple melt-it-down, one pan method for yummy gingerbread, which I originally got from a kids TV show! You don't have to make robots - how about hearts, men, planets, rabbits... or a gingerbread house.

Preheat oven to 180C

50g butter
20g white sugar
30g soft brown sugar
100g golden syrup
200g self raising flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Melt sugars, syrup and butter in a pan. Stir in flour and spices. Stir until combined.

Pour onto a non stick sheet of parchment. Roll out to about 3mm thick. Cut out. Cook for 10 mins, keep a careful eye on them so they don't go too dark around the edges. Cool on a wire rack before icing. Un-iced they keep well for a couple of weeks and are crisp. Iced they keep fine but are soft.

Ice with a water icing, (icing sugar mixed to a paste with a little water).


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