So here it isssssss Merry Christmas… OK so not quite. A couple more days and it will be upon us, which gives you plenty of time to rustle some of these up for either Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day… Oh to be honest, any day of the year. Brownies are always a good idea, but they’re even better when they’re dressed up as Christmas puddings and will look amazing on your dining table right in the middle of that Christmas Day evening buffet! Trust me, they will be the talking point and your family will be asking why you didn’t make a second batch (so maybe make a second batch and keep them hidden so you can surprise them!) These little desserts are a great Christmas Eve activity to do with the kids, just try to keep their little stick fingers out of the mixing bowl and eating the mixture before it’s even made it’s way to the oven! You will need:
185g unsalted butter
185g best dark chocolate
85g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
150g white chocolate
50g milk chocolate
3 large egg
275g golden caster sugar
Red, green and black icing pens
1. Cut the unsalted butter into smallish cubes and Break the dark chocolate into small pieces. Add all to a bowl. Fill a small saucepan about a quarter full with hot water, then sit the bowl on top so it rests on the rim of the pan, not touching the water. Put over a low heat until the butter and chocolate have melted, stirring occasionally to mix them. Now remove the bowl from the pan.
2. While the chocolate cools, position a shelf in the middle of your oven and turn the oven on to fan 160C/gas 4. Using a round 20cm cake or cheesecake, cut out a circle of non-stick baking parchment and line the base. Now add the plain flour and cocoa powder and into a sieve held over a medium bowl, and tap and shake the sieve so they run through together and you get rid of any lumps.
3. With a large sharp knife, chop 50g white chocolate and 50g milk chocolate into chunks on a board. Break 3 large eggs into a large bowl and tip in the golden caster sugar. With an electric mixer on maximum speed, whisk the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy, like a milk shake. This can take 3-8 minutes, depending on how powerful your mixer is. You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture becomes really pale and about double its original volume.
4. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, then gently fold together with a rubber spatula. Continue going under and over in a figure of eight, moving the bowl round after each folding so you can get at it from all sides, until the two mixtures are one and the colour is a mottled dark brown. Hold the sieve over the bowl of eggy chocolate mixture and resift the cocoa and flour mixture, shaking the sieve from side to side, to cover the top evenly. Gently fold in this powder using the same figure of eight action as before. The mixture will look dry and dusty at first, but it will end up looking gungy and fudgy. Finally, stir in the white and milk chocolate chunks until they’re dotted throughout.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping every bit out of the bowl with the spatula. Gently ease the mixture into the corners of the tin and paddle the spatula from side to side across the top to level it. Put in the oven and set your timer for 25 minutes. When the buzzer goes, open the oven, pull the shelf out a bit and gently shake the tin. If the brownie wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done, so slide it back in and bake for another 5 minutes until the top has a shiny, papery crust and the sides are just beginning to come away from the tin. Take out of the oven.
6. As you are waiting for the cake tin to cool, melt 100g of white chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan, as you did with the dark chocolate earlier. Once it has melted, cover and put to one side until the brownie tin has completely cooled. Then lift out the brownies (if you are using a cheesecake tin, push up the base of the tin and slide the brownies out. Cut into quarters, then cut each quarter into triangles. Pour the melted white chocolate over each brownie and wait for it to set. Then using the red, green and black icing pens draw the holly decorations on the top (or whatever design you like, but nothing rude please!)