A Millie Christmas Eve Brownie
By popular demand.
Broadsheet reader Millie writes:
First things first, there’s nothing actually Christmassy about these brownies. It began life as a Rachel Allen brownie recipe and over the years was adapted many times over the years, before becoming a beloved Christmas bake. I usually make these on Christmas Eve, and the house is full of the scent of melting chocolate and good, Christmassy cheer. They’re usually gone before Stephen’s Day. It’s a good tradition, if you ask me.
I like to use a blend of caster sugar and muscovado sugar, which you can play around with according to what you have – but the muscovado sugar is a must in order to achieve the fudgy texture essential to a good brownie. You can, of course, add nuts if you wish but that’s considered high treason in my house.
Millie’s Christmas Eve Brownies
175g chocolate – 100g milk chocolate, 75g dark chocolate (you can use all dark chocolate if you prefer, but I find it too rich for my tastes)
175g butter, cubed
25g good quality cocoa, sifted
225g sugar – 150g dark muscovado, 75g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g plain flour, sifted
100g chocolate chunks – 50g milk chocolate, 50g dark chocolate
Icing sugar, sifted
1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Melt chocolate, butter, and cocoa powder in a bowl, over a pan of gently simmering water. Make sure that the water doesn’t touch the bowl or the chocolate will ‘catch’, resulting in a lump of chocolate that will not melt and, frankly, a waste of perfectly good chocolate. Once melted, remove melted chocolate from heat and set aside to cool.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract, for around 5 minutes or so, until the mixture is nice and treacly.
4. Add the cooled melted chocolate mixture to the eggs and sugar, before combining using a spatula or wooden spoon.
5. Sift the flour into the mixture, folding until just combined.
6. Add the chocolate chunks and carefully mix until well dispersed, taking care not to over-mix. I prefer to use roughly chopped chocolate, as they make for good hearty chocolate chunks, which overall bake a lot better than chips or finely chopped chocolate. There is nothing more unpleasant than a shard of hard, burnt chocolate.
7. Transfer mixture to a greased and lined tin and bake for 15-20 minutes, until just set. I use a 12 inch x 9 inch baking tray to bake mine, but use whatever tray you have and adjust the time accordingly. I would recommend that you don’t use a larger size tray, as there isn’t quite enough batter for that.
8. Once brownies are baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly in the tray before cutting into generous slices. Serve warm with ice cream or cream. But really, it’s gotta be ice cream, doesn’t it?
Previously: Janet’s Steamed Clootie
immediately got an image of bertie making a tray of these and sitting on his kitchen floor half eating and half smearing them across his naked body
is that why you didn’t want suet in the clootie….
you got me
please dont think less of me
nah, just thinking you missed a bit there bottom left ;)
as andyourp would have said:
I miss Andy :)
Me too. She has a real sense of a good LICK.
Where’s Bertie been also?
I miss his sweet nothings.
ah maybe he’s taking a break, it’s all got a bit shouty and boring, thanks covid,
even normally chilled commentators are showing cracks of just being fupped off ( you know who you are ) :)
+1 not a nice place lately :-(
oooh ta Milly
Cheers missus! Forgot to say it before Janet, but the clootie recipe looks deadly. Loved your suggestion of a fried egg with it for breakfast.
Must try these and if they work, give them as presents.
eh, hello, coronavirus
Oh alright! Leave them on doorsteps as presents!
Let me know how you get on Daisy :)
I have a lovely spiced biscuit recipe that I’m planning on sharing once I get the blend of spices right, and they make a lovely gift too.
Oh I definitely will try these!
Thanks a mil Mil
I’m not the finest cook in the house but I might give this a go
sure if it goes wrong I’ll eat them anyway because chocolate ;)
That’s why at least 90% of my bakes are chocolate. When they go wrong, they’ll always have a good home in my belly.
I’ll give that one a run Mills – if not this evening
and report etc
BTW, Mill mentioned Cookies there
I came up with a Covid Blocker One there earlier this year
Tumeric plus all the Christmas favourites + plus dark chocolate chips, I know I can’t help meself
So I’ll tag it on for the bikkie section
and yes, it did have black pepper to activate the Tumeric
Looking forward to hearing what you think V.
You sharing any secret recipes yourself?
Tell ya now
I followed yours to a T
Whereas I might have used Self Raising,
And tipped in an expresso
And pinch of salt
The Teenager decided yours is nicer
Something else worth noting about your recipe
Is its only 20mon in the over. You can be all done in three quarters of an hour
Tidied up n’all
I’ll pitch my one up tomorrow – well my old one now (◠‿◕)
And see how ye get on with it
Jaysus that’s high praise indeed! Made my weekend with that, so you have.
Have to say, I’ve never considered espresso in them, even though it makes perfect sense, flavour-wise, so I’ll have to give that a try. Though with the salt, I tend not to add it because I use regular salted butter in my baking instead of unsalted, which I’m not sure is accurate at all!
same here with the salted butter
unless Hollywood insists on unsalted
and you know the rule, don’t second guess the Hollywood
Anyway, about the pinch of salt
years ago, a wonderful family friend, by way of marriage
her brother was married to godmother, my late Aunt Rose
they all stayed on in Dagenham, but Lil lived back in Cork, and had a terrible family life, she was very close, and still is to what’s left of us in Cork
Well, Lil was an incredible self-taught confectioner
absolutely Bake Off Final stuff
anyway she told me whenever you use chocolate or cocoa
to add a pinch of salt – ta pique it like Viness
Now that could be out of needing to give the poor quality cooking chocolate of the time a bit of a dig out
Like this lady could do (Cork) chocolate slices, iced n’all, in an hour
It was Lil that thought me how to make soft fondant icing from scratch
Now that I’m thinking of her, I’ll get over to her at Christmas and get the (Cork) Battenburg sorted
I make that promise now, hoping she’s seeing people, she’s late 80s now
and the last time I saw her, at Fay’s funeral, she still looked like she was in her 60s
Can’t wait to try your recipe too, V ;)
I’m working on an untraditional pudding too that I think you’ll really like. I’ll let you know when I have it nailed down.
Millie Bobby Brownies?
Oh I am stealing that.
Thought Millie would be making the brownies “Amsterdam style”. Lol
You only get that if you ask *very* nicely.
600g Plain Chocolate
245g Soft Butter
1 strong expresso (or 2 tbls of mad strong instant)
245g Castor Sugar
85g Self Raising
Pinch of salt, and if your pinch is different to mine, say ½ a teaspoon
1tsp of Vanilla Extract or Essence – whatever is says on the bottle
Optional A good tablespoon (or more, but I wouldn’t) of chopped Hazelnuts,
Grease and line your baking tin, like Mill, I use a 12 ish by 9 ish, about an inch deep;
Preheat oven – 180º Fan (otherwise 190º) or old school – Gas Mark 5
• Half your Chocolate & all your Butter, chunked or chopped in a bowl over a simmering pot of water, never let the bowl touch the water. Make sure your butter and chocolate are same temp and size of chunks, so they melt and combine together at the same rate, in a much as they can. Keep stirring, gently. You should be left with a shiny glossy heavy chocolatey custardy substance. Take off the pot and allow to cool
Have the rest of the Chocolate chopped into chip sizes, ready. I mix them with the chopped hazelnuts at this point, and ready for when needed.
• In a separate bowl, mix eggs, coffee & sugar (I use a hand mixer) until fully combined, and gently frothy
• Gradually add the melted chocolate & butter. Mix gently. I use the hand mixer in its lowest gear.
• Fold in the flour, salt, vanilla, and chipped chocolate & nuts (if using.) I use a spatula, as I find it great for peeling the slick mixture off the sides of the bowl and ensuring a good combined blending. No need to rush this part btw.
• Pour the mix into your prepped tin. You’ll find the spatula very handy here btw. Unless you’re into the lickings
• Bake for 40/ 45 mins, you’ll know yourself. The smell should be all over the kitchen. If its a good fan oven, 40 will be enough. if its uneven, or an older oven, and takes a while to get to temperature, stick with 45. But no more. It should be firm to the touch in the centre.
• Leave to cool in the tray. All yours now to do what ye want with. Straight into the bowl- Cut into 12, or 24 for the bikkie tin. Note: I do trim the sides, and do try not to scoff them or share them with the dog. You decide.
Unlike Mill, I don’t do the sugar dusting, but there’s nothing stopping ye doing what ye like with it. If eating from the oven or reheated, mine might also be a bit more googey and claggy on the teeth.
I sent in a recipe there in case you need another one,
nice break from the negativity these threads !
Oh I’ll be giving them a try this evening, nuts and all. It means I can eat them all ;)