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