Brownies are ace. They’re one of the most versatile foods ever. Part cake, part biscuit, part rich, gooey dessert. Yum. Perfect for any occasion, be it a party, wedding, football match or just because you wanted to make brownies. There’s the simple, plain cocoa brownie, no additions, not even any chocolate, just sugar, eggs, cocoa, flour, butter. There’s the jazzed-up brownie, with nuts, chocolate chips, or even raisins, perfect for a teatime snack to fill you right up. And then there are brownies that go beyond that, that meet your brownie and raise it a chocolate ganache, combine it with some mint and wrap it all up in the cutest little cubes you could imagine. Rich enough to eat just one. Moreish enough to devour ten. These are not your everyday brownie. These are for special occasions only.
My favourite part of this recipe, more than the minty ganache, more than the light green colour, is the size. Definitely the size. Not only can these brownies go far if you want them too, but you can eat many more of them because they are so small. Plus they are perfect for finger food. I made these for a Halloween party at the weekend and the green colour was ideal to add a touch of ghoulishness. These take a little effort but the effect is wonderful. Alas, they don’t hang around long once they’re made though, so make sure you hide some in the kitchen for yourself.
3/4 stick (87g) butter
130g plain chocolate (55% cocoa solids)
3/4 cup (140g) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/8 cup (70g) gf flour blend
3 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
130g white chocolate
3 tablespoons (45ml) double cream
6 drops green food colouring
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
160g dark chocolate
100ml double cream
1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
2. In a large bowl melt the chocolate, butter and sugar in the microwave. Stir every 30 seconds and when nearly all melted remove from microwave and continue to stir until all liquid. Add the vanilla and quickly beat in the eggs. Then fold in the flour, cocoa and salt.
3. Pour the batter into a 9×9 inch silicone pan (this is what I used. An 8×8 pan will produce slightly thicker brownies. If using metal cookware line the pan with buttered foil for easy removal of the brownies). Spread the batter evenly and place in the oven for 16 minutes (up this to 20 if using 8×8 pan). Remove the brownies from the oven when they are firm on top and still slightly sticky in the centre. Cool on a rack and then in the fridge until completely cold.
4. Place the white chocolate and cream in a small bowl and melt on low heat in the microwave. Stir thoroughly so there are no lumps and stir in the peppermint and green food colouring. Leave to thicken up in fridge for 20 minutes, then spread on the cold brownies in an even layer. Replace brownies in the fridge.
5. Melt the dark chocolate with the cream in another bowl (yes, this recipe generates a fair bit of washing up) and stir until smooth. Chill for 20 minutes or until quite thick and smooth over the now set mint ganache. Replace the brownies in the fridge one more time.
6. Once the chocolate layer on top has firmed up (an hour or more in the fridge) slice the brownies into 1-inch squares using a sharp knife run under hot water and dried off. Wash the knife after each cut (time consuming, but you’ll be rewarded with lovely neat edges to your brownies).
Makes 81 or 64 1-inch brownies, depending on pan size. Brownies are best served from the fridge as the ganaches go fairly soft otherwise. Best on the day they’re made as the brownies can dry out a little in the fridge. If not eating on same day, wrap them tightly in tin foil and store in the fridge, or freeze in airtight container.