Mince Pie Brownie Recipe

I've had the idea of mince pie-flavoured brownies on my mind since the Christmas songs have started playing in supermarkets. I never got round to trying the Paul A Young version and there don't appear to be many recipes online, certainly not from a trusted source, so I had a play in the kitchen this weekend.

I wasn't expecting success on the first try, but I managed to adjust the wet and dry ingredients perfectly (by luck, not skill). I am really pleased with how these turned out and the starting-point recipe, a basic brownie recipe from Jamie Oliver, was spot on in terms of timings and tin size, so I also achieved a fudgy, non-cakey finish.

Recipe changes and additions
The Maya Gold chocolate is the star ingredient. I think without it, the dark chocolate would overwhelm the more subtle flavours in the mincemeat. I don't think substituting this with orange oil, spices and the like would work as well; Maya Gold has just a hint of these flavours and i think it works perfectly here.

 I reduced the dry ingredients and swapped caster for muscovado sugar, which was dissolved with the chocolate and butter instead of mixed in with the flour, in order to ensure a very fudgy brownie.

I reduced the amount of sugar, purely because 350 grams seemed far too sweet, given the mincemeat being added. I also reduced the amount of nuts, allowing for the almonds in the mincemeat I was using.

The recipe as adapted, is below: no photos, because I can't make brownies look as good in a photo as they smell in real life (and because it's approaching 5 p.m. and really, you all know what a brownie looks like).

There is a comprehensive advice article from Nigel Slater on pointers and tips on how to ensure you don't overcook brownies, which I recommend reading if you don't have this down to a fine art.

Mince Pie Brownies
Serves 10-15, depending on if you slice into squares or fingers

Ingredients
100 grams 70% best quality dark chocolate
100 grams Green & Black's Maya Gold dark chocolate
250 grams unsalted butter
250 grams muscovado sugar
100 grams toasted, chopped walnuts
3 heaped tablespoons mincemeat (about 120 grams)
60 grams cocoa powder
60 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
30cm x 20 cm baking tin

Method
  • Toast walnuts and spread out on a piece of kitchen towel to cool. 
  • Pre-heat oven to 180C and grease and line the baking tin. 
  • Set up a bain-marie and use this to melt the chocolate, butter and sugar. Do this in a large bowl: the dry ingredients and eggs will be added to this later. 
  • While this is happening, weigh out the flour, cocoa and baking powder into a separate bowl. 
  • Once the chocolate mixture is melted, remove it from the bain-marie and set aside for a few minutes to cool. 
  • While this is cooling whisk the eggs in a separate bowl. 
  • Stir the walnuts and mincemeat into the chocolate mixture. 
  • Then add the flour mixture one third at a time, folding this into the chocolate until fully combined.
  • Add the whisked eggs, again folding into the mixture until fully combined. 
  • Pour and scrape the mixture into the lined baking tin, using a spoon or spatula to push this into all corners. 
  • Place the tin on the middle shelf of the oven. 

Total bake time is 25 minutes. Start checking the batter at the 20 minute point to ensure it does not overbake. A skewer or toothpick should be used to check that the batter is not raw, but at the point that the batter starts to stick to the skewer, it is time to remove it from the oven (see Nigel Slater tips in the link above).

Allow the batter to cool in the tin on a wire rack until completely set, before slicing.

 
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