On your marks; Get set……… GO!

Let the Festivities commence!

We don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving down here in NZ; but the end of November heralds the countdown to the Christmas and New Year holiday break. Here, in the summer Southern Hemisphere, we celebrate with Bar-B-Ques, casual get togethers and days at the Beach…..

From pre-Christmas drinks parties to end of year school events, we all need a couple of quick and easy things to throw together to take as a plate…. (In the early years of 3 small kids, I was known to buy star shortbreads and re-plate them to try and pass them off as homemade… lol).. So, as we move towards Christmas, I’ll share a few easy ideas, as well as some of the dishes that make up Our Christmas traditions….

Today’s wee tempter is my “Better than Sex Chocolate Brownie” recipe. Because it’s Gluten Free, I love making it for “bring a plate” event, so that anyone can have a piece… You can of course make it with regular flour and it turns out just as well..

Dark, chocolatey and fudgy it appeals to young and old, and I often make it as cupcakes, topped with a Dark Chocolate and Sour Cream Ganache, the tartness of the sour cream cuts through the richness of the brownie and makes it a grown-up treat. Sprinkle with seasonal sprinkles and it’s a quick treat to throw together. They freeze well, so you can make them over the weekend, and just defrost on the day…

brownie ingredients 2 (2)

Better than Sex Brownies

400 gm dark Chocolate broken up

400gm butter

400 gm brown sugar

6 eggs

1 t Vanilla extract

185gm GF flour

50 gm Cocoa 

Preheat the oven to 190C 

Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave proof bowl and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes until everything is melted. Stir to combine and then mix in the brown sugar and stir until the brown sugar has all but dissolved. Leave aside to cool slightly – you want it warm but not really hot.

In the meantime, sift the flour and cocoa together and leave aside. And then in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and the vanilla. They don’t need to be fluffy, but you want the eggs well combined.

Gently stir in the cooled choc mixture, the texture will go quite weird – this is quite normal, kind of gluggy. Then fold in the flour until combined.

Pour into a lined pan and bake for 20 mins. It will rise and then collapse once you take it out of the oven. All as it should be – this isn’t a light and airy dish – it is dense and fudgy.

Cut into pieces and sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve warm with ice-cream as a quick decadent desert. 

This is the basic recipe, but there are a few variations:

Raspberry Brownies

Stir in ¾ Cup frozen raspberries to the Brownie mix – either in the whole Brownie, or the cupcake version.

White Chocolate Decadence

If you want to have a real chocolate over load, you can stir in 1C of white chocolate chips before baking the cupcakes.

brownie cupcakes
Cupcakes decorated for World Prematurity Day

Easy Peasey Cupcakes

If you are doing the cupcake version proceed as above and spoon the mixture into lined cupcake pans – fill them about 2/3s. bake for the same 20 mins.

This mixture makes 24 cupcakes and I like to ice them with a sour cream ganache, for a grown-up cupcake.

Sour Cream Ganache

Sour Cream Ganache

250gm Dark Chocolate

150 ml sour cream – brought to room temperature

Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or in 1minute @ 50% power bursts in the microwave. Stir until smooth and all the chocolate is melted.  Leave to cool slightly. Stir in the sour cream beating until smooth.. If the sour cream is too cold, it will seize the chocolate a bit.

This icing is rich, but not too sweet, and makes a lovely topping for these brownie cupcakes, or a chocolate cake.



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