Saturday, December 24, 2011

Candy Cane Brownies


Yesterday recipe for Christmas gift baking. Today, I’m posting a recipe for some entirely selfish Christmas baking (knitting posts will resume shortly, I promise!).

These brownies are

Rich and dense and intensely chocolatey, they are one teeny tiny tippie toe away from being fudge. A true Christmas indulgence. Now, I’m an equal opportunities brownie lover – I’ll take them blonde, brown, cakey or fudgy. But if I had to choose… if I had to choose, fudgy would be it. And these are well and truly in the fudgy camp. Yum.


Like yesterday’s Russian tea cakes, these are a Christmas staple in my house, although I’m too selfish to gift them (although I sometimes get into the holiday spirit and cut a couple of slices for people who pop round!). According to the date on the recipe print out, I’ve been making these since 2006 and I don’t think I’ve missed a single year. These brownies are very much a highlight in my baking year. I’ve googled and googled, and I can’t find the website that I originally found the recipe on, although Google did throw up this, which seems to be a newspaper article of the exact same recipe I have. The article includes quite a sweet backstory to the recipe, so it’s worth a look if you’re anything like me and love reading “behind” the recipe.

Candy Cane Brownies
adapted from a recipe by J.M. Hirsch

(makes 9 generous servings)

1½ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup plain flour
¾ cup (150g) unsalted butter
350g chocolate, chopped (I use a combination of milk and dark)
⅔ cup cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (see how to make your own vanilla extract here)
½ cup (120ml) warm milk
10 crushed candy canes

Preheat oven to Gas mark 4/180°C

  1. Grease a 20cm/8inch square baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, salt and flour. Set aside.
  3. In a double boiler combine the butter and half of the chopped chocolate. Melt, stirring often, then remove from the heat. Whisk in the cocoa, transfer to a large mixing bowl, and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla and milk. Add this to the chocolate and cocoa mixture and whisk well to combine.
  5. Fold in the flour mixture, and then stir in the remaining chopped chocolate and the crushed candy canes, reserving 2 tablespoons of the candy canes for sprinkling.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with 1 tablespoon of the reserved crushed candy canes.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out covered with cakey biys. The centre of the brownie should look set. I like the surface of my brownie to be nice and crisp to give a nice contrast to the soft fudginess underneath.
  8. Dust the top of the brownies with the remaining crushed candy canes, then cool completely before serving.


I’ll be leaving a piece of this out for Santa tonight. Hope you all have a lovely Christmas!

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