A no-nonsense guide to Christmas

A snack for Santa

Brownies

Sarah Trivuncic from baking blog Maison Cupcake has teamed up with her five-year-old son Ted to demonstrate that making almond brownies is child’s play. They show you a fun and easy way to keep your kids entertained over the Christmas holidays. But don’t forget to make sure you leave some for Santa to enjoy with a glass of organic milk on Christmas Eve!

Almond brownies – makes 12-16 – by Sarah Trivuncic, MaisonCupcake.com

I used 50g Green & Black’s espresso dark chocolate, rather than espresso powder, within the 250g total of chocolate. The coffee flavour is very subtle, but you can leave it out altogether if you prefer. Brownies lend themselves very well to gluten-free baking, so you can substitute plain flour for gluten-free if you wish.

Ingredients:
250g organic butter
250g chocolate (preferably dark), broken into squares
4 large eggs
325g caster sugar
2 tsp almond extract
100g whole almonds
150g plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp espresso powder (optional)
Icing sugar to decorate
Gold edible stars, to decorate (optional)
You will need:
Parchment paper
8-inch square baking tin
A little olive oil for greasing
1 A4 sheet of card with star stencil cut in centre (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (Gas 4).
2. In a medium-sized saucepan, on a medium to low heat, melt the butter and chocolate. Stir until nearly melted then turn off the heat and leave to cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs into the caster sugar. Add the almond extract.
4. In a food processor, quickly blitz the almonds into large chunks.
5. Stir in the slightly cooled, molten chocolate and butter mixture, and then stir in the flour, almonds, cinnamon, cardamom and espresso powder (optional) until all of the flour is combined.
6. Lightly grease the corners of the baking tin and line the base and sides with parchment paper.
7. Pour in the warm brownie batter.
8. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes – leave slightly longer if you don’t like your brownies too damp, but bear in mind there is a fine line between fudgy brownies and drier ones. A cocktail stick should come out cleanly when they are done.
9.  Allow the brownies to cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes, then transfer the cooked block to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Leave to cool for at least one hour before cutting into squares.
10. To decorate, hold the card stencil above each brownie and sprinkle with icing sugar. Sprinkle over extra sparkly sprinkles for a Christmassy feel.

Enjoy!

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