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After-Dinner Chocolate Brownies

PUBLISHED: 15:59 16 October 2013 | UPDATED: 15:59 16 October 2013

After dinner chocolate brownies. Photo: Denise Bradley

After dinner chocolate brownies. Photo: Denise Bradley

©Archant Photographic 2008

These chocolate brownies make delicious petit fours to serve after dinner or supper, with fresh coffee or a dessert wine. I cut them into small squares or triangles, and offer them instead of chocolates. They also make a great sweet canapé at a drinks party.

I use a mix of Bournville chocolate and good cocoa powder for a lot of my chocolate recipes, a tip given to me by cookery writer Mary Berry.

I find it works brilliantly and it’s not as temperamental as some makes that are high in cocoa solids.

The recipe is slightly different to a more traditional brownie mix; you cream the eggs and sugar together, which I think gives them a lovely gooey texture. Then, just before you pour the mixture into the tin, you stir in pieces of finely chopped mint chocolates which gives a rather special and unexpected extra!

185g unsalted butter

200g Bournville or other good dark chocolate

Three medium free-range eggs

200g caster sugar

85g plain flour

45g cocoa powder

A good pinch of salt

85g mint chocolates broken up into small squares (mint crisp type chocolates)

Makes about 50 small brownies

Completely line a tray bake or baking tin (20cm x 30cm). Preheat the oven to 180C

(160C fan oven)/350F/gas mark 4. In a three or four-oven Aga, cook in the middle of the baking oven; and in a two-oven, on the grid shelf on the floor of the roasting oven, using the cold shelf to help control the temperature.

Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk the eggs and sugar together for a good six to eight minutes, until the mixture is light and creamy (it’s much easier to do this in a food mixer or with an electric hand whisk). When you lift the whisk out of the mixture it should leave a ribbon effect on the surface for a few seconds.

Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the egg mix and gently but thoroughly combine the two.

Next sift the flour, cocoa and salt over the chocolate mixture and carefully fold all the ingredients together to make a smooth, thick batter. Last but not least, stir in the broken mint chocolate pieces.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and cook for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake has just started to come away from the sides and the centre doesn’t wobble any more. Cool the cake in the tin and cut once completely cool. These brownies freeze well, but better if they aren’t sliced.

Cookery writer and demonstrator Mary Kemp runs cookery days in her kitchen in East Harling and across East Anglia. To find out more, e-mail Mary at kemp@fast-mail.net

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