I'm damn fussy about my brownies. I don't really like to put things in them. If I wanted an Oreo, I'd eat an Oreo. They have no business getting in the way of the gooey centre of a brownie. That's the best part.
But I do like additions that cut through the sweetness - cherry, cheesecake, and now mint. I've always liked after dinner mints (sometimes I buy them instead of a chocolate bar) and the thinking behind this recipe is pretty logical - after dinner mints are square, so are brownies, they'll work brilliantly together.
And they do. The brownie recipe is actually Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's (barely changed, except for a little more sugar and cocoa because I wasn't going to leave a tiny amount in the packet to discover next time I bake) - the queen of brownies insisted this was the best recipe to use, who am I to argue with the queen of brownies? It might seem basic to those of you who like your brownies filled with chunks and other baked goods (weirdos), but instead you get a richly dark and cake with a subtle but refreshing wave of mint right at the end of each bite.
Next time someone invites me for dinner, I'm taking some of these with me. Come on, invite me for tea.
- 170g butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 120g light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 110g cocoa powder, sifted
- 50g plain flour, sifted
- Pinch of sea salt
- 6-12 thin after dinner mints, depending on the size. The dark chocolate ones in M&S are little but tasty.
- Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2. Line and grease a small baking tin.
- Melt the butter in a pan on a low heat, set aside to cool.
- Mix the sugars and eggs together, beating until the mixture is thick and glossy. (If your brown sugar has been languishing in the cupboard like mine, have a go at it in a pestle and mortar.)
- Add the vanilla and butted until smooth.
- Fold in the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Be careful not to overmix - this will make for a dense brownie.
- Spoon half your mixture into the pan, making sure it spreads into the corners.
- Lay your after dinner mints on top of the mixture in neat rows. If you're using very little ones like I did, you'll fit 12. If they're larger you'll probably fit six.
- Add the rest of the mixture on top, spreading it so the mints are totally covered.
- Pop in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until the top is crackling when they're ready to take out of the oven - push a knife/skewer in to see it it comes out almost clean, but make sure you do this a couple of times - otherwise you might be going straight through a bit of gooey after dinner mint.
- Leave to go completely cold before cutting (I know, I'm SORRY. Go and lick the bowl or chew off your arm or something). These are a very gooey brownie. They actually taste better (and are easier to eat) after a little while in the fridge. But I promise, they're worth the wait.