Thursday, 18 April 2013

Baking for Beginners: After Dinner Mint Brownies


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.

After dinner mint brownies (makes 16)
You'll need:

  • 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.
Make it!
  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2. Line and grease a small baking tin.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan on a low heat, set aside to cool.
  3. 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.)
  4. Add the vanilla and butted until smooth.
  5. Fold in the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Be careful not to overmix - this will make for a dense brownie.
  6. Spoon half your mixture into the pan, making sure it spreads into the corners.
  7. 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.
  8. Add the rest of the mixture on top, spreading it so the mints are totally covered. 
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

9 comments:

  1. No no no! Stop posting things like this. Now I need to make these...they look amazing...!

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    Replies
    1. They're so tasty. I've seen some recipes with peppermint extract, but I think it's too strong. I'm making another batch tonight.

      Delete
  2. I love the name of your blog! Hilarious. And I love the chocolate mint combo in those brownies - perfect late night snack!

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  3. I know this works really well because I've been making 'After Eight Brownies' for years - I have a feeling I originally adapted an American friend's recipe that called for peppermint patties.

    And they really do taste fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aaaah, we'll only call them by a brand name if we did use the brand in question! Like with these very popular Creme Egg cupcakes:

      http://www.domesticsluttery.com/2012/03/baking-for-beginners-creme-egg-surprise.html

      I'm making them again tonight with large thin mints, hopefully they'll be just as tasty!

      Delete
  4. Yes - I wasn't thinking - it's just that that's the family name for them. We've done the creme-egg thing after we saw it here - and made a batch with the mini creme eggs in small cakes, put candles on, and used them for a 24th birthday cake. Husband refers to those as the genocide-by-chocolate-cupcakes...

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  5. I can confirm that these taste just as good made with gluten free flour - no need to change the measurements at all!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is a brilliant recipe! I made it for a bunch of hungry role-players and I've never had so many compliments on my baking. Highly recommended! Pics here: http://procrastinationrecipes.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/after-eight-mint-brownies/

    ReplyDelete
  7. I made these this afternoon because I was in a baking mood (and was hunting for minty recipes for something to take when I visit my sister next week as she loves mint) and have already eaten three. They are addictive and awesome. Definitely one to make again!

    ReplyDelete

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