Monday, 14 December 2015

Boozy Festive Foods: Port Mince Pie Brownies

Ok guys, we're on the countdown to Christmas, and seeing as it's the season to overindulge, I've got a right royal recipe for you to try out.

Remember last Christmas when I gave you The Best Boozy Christmas Canap├ęs list? Well, last but not least was Nigella's Cranberry-studded mincemeat, and it's a recipe I follow every year for mince pie making. It's drenched in booze - both port and brandy (of which I'm very heavy handed with) - and isn't tooth achingly sweet thanks to the tart fresh cranberries, and everyone always comments on the difference in taste in comparison to the shop bought stuff. 

Having bade a few batches of festive treats a couple of weeks ago, I had a pretty pathetic portion of the mincemeat leftover. Not wanting to bother with pastry for such a small amount, and not wanting to waste it, I decided to come up with a new use… I give you Port Mince Pie Brownies! 

I'm doubling up on Nigella here by adapting her 'Everyday Brownies' recipe; both seriously easy and seriously good, within an hour you can have your house filled with seductive chocolatey aromas and can have a slab of gooey molten brownie shoveled into your face. 

Adding spoonfuls of mincemeat, which you've happily sploshed extra Port into, and gently folding the mix before baking, you get lovely Christmassy flavours throughout, but gain little mince pie pockets of deliciousness too. 

They have that desirable brownie squidge, made extra squidgy from the mincemeat, but if you put them in the fridge, they go fudge-like and seem even more luxurious. FYI, they're definitely easier to cut when they're like this. 

So, if you like mince pies and like brownies, then this is DEFINITELY a recipe for you. It's a Christmas chocolate dream… And should definitely be eaten with a healthy sized glass of Port. 

Merry Christmas! 

Port Mince Pie Brownies
(Makes 12)

You'll need:
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 300g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 75g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100g mincemeat (preferrably Nigella's Cranberry-Studded, but shop bought will do)
  • 20ml port
  • 100g milk chocolate, chopped into small chunks
  • 60g walnuts, chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan. Grease and line a 23cm square baking tin with baking parchment.
  2. Melt the butter over a gentle heat in a medium sized saucepan. Whilst you're doing this, add the port to the mincemeat and stir until combined.
  3. When the butter's melted, add the sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon (still over a low heat) to help it blend with the melted butter.
  4. Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, bicarb, salt and then stir into the pan; when mixed (this will be a very dry mixture, and not wholly blended at this stage), remove from the heat.
  5. In a bowl or jug, whisk the eggs with the vanilla extract and then mix into the brownie mixture in the pan.
  6. Add the chopped chocolate, walnuts, and spoon in teaspoonfuls of your mincemeat. Fold and quickly pour into a baking tin and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes.
  7. It will look set, dark and dry on top, but when you feel the surface, you will sense it is still wobbly underneath and a cake tester will come out gooey. This is what you want.
  8. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack (still in baking parchment).

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