Hard at work now putting the final touches onto the manuscript of my cookbook. I am getting really excited about its impending publish. It won't be long now. It has taken a bit longer than originally thought. I don't think my Editor thought I could do or would do as much as I did so it's going to be quite a large book, but having seen the draft, I can tell you now it is also going to be a beautiful book and I am feeling really good about it!
These last few days have been taken up with fixing little bits here and there, going over the manuscript with a fine tooth comb. With over 800 pages you can imagine the time involved in that. Its well worth it though because I really want it to be a book you will be happy to make a part of your valuable cookery book library!
I have also re-done some photographs of some of the recipes in the book and I thought I would give you a tiny sneak peak here today of what you have to look forward to. Peppermint brownies. Just one of the several hundred recipes you are going to find in the book! Let me tell you now, the index alone is 8 pages, double columned. That's a LOT of deliciousness to look forward to!
And this recipe is just a sample of what is in there. They are dense and moist . . . and have a beautiful peppermint flavour. Mint and chocolate go so well together!
You could almost cut these into tiny squares and serve them with coffee after a dinner party as an extra special treat! They are so good.
There is a double whammy of peppermint flavour in the batter. One form comes from peppermint tea that you blitz with the sugar. The second peppermint blast comes from the use of peppermint extract. Soooo good!
They have a sweet and glistening chocolate ganache topping which is decorated with a melted white chocolate drizzle that you run a toothpick through to give it an extra pretty finish. These are some of my favourite brownies ever, which is saying a lot!
Makes about 30, depending on how large you cut them
Delicious brownies that get even better tasting after a couple of days! Fantastic!
225g unsalted butter (1 cup)
225g of good quality unsweetened chocolate (8 ounces)
2 tsp peppermint tea leaves
383g caster sugar (2 cups)
4 large free range eggs
2 tsp peppermint essence
pinch fine seasalt
140g plain flour (1 cup)
For the chocolate glaze:
60g unsalted butter (1/4 cup)
60g good quality unsweetened chocolate (2 ounces)
60g semi sweet chocolate (2 ounces)
2 TBS golden syrup (can use corn syrup)
For the White chocolate trim:
60g white chocolate (2 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking tin and line with parchment paper, allowing it to overhang by at least 2 inches above the long sides so that you can lift them out easily once baked and cooled. Butter the parchment paper.
Heat 2 inch of water in a small pot to a gentle simmer. Place the chocolate (chopped) and butter (chopped) for the brownies into a heat proof bowl. Set over the simmering water without allowing the bottom of the bowl to touch the water. Cook and stir, until the butter and chocolate have melted and are uniform, some 6 to 7 minutes. Turn off the heat, but leave the bowl over the water.
Place the sugar and the peppermint tea in a food processor. Blitz until the tea is finely ground. Stir this mixture into the melted chocolate mixture. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then stir in the peppermint essence and salt. Sift the flour over top and then fold it in. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bang lightly on the counter to settle and then bake in the heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes until well set and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out almost clean. Allow to cool to room temperature in the pan, on top of a wire rack, before proceeding. Once cool, lift out by the paper handles and peel off the paper. Place onto a foil lined board, or tray.
To make the glaze bring the water in the pot back to a gentle simmer. Place both of the chocolates (chopped) along with the butter (chopped) into a bowl and set over the simmering water, again without allowing the bottom of the bowl to touch the water. Cook and stir until smooth and melted. Stir in the golden syrup. Spread the chocolate glaze over the brownies in an even layer using an offset spatula.
Place the whit chocolate in another bowl and set over the simmering water, stirring until completely melted. Drizzle the melted white chocolate over top of the chocolate glaze in lines. Run a toothpick the opposite way through the white chocolate lines to make a decorative pattern. Allow to set for several hours before cutting into squares to serve. Keep well covered and serve at room temperature.
These delicious brownies really make for a delicious change from the regular variety. Its nice to note as well that you can also cut the recipe in half, and bake them in an 8 inch square pan, which is just the right size for my small household. Bon appetit!