There is something so festive about brownies. I’m not sure what it is about them to makes them feel Christmassey – perhaps because they represent the sort of laissez faire attitude people tend to cling to at Christmas yelling “to hell with the calories” as they wolf another box of quality street whilst wearing their Christmas pyjamas.
It might be this. Or it might just be that I accidentally made some brownies look like Father Christmas and was so pleased with them, I thought they should actually be a thing. Maybe. I don’t want you getting the wrong idea – I eat brownies all year round, and you could definitely make these any time you like as the brownies themselves are heavenly.
I’m a little obsessed with brownies. They are just so quick and easy to make. For people wanting a lighter version, I genuinely haven’t tasted a better version than my No Pudge Chocolate Fudge Brownies. They are made with black beans and whilst I totally get that that sounds great, they are ruddy delicious.
If I want something really indulgent I normally opt for a Nigella brownie. She does them right. Buckets of butter, cascading waterfalls of sugar and lots and lots of chocolate. Nigella knows.
But there is always space for another brownie. For another occasion, ya know? So that you can match your brownie to the occasion, or to your mood, the way one would coordinate their shoes to their bag if only they had the inclination to do that sort of thing. I don’t know if anyone actually does this anymore, perhaps that was only Mary Poppins? No, actually my friend Helena does this, I’m pretty sure, and she’s not Mary Poppins-ish.
Anyway, back to brownies. These particular ones are fudgey, squishy with just a hint of the cake about them.
This is the kind of recipe, people might refer to as healthy because these brownies are gluten free….but make no mistake…that does NOT make them calorie free. No siree. But calorie free brownies (there is no such thing) don’t sound particularly fun to me, and brownies are meant to be fun.
Proceed with caution. Feel free to bung in chopped nuts, or white chocolate. Whatever tickles your fancy.
- 300g dark chocolate
- 200g ground almonds
- 350g caster sugar
- 200g unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 180C and line a roughly 20cm x 30cm baking tin with parchment paper
- Pop the butter and chocolate into a bowl and melt. I like doing this in the microwave but you can also use a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Your call.
- Whilst you are waiting, separate the eggs. Whisk the egg whites to form soft peaks. You can easily do this by hand buy more often than not I revert to the kitchen aid. Don't act surprised.
- Once melted, add the sugar, ground almonds, vanilla, coffee, salt, orange zest and egg yolks. Give it a really good stir.
- Fold in the egg whites gently, trying not to knock out all the air
- Pour into the tin and cook for about 50 mins-1 hour (this does vary oven to oven annoyingly) until its reasonably firm to touch. It should be puffy and the top should look cracked. Don't panic if they are still jiggly, they carry on cooking as they cool.
- Cut them up, pop them on a plate and adorn them with blogs of whipped coconut cream (find the recipe here) or creme fraiche and strawberries with the green bit cut off. Sprinkle over some icing sugar for a dose of snow and... watch them vanish as if by magic.