Christmas baking is one of my all-time favourite things about the festive season. If you ask me, at this time of year there are few things more enjoyable than a cosy kitchen filled with the smell of Christmassy concoctions. I eased into the season for homemade festive fare with these Christmassy chocolate, pecan and cranberry brownies. These chocolatey morsels are studded with gem-like cranberries with a nutty crunch for texture, and are quick and easy to make. They’re deceptively rich, so best cut into small squares, which makes them perfect for sharing (or gifting). To make them, you will need:
100g chocolate, roughly chopped (I used G&B in the end, see below)
62g unsalted butter
1 large egg
62g caster sugar
50g light muscovado sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
88g plain flour
25g dried cranberries
38g pecan nuts
Icing sugar, to dust.
1) Preheat the oven to 190C/ 375F/ Gas 5 and line a square cake tin.
2) Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt gently over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. NB: remove from the heat when you still have some chunks left, as the residual heat will melt them (otherwise your chocolate can separate – as mine did the first time).
3) Mix the egg, sugars and vanilla with an electric whisk for 3-4 mins.
Whisk until the mixture is nice and thick and the sugar has almost dissolved.
Then whisk in the melted chocolate mixture on a slow speed.
4) Sift in the flour, and then fold in the milk.
Carefully fold in the cranberries and pecans without knocking all the air out.
Pour into your prepared receptacle, smooth over the surface and bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes.
Test with a skewer: it should come out moist but with a few crumbs.
Place on a wire rack to cool, and when completely cold, cut into equal squares and dust with icing sugar – like a sprinkling of fresh snow – to serve.
Have you started your Christmas baking yet? What are you baking this weekend?