Sometimes it's handy having me as a friend. I can make birthday cakes, wedding cakes, half cater weddings. You name it. I can also help handsome young men give colleagues delicious festive Christmas gifts.
Alex came to me shyly asking if I could help him get brownie points and make him something tasty to give to someone. Of course I would help! When home in Auckland Dad often exploits my talents for this same reason. Plus you actually can't deny Alex's handsome face anything. It is impossible. His hair is too perfect.
Christmas is a time of giving and sharing food. I don’t know about you but often I lack ideas on what to give people, especially if I don’t really know them on a personal level. I also generally lack the funds to buy them something really cool that oozes thought and creativity.
This is where food comes in. As long as it is good food, it will always be appreciated by friends, teachers and whoever.
When giving food as a gift you need it to be robust and it needs to keep well. This chocolate brownie is great in both respects.
Usually when I make this brownie I stuff it full of chopped up snickers bars and peanut butter (yeah you know the one . . . )We needed something more Christmassy that snickers bars. This time the snickers and peanut butter were swapped for white chocolate and raspberries; a far more festive looking combination I feel. It is actually a lot more pleasant to eat as well, the tartness of the raspberries definitely help you eat more before feeling sick!
I have this cute wee jar that I use to store my tea bags in. Out went the tea bags and in went the brownie. Hopefully the lucky recipient likes it!
Raspberry and White Chocolate Brownie
Makes 20x30cm trays worth
1 ¾ cup brown sugar
1 cup cocoa
100g dark chocolate (I used 70%)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg yolk
¾ cup plain flour
¾ cup dark chocolate drops (or the other half of the dark chocolate bar chopped up into chunks)
1 block of white chocolate (220-250g), chopped up into large chunks
1 cup whole frozen raspberries
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees on bake.
In a double boiler (a heatproof bowl fitted over a saucepan with a shallow amount of simmering water) melt together the chocolate and the butter. Once melted, add in the brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Transfer the mixture into a stand cake mixer or a large mixing bowl. Beat in the cocoa until just incorporated. Beat in the vanilla and the eggs one at a time, finishing with the yolk. Beat until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the flour until just incorporated (you don’t want to over mix). Tip in the chocolate chips or the chopped up left over dark chocolate, the white chocolate and the raspberries and stir in.
Line a 20x30cm baking tin with baking paper and press the brownie mixture in evenly. Bake for 22-25 minutes. It doesn’t matter if they still come out gooey – that is half the charm!
Leave to cool before slicing into bars. Keep refrigerated! This brownie actually freezes really well so you could make it in advance and store it until you need to whip it out for gifts!