Chocolate Brownies. They’re fudgey. They’re rich. They’re chocolatey. They’re indulgent! I ask you, what’s not to like?!
Brownies are not only incredibly quick and easy to make, but they lend themselves nicely to having a few ‘extras’ added to the mixture. Often this popular chocolate tray bake recipe include nuts of some sort – walnuts, almonds, macadamia for instance. But have you ever tried it with mincemeat? Sweet mincemeat that is, the sort which flies off the supermarket shelves at this time of year for those essential mince pies!
Even though I’m a huge fan of mince pies, they can become slightly boring at times. Of course you can ring the changes to the classic bake by finishing them with a frangipane crust or shaping them into Rugelach. They can even be pimped up with that ‘love me or loath me‘ marzipan added to the fruity mincemeat itself and finish the pies with a lattice crust.
If you’re looking for other ways to use up your left over mincemeat I can whole heartedly recommend adding it to a brownie mix. Not only are brownies super easy to make, but I’m sure I’m right in saying that everybody loves a brownie!
These Christmas brownies would be amazing made the day before guests
arrive, which would allow that fudgey chocolate taste to become even
more sensational. Or why not share a slice with the carol singers when
they exercise their vocal cords during the chilly evenings leading up to
Christmas itself … that’s if you can bear to be parted from this
This brownie recipe is not only the perfect bake to enjoy in the build up to the festivities, but also well into the New Year too when you stumble across that half empty jar of sweet mincemeat at the back of the fridge. Even though the jar has no doubt been open for a few weeks, it’ll be just fine added to a chocolate brownie batter. Not only does the fruit add extra interest to the chocolatey treat, but it also brings extra moisture too! Yum!
Strange as it may sound to some, I personally find brownies a little too rich when made with dark chocolate. So, in this recipe I’ve used a 50/50 mix of dark and milk. Of course if you prefer a more indulgent and richer note from your chocolate simply substitute the milk chocolate for more of the dark stuff, or replace some of the flour with the same quantity of cocoa powder (though you may need to up the quantity of sugar a little).
What is Mincemeat?
If you’re not familiar with mincemeat, or sweet mincemeat as I prefer to call it, it’s a mixture of dried fruits, peel, spices and often alcohol. It’s popular here in the UK during the Christmas period. Although the fruity mixture included large quantities of meat – such as beef, venison and suet – back in the 15th and 16th centuries, and therefore explains the name, over the years the recipe for it has developed and the meat element has reduced until it is no longer included. Many of the jars of mincemeat available in the shops these days are suitable for vegetarians, though do double check when catering for vegetarians and vegans as some recipes do still use a meat suet.
If you’re unable to source sweet mincemeat from your local supermarket, here are a few mincemeat recipes which can be made at home.
- This Chocolate Mincemeat from Helen at The Crazy Kitchen is a twist on the traditional homemade mincemeat, with added dark chocolate.
- Recipes Made Easy shares a recipe for Homemade Mincemeat which interestingly includes grated carrot alongside the usual dried fruit and spices, which I suspect brings extra sweetness and moisture.
- I think the name of Foodie Quine’s Boozy Gin Mincemeat says it all!
So here’s how to make Christmas Brownies with Mincemeat.
the perfect way of using half a jar of sweet mincemeat. It’s delicious
and indulgent as you would expect with a brownie recipe that includes
real chocolate in the mixture.
Hands on time: about 10 mins Cook time: 40 – 50 mins Yield: 1 tray bake, slices into 9 large, or 16 small pieces
1 x Brownie Tin measuring 20cm x 20cm
- 225g Unsalted Butter
- 75g Dark Chocolate
- 75g Milk Chocolate
- 100g Caster Sugar
- 80g Light Brown Sugar
- 4 Eggs, medium
- 1.5 capful Orange Extract
- 80g Plain Flour
- 30g Cocoa Powder
- Pinch of Salt
- 150 – 200g Sweet Mincemeat
a) It’s key to avoid over baking the brownie. Removing it too soon will result in it being too soft, though over baking it will create something more cake like. When ready it will no longer wobble in the centre, though an inserted skewer will still hold some moist crumbs. Ours took 45 minutes to bake. b) Store in an airtight container. c) Allow the brownies to come back to room temperature before enjoying any slices which may have been chilled. d) Brownies are best eaten the day after baking. e) If you enjoy richer brownies either substitute the milk chocolate for more plain chocolate. Alternatively reduce the flour content by 10g and increase the cocoa quantity by 10g. Be aware that you you may need to increase the sugar quantity a little.