feeling festive yet? the amount of christmas baking i've been doing this year has certainly sent me in the right direction. armed with an abundance of chocolate, a new silicone christmas tree mould, an explosion of edible gold stars and a fist full of candy striped cake pop sticks... i set about making these cinnamon christmas tree brownies for my office festive bake off.
(makes 14, depending on mould size)
♥ 225g dark chocolate
♥ 225 unsalted butter
♥ 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
♥ 150g ground almonds
♥ 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
♥ 200g caster sugar, golden if possible
♥ 3 eggs
♥ a little sunflower or vegetable oil
♥ 100g white chocolate - for brownies and decorating
♥ edible stars for fairy lights or smarties for baubles
♥ green food colouring
preheat the oven to 180 degrees. now whack your favourite christmas tunes on, this bake is a labour of love with lots of stages and we could be here for a while. may i recommend 2000 miles by the pretenders?
begin by melting down the butter and dark chocolate chunks on the lowest heat.
mix in the vanilla and caster sugar. i actually used a mixed of golden and white sugar on this occasion.
lastly stir in the eggs one by one, followed by the ground almonds and cinnamon. yay i found ground almonds - there is actually a genuine shortage in supermarkets at the moment due to (i believe) product recall of incorrect labeling. boo :(
using sunflower oil, line the silicone moulds. after a couple of practices with baking paper, this turned out to be the reigning method for brownie shape success! i got this mould from ebay -if you don't have one you could make the brownies in a bottomless tart in and then cut into triangles from there. or use a brownie tin with cutters - eating all the cut off of course :)
lay on a baking tray and carefully scoop in the mixture, leaving just under a cm gap from the top. another mistake i made was overfilling! also sadly my mould only holds six so i had to make this in batches and save the batter.
break up half the white chocolate into very small shards. poke in roughly 3-4 pieces to the moulds. bake the brownies for 30 minutes.
to get them out of the moulds (as really it seems brownies are only made to be square), the method is to 1) immediately put in the fridge 2) then carefully use a knife around the christmas tree shape 3) flash freeze them for around 2 minutes until totally cool but not frozen 4) carefully pop out. hope this works for you too!
when back to around room temperature, push the cake pop sticks through the middle.
yippee the gooey white chocolate on the bottom!
next - the decoration!
begin by melting the remaining white chocolate in the microwave for about 30 seconds. when back to room temperature (use the fridge again if you're impatient) thoroughly stir in your green food colouring or gel. i used sugarflair spruce green.
carefully spoon the beautiful green chocolate into a piping bag with writing nozzle and secure the end with an elastic band. i have many elastic bands from forever eating spring onions and asparagus :)
now you're all set! you could use anything here really. sweetie baubles, silver ball lights, maybe even a big star for the top. i got these edible gold stars from tk maxx - absolutely brilliant for baking stuff these days!
drizzle the green chocolate in a zig zag motion and scatter on the stars...
there you have it... a little cinnamon spiced piece of christmas sparkle to give to family and friends. oh and by the way these are gluten free too! :)
what christmas baking have you been up to this year? i'd love to read your recipes so please do leave them in the comments below. i also had a go at a chocolate christmas wreath for my first ever festive cake club.