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christmas not-so-pudding brownies.

A Christmas pudding for those who don't like Christmas puddings. Made with a gluten free chocolate brownie base, these festive treats are utterly chocolatey and indulgent. I'm not that all into Christmas puds myself, I'll have one on the big day but I cant take it or leave it really. I'd much rather scoff some delicious chocolate brownies - and if sticking white chocolate and marzipan holly on them makes them acceptably Christmassy then I'm all for it! 

Shopping list.
(Makes 12-16 brownies depending on size)
♥ 250g good quality dark chocolate 
♥ 200g unsalted butter, roughly cubed
♥ 200g caster sugar
♥ 1 tsp vanilla essence
♥ 160g ground almonds
♥ 3 free range eggs
♥ Extra dark chocolate, sultanas, cranberries or raisins as you wish for the topping (though I imagine if you aren't into Christmas puddings, dark chocolate pieces would probably do)

For decoration
♥ 150g white chocolate, melted

♥ 100g marzipan
♥ Food colouring - I use Sugarflair's Scarlet Red and Spruce Green
Equipment; a large saucepan, holly cutter and square brownie tin or silicone tray

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Step one. Melt the dark chocolate on a low heat in a saucepan. As it begins to melt, add in the butter and stir until both have totally melted. Remove from the heat.

Step two. Stir through the sugar and vanilla essence until mixed. Add the almonds and lastly the beaten eggs.

Step three. Pour into your brownie tin or silicone square. Scatter over your choice of toppings - go for simply chocolate or keep it plain.

Step four. Bake for 35-40 minutes. The brownies will form a crust but may seemed undercooked inside, which is okay. I would rather them be slightly gooey in the middle and leave them to cool completely for a fudgy centre.

Step five. When cool, slice up and decorate with your melted chocolate "cream" and marzipan "holly."

Tip: Wait until the white chocolate has started to set or your holly may slide off the brownie!

Merry Christmas!

What have you been baking for Christmas so far? Do you have an alternative festive dessert recipe from the usual Christmas pud?

If you're looking for other gluten free Christmas ideas, these Snowflake Cookies from Hedgecombers look delicious! And for a dairy and gluten free idea, check out this Yuletide Gingerbread from Lancashire Food.


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