Mint Chocolate Brownies

So both Lau and I are big Pinterest fans and we both have boards filled with food items that we one day plan to make, but we don’t always get round to actually making the things we pin. It’s ofter more a case of ‘one day’ rather than ‘right this second’. But when Lau pinned this peppermint chocolate brownies recipe we were both in agreement that we were making them asap, not just because we’re both massive brownie fans (case in point our Scrumptious Brownies recipe) but also because we are both obsessed with mint chocolate, whether it’s chocolate bars, ice cream and now brownies!! So three days after Lau pinned the recipe we got baking and thank goodness we did because they are delicious. Even now as I nibble on one four days later they are still scrumptious and deliciously minty. Weirdly I get a surprise every time I take that first bite as I keep forgetting they aren’t ‘normal’ brownies! So the minty goodness at that first bite is a lovely surpise!

The recipe makes about 18 brownies, but we wanted to make the brownies last longer so we made about 35 smaller brownies – the perfect guilt free treat!

What you’ll need:

250g unsalted butter, chopped
200g dark chocolate, chopped
400g caster sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
185g plain flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 160ºC
Grease and line a brownie tin – we used one that was 23x26cm, which in hindsight was a little too big for the mixture.
Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute and stir until smooth.
Add the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and peppermint extract and stir until properly combined.
Add the flour and a pinch of salt and mix in.
Pour into the tin and place in the over on the middle shelf. Bake for 40–45 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre).
Cool completely in tin, then remove from the tin, cut into squares and enjoy!

We enjoyed these so much that we’re now searching for other flavours of brownie. We’ve eaten Orange Chocolate Brownies before which is another winning combination but we know there must be other ones out there. So expect a smorgasboard of other brownie delights in the not too distant future!

-Fi

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Aubergine pesto steaks with couscous

I recently got an email from Emerald Street which caught my eye as it was entitled ‘How to make vegetables sexy’. This intrigued me because like most people i tend to have vegetables in the same old way, fried up and thrown into pasta, with a roast dinner or in a stir-fry so I liked the idea of trying something new. So the email had suggestions for lots of different veggies including courgettes and beetroot but the recipe that spiked my interest was the aubergine and pesto one (and not just because we had a left over aubergine at home)! The email suggested the aubergine should be served with rocket and flatbreads but we settled instead with couscous and other roasted veggies, which worked really well and was delicious. I hope you enjoy it!

Serves 2

You will need:
One aubergine
Pesto
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Couscous
Roasted veggies – we settled for mushrooms, pepper and tomatoes

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What to do:
Cut the ends of the aubergines and slice into four steaks, about 1cm in thick
Criss-cross both sides with a knife and drizzle with olive oil and lemon
Rub the pesto into both sides of the aubergine flesh
Cook on a griddle for five minutes on each side (or 5 minutes on a George Foreman grill)
Serve and enjoy!

-Fi