Macmillan Cancer Support’s mint-choc brownies

Wed 12 Sep 2018

Great British Bake Off winner Frances Quinn is supporting Macmillan Cancer Support and has sent us a recipe to get us inspired for Macmillan’s flagship fundraising event, World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.

Bringing millions of people together for coffee and cake each September, World’s Biggest Coffee Morning has become somewhat of a British institution over the years – and it’s all in the name of a fantastic cause, raising vital money to help people with cancer live life as fully as they can.

It takes place on Friday 28th September (but you can host yours whenever you want), it couldn’t be easier to get involved. All you need to do is bring your community together – whether it’s friends, family, colleagues or others – and raise money for Macmillan. Whoever you invite and whatever you serve, host your Macmillan Coffee Morning, your way.

For the brownies

  • 150g butter, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 300g mint-flavoured dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 100g dark chocolate-mint crisps, such as Matchmaker sticks or Elizabeth Shaw Discs
  • 3 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 150g plain flour

To decorate

  • 25 sprigs of fresh mint

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
  2. Put the butter, syrup and sugar into a saucepan. Set it over a medium heat and warm, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Take the saucepan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate and the vanilla extract. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the chocolate to soften.
  3. Meanwhile, chop the chocolate-mint crisps into soil-like crumbs using a sharp knife. Set aside 25g of these to top the brownies later.
  4. Stir the chocolatey mixture in the pan until smoothly combined, then use a hand-held electric whisk to beat in the eggs until thick and velvety. Sift over the flour in a couple of batches, gently folding in each batch until just combined. Finally, fold in the 75g of chocolate-mint crisp pieces.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and bake for 25–30 minutes or until the brownie has risen and is firm to the touch; a skewer inserted into the centre should come out a little sticky. Leave to cool completely in the tin – the brownie will firm up as it cools. If you like a really fudgy brownie, refrigerate before serving (this will also make the brownie easier to cut).
  6. Remove the brownie from the tin with the help of the seatbelt straps. Using a sharp knife and a ruler, trim off 1cm from the edges all around. Break this offcut into crumbs and set aside. Cut the brownie into 3.5cm squares.
  7. Make a hole in the centre of each brownie with the tip of the cocktail stick and insert a mint sprig (or if any cracks have appeared on the brownies’ surface, push the mint sprigs into these). Melt half of the 25g chocolate-mint crumbs in a microwave, or a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (bain-marie). Use the paintbrush to dab a little melted chocolate around the mint sprigs, then scatter the rest of the chocolate-mint crumbs and brownie crumbs around the mint, to look like topsoil.
Variation

If you’re not using mint-flavoured dark chocolate, replace the vanilla with peppermint extract or for a more subtle mint flavour add ½ tablespoon of each.

Help people with cancer live life as fully as they can and join Macmillan’s Coffee Morning this September. www.macmillan.org.uk/coffee

For more inspiring recipes to help your World’s Biggest Coffee Morning go with a bang visit: francesquinn.co.uk

Extract taken from Quinntessential Baking (Bloomsbury Publishing, £25) Photography © Georgia Glynn-Smith