This month's We Should Cocoa is hosted by Victoria at A Kick At The Pantry Door who has challenged us to use mint in our chocolatey creations. Last month's mango challenge round up can be found here. You can read all about We Should Cocoa at Choclette and Chele's blogs.
"What are you doing this weekend, Hannah?"
"I'm finishing up packing for Glastonbury, cleaning the house for the house sitter and driving an eight foot giant squid pillow to Oxford*. How about you?"
I love it when your weekend throws you a curveball. A break from the normal weekend bores of housework, laundry and food shopping.
I threw a curveball at some simple brownies and hit pie. It makes brownies slightly more sophisticated, which is what I need to set me up before five days of mud, rain, loud music, warm cider and tinnitus.
100gr plain flour
70gr cold butter
Ice cold water
125gr caster sugar
30gr cocoa powder
Couple of drops of vanilla extract
35gr plain flour
5 small sprigs of fresh mint and 1/2tsp peppermint extract
Chocolate covered cocoa nibs (optional)
1, Make the pastry first by sifting the flour, salt and sugar together. Rub in the butter, not completely, until you have a kind of shaggy texture.
2, Drop in cold water very slowly, half a teaspoon at a time until it comes together into a dough. It shouldn't be sticky, but if it is, sprinkle a little more flour in.
3, Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4, Preheat your oven to 160o/c and start making the brownie filling.
5, Melt the butter and stir in the caster sugar and cocoa powder. Stir through the salt and vanilla.
6, Beat in the egg and fold through the flour.
7, In a small saucepan, blanch the mint leaves in hot water for a couple of minutes, dry off thoroughly and finely chop. Stir these and the peppermint extract through.
8, Roll out your cold dough and until its roughly 2-3mm thin. This is a delicate kind of pastry both cooked and uncooked so be careful when transferring it into a shallow seven inch cake pan. I used a silicone one. Patch up any gaps or tears.
9, Pour in the brownie filling, top with a sprinkle of chocolate covered cocoa nibs if using them, and bake for 30minures or until an inserted skewer comes out completely clean. Cool in the silicone tin until completely cold before removing and slicing.
*I wasn't lying about the squid.