The Ultimate Yuletide Brownies with Nutty Vintage, Brut 2016
Firstly, we no longer need to buy sparkling wine from the north of France. The UK’s own production of Classic Method sparkling wines are winning critical acclaim, awards and recognition for excellence across the globe. (So much so that Champagne Houses including Taittinger and Pommery are planting vines of their own this side of the channel). Notable among these superb English wines is Nutty Vintage from our own family vineyard at Nutbourne in West Sussex. The wine has been described as “beautifully balanced, white gold in colour, with a natural richness, bursting with summer fruit and floral bouquet“
Secondly, onto the Brownies -
Instead of buying an expensive box of chocolates why not bake these delicious Christmas time treats. Homemade by your own fare hands is twice as special and you will glow with the compliments of those who get to try them. This simple recipe for festive Brownies uses all the yuletide seasonal flavours - Cranberries soaked in Brandy, Oranges, Walnuts and warm spices.
And finally the combination.
The sweet richness of the chewy, crunchy, wicked Brownies are complimented perfectly by the tang and freshness of the Nutty Vintage - a marriage made in heaven!
Makes 24 (30 x 25 cm tin)
150g dried cranberries
50 ml brandy
250g dark chocolate
1 tsp. vanilla essence
250g Soft Brown Sugar
250g Caster Sugar
280g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
3 tsp. mixed spice
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
Zest of 2 Oranges
50g Walnuts nuts, chopped
A few redcurrants or some holly
A sprinkling of Icing sugar
Begin by soaking the dried cranberries in brandy for a couple of hours to plump up.
- Place the chocolate, butter and vanilla essence in a heavy based pan over a low heat. Stir until melted.
- Add both sugars and continue to heat until these are fully incorporated.
- Beat the whole eggs in a large bowl. Then stir in the chocolate mixture.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, spice, baking powder and salt and stir into the mixture. Gently fold in the cranberries, orange zest and walnuts
- Line a 25cl x 30cm baking tray with oiled baking paper. Pour the Brownie mixture in and place in a pre-heated oven at 170’C/Gas Mark5 for 30 minutes. It should have a crispy crust but still gooey in the middle.
- Allow to cool, turn the whole slab out onto a board and cut into neat diamonds.
Garnish with a few redcurrant “holly berries” and sprinkle with some icing sugar “snow”