Okay, we all know brownies are anything but festive. They are made throughout the year for any and every occasion, but wait until you have tried my Baileys chestnut brownies – they will change your mind about all your prior brownie thoughts.
The Baileys is not mandatory, but I love the addition of this coffee liqueur. This is an indulgent recipe with cocoa powder and melted dark chocolate, making the brownies fudgy and moist with a cracked, shiny top. I have cut these brownies into bite-sized pieces, but you could leave them full sized or bake in a loaf tin.
I personally love chestnuts with chocolate, and in this recipe, chestnuts are the hero ingredient, not only imparting a great textural element but also a lovely earthy and nutty flavour. I have also made these brownies with walnuts and they have worked out perfectly, however, at this time of year, oven-roasted chestnuts are certainly a winner. You could use vacuum-packed chestnuts instead of roasting them at home yourself, which can be a bit tedious.
With a saucepan and wooden spoon, you are armed with a foolproof recipe that can be made up to four days in advance, as long as the brownies are stored in an airtight container. You can decorate them as you like with festive coloured icing or even a dusting of icing sugar.
I particularly like having these brownies with warm vanilla milk. If you dip them into the milk, they soak up all the liquid, making the brownie softer and almost cloud-like in textuure while also delicately perfuming the snow-white milk with speckles of chocolate.
Makes: 30 bite-sized brownies
- 180g unsalted butter
- 150g brown sugar
- 150g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 60ml Baileys
- 150g dark chocolate, melted
- 100g plain flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 175g chestnuts (roasted or vacuum-packed), chopped
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line a small square baking tin with baking paper and oil.
- In a large saucepan, heat the butter and let it bubble over the hob until it is dark brown in colour. Take off the heat and add the sugars. Stir using a wooden spoon until well combined.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until well combined. Add the vanilla, Baileys and melted chocolate and stir again.
- Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the egg mixtue. Then add the chopped nuts. Stir until the batter comes together.
- Transfer the batter to the baking tin and bake for 25–28 minutes, until the top has cracked and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with moist crumbs. Cut into bite-sized squares to serve.
- While making the browned butter, ensure that the hob is on medium heat as the butter will brown very fast.
- Use a lighter-coloured saucepan, if possible, as while you are browning the butter, it may be difficult to tell the colour if the bottom of the pan is dark as well.
- Add the suagrs and eggs OFF the heat as the sugars will initially caramelise and then scramble with the eggs.
- Instead of Baileys, use any alcohol you like.
- Do not overmix the ingredients or the batter will be too dense.
- Do not overbake the brownies as they will not have that moist, fudgy texture we’re looking for. They will just become cakey and tough.
- Decorate these brownies as you wish – get that festive creativity going – but they are great as is.
- They can be baked and stored in the freezer for up to one month, but the the best way to devour these babies is freshly baked.
For Day 7’s bacon Cheddar biscuits recipe, click here