Wednesday, 21 December 2016


Recipe of the week ... Mince pie brownies!

Ingredients: 300g dark chocolate, 250g unsalted butter, 5 eggs, 400g caster sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 150g plain flour, 50g cocoa, ½ teaspoon baking powder, a jar of mincemeat.

Time taken: Half an hour to bake (longer if you’re drinking) and 35-40 minutes to bake (longer if you’re unlucky).

Hi readers,

Four days until Christmas!!!!!!

Can you believe it? Seems so surreal! Christmas 2016 is literally, actually, unavoidably happening in four days time. Craaazy. But for real. I don’t know if it’s how it falls this year on a Sunday, leaving many of us working right up until Christmas Eve Eve on Friday, or if it’s the warmish weather, or my foray into adulthood… but Christmas just seems to have come all at once this year.

It’s practically upon us!! Lord. I won’t go on but, safe to say, readers, I’m feeling more than a little dazed by the run up to Christmas this year. I’m still working. We’re still liaising with the client and supplying creative and invoicing for jobs and estimating for new jobs and interrogating briefs… and Christmas is in four days!! Chriiiiistmaaaaaass!

Only four days to go!!

Shocking, readers. But at the same time it’s exciting, too! Isn’t it? How about you? What do you think?? Is it exciting or is it horrifying?? Because, thinking about it, I’m all wrapped now. So I have put the stress of presents behind me. Which IS a big relief. My heart goes out to you, readers, if you’re still shopping! You can do it!

I’m just working and eating lots and drinking lots at the moment, really. Wearing Christmas jumpers every day. Whistling Christmas tunes. Fearing the approach of Christmas Day. Pretty standard for this week, I think? Does this sound like you?? I hope, readers, than even though we’re hurtling towards Christmas you’re RIDING THE WAVE. And doing okay. Hang in there!

Alongside the excitement of Christmas, we also have the excitement of a new housemate in the ChefBeHere household! There’s never a dull moment. CoolyColey has gone off to see the sea and so NOW we have a new addition in her place. Who has introduced me to the craaaazy recipe that is our recipe of the week… mince pie brownies!

These crazy things!

Mince pie brownies… have you ever heard of such a thing?? This is totally new to me, readers, didn’t know it was a thing until this week. But, yeah, mince pie brownies. Apparently they’re hip-n-happening this year and causing widespread controversy. What you do is you go to bake brownies – and you chuck a whole jar of mincemeat in. That is all.

And it’s WEIRD. You end up with something with a chocolatey look, a cakey texture, and the taste of a mince pie. A cakey freak of nature!! So strange. It’s good (obviously) but you sort of can’t figure out what it is that you’re eating. There’s a certain mystery.

Intrigued?? Course you are! Get on the hype and bake some mince pie brownies. You won’t know until you try! Here’s how to bake mince pie brownies, readers, in just 15 simple steps…

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C and pour yourself a generous boozy bev. My drink of choice was prosecco, while baking, and things turned out well!
  2. Grease a baking tin and line it with baking paper.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: I was face with either a regular-sized square baking tin or a gigantic rectangular baking tin. I went with the square tin and my brownie was reeeeally tall and took a long time to bake, as a result. What I needed was a regular sized rectangular baking tin. If you have one – make this your weapon of choice. If you’re faced with a decision like mine, then do opt for the bigger of your two tins.
  1. Break your chocolate up into pieces in a pan.
  2. Add your butter to the pan and melt both your chocolate and butter together on a reeeally low heat. Don’t rush things – just sip your drink and keep stirring – or things will burn.
  3. When the chocolate mix looks smooth, take it off the heat and leave it to cool.
  4. Measure the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: If you’re blessed with an electric mixer then you’re going to want to put your ingredients in there instead of in a bowl. Trust me.
7.     Beat your ingredients together for 3-4 mins, or until they're pale and fluffy.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: If you lack an electric mixer – just give it a good go with a fork or a hand whisk for a few minutes (or as long as you can manage). If it looks any paler or fluffier than in the first place then good for you. Top up your drink.
8.     Stir in the now-cooled chocolate mixture.
9.     Sift your flour, cocoa and baking powder into the bowl, and then fold these dry ingredients in to the mix with a large metal spoon, until smooth.
10.  Gently stir in the mincemeat. 
  1. Spoon your brownie mixture into the baking tin and smooth its surface for an even spread about the tin.
    My beautiful brownie mix ready to go
  2. Carefully transport your brownie mix into the oven, and clean up the utter chaos around you. Get the dishes done and have a dance around, and enjoy the wonderful chocolatey smell emanating from your oven.
  3. Bake the brownie for 35-40 mins, or until your brownie looks crisp and is firm to the touch but with enough give that you can image it’s still a bit fudgy in the centre.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Don’t be afraid to leave it in longer if you’re skewering and your knife is still coming out with brownie mix on it. My brownie took its sweet time to bake! Maybe just turn the oven temperature down a little, to stop baked bits of brownie from burning.
Et voila!

  1. Allow the brownie to cool in its tin for a good while. Don’t try to cut it up before it’s properly cooled as brownie can be very crumbly if it isn’t yet set.
  2. At long last, lift your brownie out of its tin and cut it up into squares, then take to bed, serve to your guests, or Tupperware for loved ones / colleagues.

And that, readers, is how it’s done. How did you get on?? Did it go okay? Hope this recipe goes smoothly for you, readers, and your arm doesn’t drop off whisking! What do you think of mince pie brownies?? Do you like them?

I… think I like them. I think I do! They’re incredibly indulgent, aren’t they? But, then, there’s just something about their taste that you can’t put your finger on. Or maybe YOU can! Do let me know if you do, readers, I’m very interested to hear what other people think of these crazy festive brownies.

Hope you find the time to get your bake on, readers, and hope you have a very merry Christmas indeed.

Celebrate safely,


Mince pie brownies - give them a go!

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