So this year, Vanessa Kimball has organised for Rococo Chocolates to host her Let’s Make Christmas gift swap.
The idea is that you make something according to the theme and bring it along to be entered into a competition. Then you pick a gift from all the goodies that have been brought along while having some tea, mulled wine and lovely baked goods for tea.
This year’s theme was chocolate so we had to make something with Chocolate in it or to make something from Chantal Coady’s book, Rococo: Mastering the Art of Chocolate which is a stunning book with lots of innovative recipes using chocolate but not in the usual way. There are goats cheese chocolate ganaches, savoury chocolate biscuits and even a recipe for an Armenian lamb stew which looks amazing.
For the gift swap, I made some Chocolate Gingerbread Brownies which I thought were quite festive. As usual, I tweaked the recipe by adding a lot more of the ground ginger than recommended as I like the flavour to come through. Be warned, this recipe uses a lot of chocolate!
Festive Chocolate Gingerbread Brownies
- 350 g cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 285 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 275 g cups packed light-brown sugar
- 125 g cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 75 ml black treacle
- 280 g chocolate cut into small chunks or use equivalent in chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Coat a 17-by-12-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Line bottom with parchment cut to fit, and coat parchment.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- Beat butter and brown and granulated sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.
- Add eggs and yolk, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Beat in vanilla and black treacle.
- Reduce speed to low.
- Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined.
- Stir in chocolate.
- Spread batter into prepared pan.
- Bake until edges are golden, about 25 minutes.
- Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
- Cut into squares.