At this time of year we are bombarded with recipes for using up Christmas leftovers. In my opinion, there's no such thing as leftover chocolate - after all, it's not like fresh food that must be used quickly. However, in the aftermath of Christmas, and with stores wanting to sell off excess seasonal stock to make room for Easter eggs, there's often an opportunity to pick up something you wouldn't usually buy, at a really good price. I got two 125g bags of Terry's Chocolate Orange Minis with Toffee Crunch for less than £1, and bought them with the intention of using them in a batch of brownies (after a taste test, of course!).
I made my usual recipe but scaled it up to a larger tin, so that there were enough brownies for everyone to take some home with them after a New Year's Eve family meal. Adding milk chocolate pieces made the brownies a lot sweeter than those I usually make but I love the orange flavour that Terry's use in Chocolate Oranges, so I thought they were delicious! The toffee crunch which was quite noticeable when eating the chocolate pieces didn't really stand up to being baked - perhaps it melted - but as I was only intent on getting the orange flavour, it didn't really matter.
200g plain chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids)
450g light muscovado sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
250g plain flour
4 tablespoons cocoa
200g milk chocolate-orange pieces, roughly chopped
Pre-heat oven to 180C and line a 12 x 8" baking tin (30 x 20cm ) with parchment.
Melt the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and if necessary allow to cool to lukewarm.
Add the sugar and stir to dissolve, then add the vanilla extract.
Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Sift in the flour and cocoa and fold in, then fold in the chocolate pieces.
Transfer the batter to the baking tin, spread evenly and bake for 30 - 40 minutes, depending on how squidgy you like your brownies to be. (I usually bake until a test probe comes out with a few damp crumbs sticking to it, but I think I over-baked this batch a little!)
Cool in the tin before cutting into however many pieces you prefer - I usually cut this size tin of brownies into 24 squares.
We Should Cocoa link-up over at Tin and Thyme. Choclette now accepts any recipe containing chocolate in her monthly round-up, rather than setting a theme.