Rum and raisin brownie Christ­mas trees

SERVES 10

The Mail on Sunday - You - - Food Festive Bakes -

225g raisins 180ml dark rum 200g dark choco­late, chopped 250g un­salted but­ter, chopped 310g brown sugar 4 medium eggs 200g plain flour ¼ tsp bak­ing pow­der 35g good-qual­ity co­coa pow­der cin­na­mon sticks and star anise, for dec­o­rat­ing WHITE IC­ING 160g ic­ing sugar, sifted 2-3 tsp boil­ing wa­ter

Pre­heat oven to 180C/gas 4. Place the raisins and rum in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, for 8-10 min­utes or un­til the liq­uid has been ab­sorbed. Mash roughly with a fork and set aside. Place the choco­late and but­ter in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir un­til melted and smooth. Re­move from the heat and place in a large bowl. Add the sugar, eggs, flour, bak­ing pow­der and co­coa and whisk well to com­bine. Add the raisin mix­ture and whisk well to com­bine. Pour the mix­ture into a lightly greased 24cm x 34cm slice tin or equiv­a­lent tray­bake tin lined with non­stick bak­ing pa­per. Cook for 20-22 min­utes or un­til cooked when tested with a skewer. Al­low to cool com­pletely in the tin.

Us­ing a 9cm tree-shaped cut­ter, cut out 10 trees. To make the ic­ing, place the sugar and wa­ter in a small bowl and mix to com­bine. Place in a pip­ing bag and pipe the ic­ing on to the trees. Dec­o­rate with cin­na­mon and star anise to serve. NOTE Re­move the cin­na­mon and star anise be­fore eat­ing.

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