Peppermint Brownies

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I found this recipe for Peppermint Brownies and I was just SO intrigued.
I will post the brownie recipe I found here but will make some notes as I am not 100% happy with how they turned out. I might even take an entirely different brownie recipe next time and just add the peppermint extract to it.

In any case, here we go:

Ingredients

250g unsalted butter, chopped, plus extra for greasing
225g dark chocolate chopped
400g caster sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (Note: I added almost double the amount and the peppermint flavour is still barely there. This might change with what kind of extract you use, so you might want to taste the dough before.)
185g all-purpose flour, sifted

Icing (powdered) sugar for sprinkling

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What to do

Preheat oven to 160ºC (315ºF/Gas 2–3). Grease a deep 23 cm (9 inch) square cake tin with butter and line with baking paper.
Melt the butter and 200 g (7 oz) chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water or in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Remove from the heat, add the sugar, eggs and vanilla and peppermint extracts and stir until combined. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and mix in. Pour into the tin and bake for 40–45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre. Cool completely in tin, then invert onto a chopping board and remove baking paper.
Using a sharp knife, slice into 3 cm (1/4 inch) squares or small triangles, wiping after each slice to ensure smooth slices.

(Source)

Notes:
Why it says 225g chocolate in the ingredients but then you only need 200g, I have no idea. I used 50g less sugar than the recipe says and it was still very, very sugary sweet. Also, I never melt chocolate over simmering water, I just don’t have the patience for it. The recipe doesn’t mention baking powder, you might want to add that as well and bake for a little longer than the recipe says. I baked it for about 40 minutes, the skewer came out clean and the dough is still super, super soft, almost not quite done yet.

Like mentioned before, if you have a trusty recipe for brownies and you want to give them an extra touch you can do this with the peppermint extract. It’s a subtle but great note and goes really well with chocolate. I will definitely try this again, though I’m not sure it’s going to be with this particular brownie recipe ;-)

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Zwetschkenkuchen (Plum Cake)

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Let’s embrace the fact that there’s still a lot of seasonal fruit out there right now. Like plums. I love plums because you can do so many things with them. Cake, jam, compotes,…
So yes, needless to say that I was super, super happy when my neighbours brought us a basket full of them from their tree.

This is another really quick and easy recipe if you have a lot of plums but no idea what to do with them or no time to make something more elaborate. The added cinnamon gives it a slightly autumnal touch, which is sadly, very appropriate these days.

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Ingredients
Plums (sliced in half or even quartered)
120g or 1/2 cup butter
150g or 2/3 cup finely granulated sugar
75g or 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
100g or 3 1/2 oz ground almonds
3 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Butter to grease the pan (or baking parchment)

What to do
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
Cut the plums in half (or quarters, however you prefer) and toss with the cinnamon. Leave to the side.
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one after the other. Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Stir in gently with a metal spoon. Fold in the ground almonds.
Pour the batter in an appropriate (and greased, or lined with baking parchment) tin. Place the plums on top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

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