After Eight Brownies

Friday, 1 January 2021


Yesterday I thought long and hard about what recipe I wanted to begin 2021 with.  That's a great responsability you know, being the first recipe in one of probably at least 365 choices! (The rate at which I blog anyways!)

I had a box of Mint Chocolates that needed using up and I had seen a recipe online for After Eight Brownies.  Actually I saw it here. I felt it was a bit vague however much I liked the concept.


I don't trust recipes that are somewhat vague, especially when you are talking baking and the use of expensive ingredients.  I decided to go with my old and trustworthy brownie recipe and just adapt it to the use of the mint chocolates.

I have been baking that brownie recipe for years and years. It is tried and true and incredibly trustworthy, even with adaptations to add ons/ins.


They always turn out rich and fudgy.  They are the perfect consistency for a brownie. When I worked at the Manor, the Mr requested a pan of them at least once a month. 
 
The staff never minded either. The smell of them baking always brought a few of them in the kitchen to investigate and a sneaky bite or two later on after they had cooled.


True confession here. I did not use After Eights.  I actually used a box of Ganong Mint Patties because that is what I had.  Worked perfectly.

I cut the mint patties into eights and used half the box to stir into the batter before baking. They were a lot thicker than After Eights, but worked well.


The remainder of them (16 in total) I laid out in rows across the top of the baked brownies.  Four rows of four, making sixteen.

Then once they had softened I spread them out a bit with the back of a spoon. I could have just left them sitting there I suppose.  That might have been pretty


But I wanted to have a white and chocolate swirled topping to look at when they were totally done. I thought it would be really pretty.

I also thought it would showcase the dark chocolate drizzle that I was planning on flicking over them in the end. So you got a mix of mint, milk and dark.  Perfect!


Perfectly gliding the promise of deep, dark, chocolate fudgy goodness.  I just adore my Brownie recipe. It is perfect in every way. 

Did I ever tell you about my experience in attending a cooking show in London. I was contacted when I was still living down in Kent and asked would I like to attend the taping of a new cooking show in London at the Channel four studios.
 

Overall I thought it would be a good experience and it was.  I got a true picture of how they actually put together a cooking show. 
 
They actually filmed it quite differently than what one would suppose. First they did the middle and then the beginning and finally the end. They had signs to show the audiance when to ooh and ahh and when to clap, laugh, etc.


It was really interesting.  They had the Tanner Brothers (chef's from Kent) and Paul Rankin (the Irish Chef) in attendance. There was a celebrity guest as well, Vanessa Phelps. I had brought some of my Parsnip and Apple Soup and Paul Rankin declared it delicious in his Irish accent.

Anyways, part of the show was a Brownie bake-off between the chef's.  I have to be honest here. They had no idea of what a proper brownie should be like.  Their Brownies were gooey sludge. 

After Eight Brownies

 You should be able to pick up a good brownie in your hands to hold it. You shouldn't need a spoon to hold or eat them. Their Brownies were grossly under-cooked. But who am I to say . . . 

Anyways, I could have taught them a thing or two about what a real Brownie should be like. They had no clue. Myself, I am always open to learning new things.

 
I was quite pleased however that my soup was deemed delicious.  I have had other opportunities to do television through the years. I did do a screen test for a show once upon a time, but nothing ever came of any of it. 

I think I just don't fit the mold of who or what they want people to see. Too ordinary. Too fat.  Too old. I have noticed by and far that most people you see on these shows are much younger.


After Eight Brownies


Most people of a certain age never get a look in these days. I am okay however with things just as they are. Maybe it is that people of a certain age don't really want to put up with all of the nonsense that goes along with something like that.

I can't be bothered at any rate!  People are always saying to me you should go on the GBBO. No thank you!  I cook for pleasure and nothing else.  To please myself and my loved ones.


After Eight Brownies

And these Brownies certainly fit that bill on all counts. They are moist. They are delicious. You can pick them up in your hand. You will enjoy them.

And if you don't  . . .  well, I guess we all have different tastes. Happy New Year.  I sure hope that 2021 is a lot better year for all of us!

After Eight Brownies

After Eight Brownies
Yield: 16
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 10 Mincook time: 45 Mintotal time: 55 Min
Moist and delicious with full on chocolate flavour, these are everything a good brownie should be, with the delicious addition of After Eight Chocolate Mints.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240g) butter
  • 1 cup (140g) plain all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces (115g) good quality bitter chocolate
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 2 cups (190g) sugar
  • 1 TBS vanilla essence (YES 1TBS)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 package After Eight chocolates, divided
  • melted dark chocolate to drizzle

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Grease and line an 8 inch square glass baking dish. (I like to leave an overhang so that I can lift the brownies out when they are completely cold for cutting.)
  2. Melt the butter along with the chocolate over low heat in a large pot.
  3. Allow to cool, then stir in the sugar, eggs (one at a time) vanilla, flour and salt, mixing with a wooden spoon and being careful not to over mix, no more than 50 strokes!
  4. Break half of the After Eight into bits and fold into the brownie batter.
  5. Pour batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out a little wet if you want fudgy brownies. Bake until it comes out cleaner if you want cake type brownies, about 40 to 45 minutes for the fudgy ones.
  6. Place pieces of the remaining mint patties on top and return to the oven for a minute to melt. Remove from the oven and spread out a bit with the back of a spoon.
  7. Melt the dark chocolate and drizzle over top. (You will literally only need about 2 TBS)
  8. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container.
Did you make this recipe?
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I stored the baked brownies in my mother's old square tupperware container. Well, I guess it is my sister's now.  I sure envy her having all of these things of my mom's. 
 
There are so many happy memories tied up in them. The number of times my mom made date squares or feather squares and then stored them in this container. So much joy for our family and good eating.
You just can't beat these old things. They truly were meant to last a lifetime and beyond! 

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8 comments

  1. The brownies sound amazing! I have a good brownie recipe that just uses cocoa, I have never regularly had chocolate chips or baking chocolate so it just became my go to, When I have the chocolate chipits I do add some, it makes them even better but it is all about what we grew up with isn’t it. My mum never had chocolate chips and the store was 40 miles away so cocoa powder it was lol. I live most of the time forty miles from a store and chocolate chips aren’t in my pantry long or often . They seem to disappear fast lol happy new year Marie, I hope it’s a good one! Oh I meant to say how nice it is to have so many of your mums things around you.

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    1. You are right Laurie, it is all about what we grew up with. I cannot recall my mom ever making a brownie the whole time I was growing up. She didn't bake very often, only at the holidays. Probably how she stayed so trim! Happy New Year! May it be kind to us both! xoxo

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  2. Those look really beautiful. And super decadent! I love After Eights. I'm not a huge chocolate fan, though I do like brownies. But those mints are so good!

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    Replies
    1. These two together are fabulous! Happy New Year Jeanie! Xoxo

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  3. These look so delicious! I want some right now - haha!
    Happy New Year to you and yours, Marie!
    XO
    Mary

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  4. Hi Marie,
    By bitter chocolate do you mean unsweetened or 70% and above chocolate? Thanks, and welcome back to Canada!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, that is what I mean Carol! Thank you! xoxo

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