Christmas is Coming and wherever I go I see signs of the hustle and bustle of Christmas- decorations, Christmas trees, people shopping, excitement - and it is time to make my Christmas list and to plan how many cakes to make. I usually get my ingredients from the cake speciality shops well in advance so that I can start my Christmas baking on time. Brownies are one of the easiest and most appreciated Christmas gifts and so I plan to make a lot. Of course a large number will be reserved for the girls and the latest addition to our family, Tigger the beloved and well spoilt tabby cat. So people, put on your aprons and start baking.
100 gms flour; ½ tsp. baking powder; 30 gms cocoa powder; 112.5 gms. margarine or butter; 140 gms. powdered sugar;2 large eggs; 1/2 tsp. vanilla essence; 37.5 gms. chopped nuts(either walnut, cashew, almond or groundnut).
For the Icing: 110 gms. icing sugar,sifted;, 30 gms. soft butter; milk to mix; vanilla or peppermint essence.
Topping: 60 gms cooking or milk chocolate(either white or brown or a combination of both). Marzipan Holly Leaves and Berries for decoration.
Grease and line the base of a 20 cm / 8 inch pan with baking paper, so that the paper extends over two sides.
Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa onto a baking sheet. Set aside. Cream sugar and margarine till light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and the vanilla essence. If the mixture starts to curdle, stir in a little of the flour mixture. Fold in the remaining flour and the nuts. Pour the mixture into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven 175C for about 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Allow to cool. Make the icing by combining all the ingredients to a spreading consistency. Spread over cooled cake. When set, melt the chocolate in a bowl over gently simmering water. Drizzle over icing. (If using white and brown chocolate, melt the white first and pour over cake at random. Follow with brown. Take a toothpick and gently run through both colours to create a marbled effect). Place the marzipan leaves and holly berries on top. Insert greeting card. Place in cake box and gift it to a friend.
NB: For Marzipan Recipe see my earlier entry in April 2010 Easter Treat