After Eights are one of those things that aren’t really remotely christmasy. But, we eat them at Christmas, and don’t really have them the rest of the time, so they’ve become a Christmas food. To be fair, you could argue that this is true of most of the Christmas foods that we love. You can eat Turkey, Quality Street, Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Gingerbread at anytime of year. Things like mince pies and Christmas pudding are probably harder to get a hold of, and of course some of them have “Christmas” in the title, but, most things are only Christmas food because that’s the only time of year that we feel free to eat them without guilt.
So, in this vain, After Eights are Christmasy, and so my After Eight Brownies fall into the Christmas baking category. It’s certainly a good recipe to have in January when you’ve frankly had enough of all of the Christmas treats but there’s loads left and you fancy a bit of a change!
My Dad always loved After Eights. There was always at least a box in our house over Christmas time, and I still look forward to them today. However, I must confess that I’m a cheap skate and generally buy Asda’s own. I believe they are called “mint thins”. They taste the same, and while I’m always a little disappointed not to have those cute little paper wrappers, I suppose that is a ghastly waste of packaging.
For my After Eight Brownies (or indeed “mint thin brownies”) I stuck to my usual brownie recipe, that I’ve used for things like my Nutella Brownies in the past. I added a few After eights to the chocolate when I melted it. Just enough to give the brownie itself a hint of mint. Not too much though, so add more at this stage if you’d prefer a stronger mint flavour to your brownie.
I then broke up some more After Eights roughly and pressed them into the gooey chocolate mixture when it was all mixed and poured into the tin. The batter rises slightly as it cooks, so these kinda seep into the mixture, while still staying kinda in place. A bit like a soft centred chocolate chip would. This means that you get stronger dark chocolate/mint mouthfuls as you bite.
Once my brownies were baked, but still fresh from the oven, I gently pressed a few more After Eight bits into the top. These melted to the top of the After Eight Brownies and just gave it that little bit extra, and they looked cool. In total I used around 150g, but it would still work well if you wanted to add more or less.
After Eight Brownies
- 200 g Butter
- 200 g Dark Chocolate - Broken into squares
- 150 g After Eights - or own brand alternative
- 200 g Caster Sugar
- 4 Eggs
- 200 g Plain Flour
- 40 g Cocoa
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a deep baking tray
- Whisk together the caster sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl for around 3 minutes until they are light and fluffy, leave to one side
- Place the butter, chocolate and 5 after eights in a small saucepan
- Gently melt these over a medium heat, string carefully until smooth
- Take this off the heat and slowly pour into the egg and sugar mixture
- Carefully fold these together until the colour is even
- Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder and fold thoroughly until you have a gooey thick mixture
- Pour this into your lined baking tray and gently spread into the corners
- Take half of the After Eights left and break them up roughly into 1/4’s
- Lightly press these into your mixture, dotting them around evenly, but not deep enough that they are covered
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes
- Break up the rest of the mints and add them to the top, just sitting them on so that they melt on top
- Remove from the baking tray and leave to cool on a wire rack