Saturday, 24 December 2011

Chocolate Treats & Fruit Mince Pies

So it's Christmas Eve, and for me, that means last minute baking. Seeing as I made my Christmas pudding a few weeks ago, all I really have left to make was my Fruit Mince Pies. But, I also decided to whip up a recipe that I saw on Nigella Kitchen, which was for a Chocolate Treat. 

This chocolate square is very simple to make, but is absolutely moorish. I use a mix of milk and dark chocolate, but you can use all milk, or all dark, it's really up to you! Nigella recommends using a disposable foil tray to set the chocolate, and I agree, it's easy to get chocolate out. But, you can line a spring form tin and use that.


125g unsalted butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
200g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
250g salted peanuts
2 x 50g crunchie bars


Combine the butter and golden syrup in a saucepan over low heat. Break the chocolate into the butter mixture.
While the chocolate is melting, put the peanuts into a medium sized mixing bowl, and break up the crunchie bars over the top. Mix them together.
Once the chocolate is melted and velvety, add it to the peanut mixture and stir to combine.
Pour the mixture into your prepared tin, cover and set in the fridge.

Once the mixture is set you can cut it up into squares, or break it up into odd shaped pieces. 

I've been making these mince pies for years, they are easy to make, and so much better than the store bought ones. I usually use jar fruit mince, and store bought pastry (mostly because I'm too lazy on Christmas Eve to make my own, but of course you can make your own)! If you can, use Careme Vanilla Bean Shortcrust Pastry, it's handmade, butter pastry using a french recipe, and is just as good as homemade, plus it's so full of butter that there is no need to line your cupcake trays! This makes about 16 large pies, or about 30 mini ones.


1 packet  Careme Vanilla Bean Shortcrust Pastry
2 Jars Fruit Mince


Preheat the oven to 180C
Roll the pastry out between 2 sheets of baking paper. The pastry is pre-rolled, but I always roll it out a little bit more. Then use a pastry cutter, or a wide glass to cut rounds out of the pastry.

Gently push the pastry discs into cupcake pans, and fill with fruit mince.
Bake for between 12 and 15 minutes, until the pastry is browning and the mixture is bubbling. 
Leave to cool in the trays for about 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool.  

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