Think brownies aren’t fancy enough to eat at Christmas? We’ve used the flavour of mulled wine to make this dessert fun and festive, so you can give it pride of place at the table.
2 x 500ml tubs vanilla ice cream
for the brownies
100g dark chocolate
150g unsalted butter, plus extra for the tin
200g light brown muscavado sugar
1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
100ml red wine
50g cocoa powder
100g plain flour
pinch of nutmeg and cloves
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
for the dome
200g dark chocolate
200g milk chocolate
you will need
9 small balloons
for the butterscotch sauce
90g unsalted butter
150g light brown muscavado sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
First, make the chocolate domes. Melt the chocolates in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water, then leave to cool slightly. Meanwhile, blow up the balloons to around the size of a honeydew melon. Sit the base of each balloon in a glass and spray the top half with oil – this will ensure the chocolate dome comes off easily. One at a time, dip the sprayed end of the balloon into the cooled melted chocolate, turning the balloon to get an even coverage of chocolate. Sit the balloons chocolate half up in the glass. Repeat the process with the remaining balloons then leave to chill in the fridge for at least 4 hrs or overnight.
Next, make the brownies. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter and line the base of a 20 x 20cm baking tin with baking parchment. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Mix the flour and cocoa powder together with the spices and a pinch of salt, then set aside. Using an electric whisk, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then whisk in the egg and yolk. Pour in melted chocolate, wine and flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 15 mins until just set. Don’t worry if there’s a wobble in the centre – it will set as they cool. Put in the fridge to firm up.
For the butterscotch sauce, melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan then tip in the sugar and cream, then whisk until well combined. Simmer for 5 mins, whisking occasionally, then remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and sea salt. Set aside to cool. All of these elements can be made the day before and kept in the fridge.
To assemble, carefully pop each of the balloons with a pair of scissors, unravelling the balloon so that you are left with a chocolate dome. Carefully put them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Cut the brownies into nine portions. Put a piece of brownie on each plate, top each with a ball of ice cream, then top with a chocolate dome. Gently reheat the butterscotch sauce. At the table, pour the hot sauce over the dome for extra pizazz, to reveal the brownie inside.