Christmas Tree Brownie Pops

Christmas is my favourite time of year! I love putting up the tree, lighting candles around the house, the sweet aroma of baked goodies and traditional kuswar (Mangalorean Christmas confectionery) being made in the kitchen while carols play in the background. The whole nine yards.

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Last Christmas (no, I didn’t give you my heart! 😛 ) I was busy with what felt like a million orders for traditional Rich Fruit Christmas Cake, that I had little time to spare to make any other holiday goodies. I just whipped up a batch of last-minute chocolate fudge and that was that. This year I have tonnes of time on my hands and thanks to my major baking plans, that means tonnes of flour and frosting smeared all over my clothes. (Just how I like it!) No seriously, I ought to invest in a nice apron one of these days!

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In between all the Christmas-prep madness last year, as I was flipping the pages of my favourite magazine BBC GoodFood (I love the Middle East, India and UK versions) I came across this feature wherein a circular cake had been cut into wedges and frosted to look like individual Christmas trees. It was a brilliant idea and they looked stunning and so rare – I was glad for once it wasn’t all about the gingerbread man . So this year, I decided to take inspiration from that feature, thus creating my very own Christmas Tree Brownie Pops and here I am sharing them with you!

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Here’s what you need to make these cute Christmas treats.

For the Brownies:

  • Dark Chocolate – 150 g
  • Butter – 113 g, cold and cubed
  • Cocoa Powder – 2 tbsp
  • Sugar – 160 g
  • Eggs – 3
  • All Purpose Flour – 95 g
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Walnuts – 100 g, coarsely chopped

For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • Butter – 120 g, softened
  • Icing sugar – 200 g, sifted
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
  • A few drops of green gel food colouring
  • Sprinkle of your choice
  • Pop sticks

Here’s how you make them:

Step 1: In a bowl, mix together butter and dark chocolate and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Allow the butter and chocolate to melt, giving it an occasion stir, until it is well-combined and luscious.

Step 2: Take the bowl off the heat and sift in cocoa powder and sugar.

 

Step 3: Beat in one egg at a time, making sure to beat quickly in order to trick the egg into not cooking in the warm chocolate mixture.

 

Step 4: Blend in the flour and the vanilla extract until just incorporated. Then add in the chopped walnuts and give it a final mix.

 

Step 5: Pour the batter into a 9-inch circle baking tin greased and lined with parchment paper. Pop it into the preheated oven and bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 20 – 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs attached to it.

To make the Vanilla Buttercream: Blend butter, icing sugar, food colouring and vanilla extract until it forms a light and creamy frosting that holds its shape when piped.

The Last Step: Once cooled, cut the brownies into wedges. Then watch the below video wherein I show you how to decorate these pretty Christmas Tree Brownie Pops!  (Psst, this is The Foodscape’s first video; please do show some love. And follow the channel too!) 🙂

These brownie pops are gooey, nutty and just spectacular. The dark chocolate really gives it a wonderful rich flavour, while the walnuts add that crunch and welcome bitterness that I love in my brownies! And the concept of brownies in a Christmas Tree avatar is a complete winner! 😀

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It’s a great idea for an edible gift too, though I would suggest decorating it with royal icing instead of buttercream in that case. You don’t want your frosting decorations all smudged, so the quick-drying properties of royal icing will come to your rescue in such a situation. Oh, and without a doubt, everyone, both young and old, will surely love these. They are colourful, Christmasy and chocolaty, what’s not to love?

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Through this post, I hope I brought a little Christmas cheer to your home! 🙂 Try this recipe out, it is easy-peasy and ready in a jiffy. Happy holiday baking! 😀

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Dark Chocolate Cake Pops

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Oh those luscious mounds of chocolaty goodness, that crunchy bittersweet dark chocolate coating giving way to a mouthful of moist, sweet chocolate cake bound together with a delicious vanilla buttercream! Who could say no to that? (If you can, you’re really missing out!)

My love for cake is enormous; my favorite hobby is to look up recipes on the internet for a variety of flavors of cake, only to end up in the kitchen, electric mixer in my hand, whisking away. To say I enjoy baking is an understatement. However, eating a whole slice of cake has given me that nagging feeling of guilt way too many times; I cannot afford to eat much cake as I would like to bake. So I started reducing my portions – from a whole cake I shifted to baking cupcakes, and from cupcakes to cake pops!

Cake pops are a wonderful innovation in the world of all things sweet. They are tiny and bite sized and they are just as amazing as that delicious slice of cake you wish to scarf down; they don’t make you feel as guilty and they certainly don’t make you scrutinize yourself in front of the mirror for a good five minutes. Cake pops are essentially tiny spheres of cake, bound together with a dollop of frosting, coated with your favorite chocolate and hoisted onto a lollipop stick. But even though I have a bunch of pop sticks lying on my shelf, my cake pops never make their way on to them. (I mean they are ready to EAT, who cares about the stick?!)

IMG_1871Here’s what you need

  • One chocolate cake, baked, cooled and crumbled by hand. You can use your favorite chocolate cake recipe.
  • Vanilla buttercream – 4 to 5 tbsp (You could also use a store bought vanilla frosting)
  • Semi-sweet or dark chocolate – 150 g, chopped
  • Any kind of sprinkles, or chopped nuts for decoration

Here’s how you make these luscious dark chocolate cake pops

  • Once your cake is cooled, crumble it with your hands.
  • Add in the vanilla buttercream to the crumbled cake and mould it until it comes together like a dough. Make sure you do not add in too much frosting so as to retain the crumble and cake-y-ness of the cake.
  • Once the dough is ready, with the palms of your hand, sculpt small portions of the dough into bite sized spheres. Put these cake balls on a baking sheet lined with butter paper and pop them into the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • In the mean time, melt the semi-sweet or dark chocolate in the microwave oven for 3 minutes on Medium Low heat or until the chocolate is smooth and creamy and no longer lumpy.
  • Use a fork and spoon to drop each cake ball into the melted chocolate and turn over until completely coated. Once coated, line the cake pops on the butter paper, top with your favorite colored sprinkles or nuts and put back in the fridge for about an hour and a half to set.

If you’re a fan of chocolate and you just can’t get enough, you have got to try these cake pops; they are perfectly balanced with a crackling bitter-sweet coating and a sweet melt-in-the-mouth center which is to-die-for. It’s like a two-in-one offer, you have the crunchy sweetness of a chocolate bar and the goodness of cake packed in each cake pop. My circle of loved ones love these, as do I. I’m certain you’ll love them too.

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If you want to use my recipes for the chocolate cake and the vanilla buttercream, do check out my post on Double Strawberry Chocolate Cupcakes.

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