I think it’s probably best to start this post by addressing the ugly duckling of elephants in the proverbial room (and other mixed metaphors). I’m pretty sure these brownies are by far and a way the most hideous looking – but delicious tasting – thing I’ve ever made (an observation corroborated by my mum and the friends that tried them). In fact I very nearly didn’t blog about them, on account of their radio-active appearance. The only reason that they’re going to make an appearance is because they are my entry for a challenge and I don’t really have any time to make something more photogenic. I’m not sure whether that makes it better or worse.

After making one of my favourite ever creations for last month’s We Should Cocoa entry – the chocolate and mango ice cream in chocolate cookie cups – I thought long and hard about what to make this time round; but try as I might, minty-fresh inspiration was apparently not to be my forte. A couple of days later I was looking some Tastespotting entries (another of mine having been declined because it was deemed ‘too tight’ by everyone’s favourite subjective food club – not that I’m bitter about it or anything…) and happened across some cheesecake brownies with the white mixture elegantly flowing through the top half of the brownie. This – I decided – could easily become mint chocolate brownies; the white being replaced in my mind with something akin to the colour of mint choc-chip ice cream. Sadly it was not to be.Mint Chocolate Brownies

We Should Cocoa logo - The Usual SaucepansRegardless of their lack of outward beauty, I am still going to enter them into Chele and Choclette‘s We Should Cocoa (this month hosted by A Kick at the Pantry Door) because they are some of the best tasting brownies I have ever made (and that’s not just me pumping up my own ego, others said it as well). Hopefully for next month I’ll have something a little more presentable! Although when all is said and done, I would rather my food tasted great and looked god-awful, than having something that Foodgawker thought was a masterpiece but tasted like crap. (I’m just making excuses now, humour me, the post is almost over).

Whilst I mock these relentlessly, I do have to say that they had an excellent flavour. The sweetened cream cheese and mint might not sound natural bedfellows, but it all came together really nicely (flavour-wise). I will definitely be making these again; once, that is, I’ve figured out how to make them minorly less diabolically hideous.

Mint Chocolate Brownies

This recipe is originally from the Philadelphia website (yup, the cream cheese people), however it’s been modified quite a bit (and not least in the looks department, and by using a different brand of cream cheese) since then. It takes just under an hour to make and cook. It makes about 18 pieces.

Ingredients

Mint Chocolate Brownies130g butter
130g dark chocolate chips
210g brown sugar
50g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
50g cocoa powder
150g cream cheese
50g caste sugar
1 tsp green food colouring
1 tsp mint essence

Directions

Preheat the oven to 175ºC and line a deep 18 x 28 cm oven tray.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a large bowl above a pan of boiling water, stirring in the sugar shortly before it’s all melted. Take from the heat and mix it the flour, eggs, cocoa powder and mint essence. Pour into the lined tray.

In a separate bowl mix the cream cheese and the sugar together, beating until smooth. When it is smooth, drip in the food colouring until the colour looks right. Drizzle liberally on top of the chocolate mixture.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 34-38 minutes, or until a skewer comes out cleanly. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack. Cool before slicing.