Guest chef

Mima Sinclair

Food stylist and writer Mima has years of experience writing, testing and developing recipes. Her new book Gingerbread Wonderland is out now, published by Kyle Books. 

follow on twitter

Spiced Christmas tree brownies

  • Makes 12
  • Prep 50 mins
  • Total time 1 hr 20 mins, plus cooling
3.8/5 rating (6 votes)
Spiced Christmas tree brownies
Spiced Christmas tree brownies

step by step

  • 1Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4 and line the base and sides of a round 23cm-diameter springform tin.
  • 2Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water, or gently melt in the microwave (at a low setting); stir until smooth. Remove from the heat; cool for 20 minutes.
  • Get your brownies ready for the party season – infuse the chocolatey mixture with warm, seasonal spices and a splash of port.
  • 3In a large bowl using a wooden spoon, beat the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla extract. Then beat in the clementine zest and juice, port and spices until just combined. In a separate bowl sift the flour, baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the beaten eggs and mix until combined and smooth, then fold in the flour mix until just combined and there is no flour visible.
  • 4Pour the mixture into the lined tin. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until set on top but still a little gooey inside. Leave to cool completely in the tin before unmoulding.
  • 5Cut the cooled brownie cake into 12 triangular tree-shaped wedges – you can slice off the rounded bottoms to give a straight edge, if you like.
  • 6Mix the icing sugar with 2 teaspoons of water, adding a drop or two more if needed to make a thick but runny icing. Drizzle or pipe over the brownie triangles in a zigzag pattern. Scatter with the star sprinkles and insert a chocolate finger to create a tree trunk. Leave the icing to set for at least 2 hours before serving.
  • If you don't have port, you could substitute mulled wine or red wine.
  • Recipe photograph by Martin Poole

Get ahead

The decorated brownie trees will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container. The undecorated brownie cake can also be frozen. Defrost at room temperature for 4-6 hours, cut and decorate.

You will need

  • 150g cook’s Belgian dark chocolate (76% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest and juice of 1 clementine
  • 3 tbsp port
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • a good pinch of ground cloves
  • several gratings of nutmeg
  • 100g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder

To decorate

  • 75g royal icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp gold and silver sprinkles – we used star sprinkles
  • 12 x Cadbury chocolate fingers

+ Nutritional Information