Its a good thing that Lent soon followed, as we give up sweets during the week until Easter, anyway. So it was a little easier for me to resist.
But when Saint Patrick's Day shot up on the calendar, my plotting began. Starved of sugar and all things gooey for a week or two made me feel a little evil, and I dreamed up a deadly concoction--Chocolate Mint Brownie and Peppermint Marshmallow Creme Parfaits with Chocolate Fudge Sauce.
Of course, I had to invite my darling guinea piglets (my in laws, who have happily taken on the task) over for dinner and dessert on that wonderful feast day.
We stared with Spicy Tomato Koftas and ended with these lethal desserts...which no one could finish. They were the definition of decadence in the extreme. They resulted in lots of ooohs! and ahhs! and a little later... *ooooooohs* and *ahhhs* of defeat. Next time I make these babies, they will be half the size. I didn't hear anyone complaining though. But next time I will make the portions a little more appropriate.
As I have said before, everything I make is experimental. The recipe I found for Marshmallow Creme called for corn syrup, which I substituted with glucose which was hanging around in the pantry. It was a perfect replacement. Feel free to use either though, in the same measurements, as its impossible to buy this fluffy goodness in Australia. Ooh la la!
BEST EVER CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES WITH MINT SLICE
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
300g Chocolate Mint Slice Biscuits, broken into quarters
Preheat your oven to 190C.
Melt butter and remove from heat. Stir through the cocoa and brown sugar until combined.
Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Next, blend in the flour and salt. Spread a thin layer of mixture in an 8 inch greased pan. Place a layer of broken mint biscuits ontop of this mixture. Spoon on the rest of the brownie mixture and smooth the top.
Bake for 20 minutes.
PEPPERMINT MARSHMALLOW CREME
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup glucose
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. peppermint extract
several drops of green food colouring
In a clean, dry glass bowl, beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar until light and foamy. Gradually add the 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat on high until soft peaks form.
In a small saucepan, place glucose, granulated sugar and water. Cook over a medium heat until the mixture boils and comes to the firm ball stage (syrup should turn into a firm but pliable ball when dropped into a glass of cold water).
Slowly drizzle the hot syrup into the egg white mixture with the beaters running on low. Turn the mixer to high and beat for 5 minutes until the mixture is super thick and glossy. (My beater died as a result. I think it overheated, as it stopped working and strated smoking. Be sure to give it a few minutes rest after a few minutes of beating!)
Beat in the extract and some food colouring until it is the desired shade of green.
CHOCOLATE FUDGE SAUCE
1 cup thickened cream
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/8 cup butter
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Heat cream and sugar in a small saucepan on a medium heat, until the sugar dissolves. Add the chocolate and butter and stir on low until all melted and combined. Liqeur may be added if desired, for extra flavour.
With your fingers, break up the brownie and place a layer at the bottom of each glass. (this recipe makes 8 large glasses of this dessert) pour a little fuge sauce over the top of the brownie. Fill a piping bag with a large star nozzle with marshmallow cream and pipe around the top of the fudge sauce to form a layer. Continue layering in such manner until the desserts are completed. You may wish to finish off withsome coarsely grated chocolate or leftover mint slice.
NOTES: these desserts may also be enjoyed after freezing for a few hours. You may also wish to make mini parfaits in shot glasses for a party. Delicious!