If there’s three things in life that I love it’s books, baking, and the holiday season- and it’s my forever mission to combine these three loves as often as I can! As many of you know, I always read holiday-inspired books during November and December. Last December, I read Christmas at the Cupcake Café, the standalone sequel to Jenny Colgan’s Meet Me at the Cupcake Café.
One of the reasons why I enjoy this series following a woman’s cupcake-inspired bakery is that it features real recipes at the start of its chapters. I’ve said in my reviews for both books that I’d love to try one of the recipes for myself. In honor of the holidays, I finally decided to revisit the book and test out the recipe for the Hot Chocolate Brownies featured in Chapter 13 of Christmas at the Cupcake Café! I’ve included recipe cards below, but I also recommend looking at my tips as well.
The Hot Chocolate Brownies are perfect for those who like brownies with a fudgy or cake-like texture and who like their chocolate to be on the more richer or bitter side. I am a dark chocolate fan so I didn’t mind the more bitter taste, but I think if I made these again for a party or group of people, I would melt down the milk chocolate and add the unmelted dark chocolate chips instead. I believe you can melt the unsalted butter and dark chocolate together, but I decided to melt them separately and then combine them. I melted the butter in the microwave while melting the dark chocolate over the stove top.
Blame it on Betty Crocker mix, but I’m so used to brownie batter to be on the more liquid-y side that I was really nervous when my batter looked more fudgy. Jenny Colgan’s recipe calmed my worries, as the recipe said that it should have a fudgy texture. I recommend using a baking pan on the smaller side. I used a 9 in x 13 in and found myself struggling to fit all the batter evenly across the pan. Next time I would use a 9×9 pan.
The biggest challenge in recreating this dessert was changing its original UK measurements to US measurements. I used conversion charts to do so, but I also found myself experimenting as I went along. For example, I used double the amount of white chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips (1/2 cup each) vs. what was suggested in the original recipe (1/4 cup each). The original recipe also called for chocolate chunks, whereas I used chips.
What are your favorite desserts during the holidays? Have you read Christmas at the Cupcake Cafè or Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafè? Share in the comments!