Thanksgiving treats: Donal Skehan's Pumpkin Brownies
Enjoy the taste of Thanksgiving with these pumpkin treats.
Halloween is long gone but I'm such a fan of pumpkin desserts I am unashamedly hopping on the Thanksgiving band wagon. A day that is primarily about food and being grateful for all the good things in your life is well worth celebrating, if you ask me! These pumpkin brownies are so delicious and make for a perfect Thanksgiving treat.
Makes about 20 squares
You will need
For the pumpkin mixture:
75g cream cheese
100g caster sugar
100ml pumpkin purée
1tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp ground ginger
75g plain flour
For the chocolate mixture:
200g unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs
300g granulated sugar
2tsp vanilla extract
125g plain flour
Pinch of salt
100g pecans, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a rectangular baking tin, approximately 20cm x 30cm (8-12in) and 3-4cm (1¼-1½in) deep, with greaseproof or parchment paper.
To make the pumpkin mixture, beat all the ingredients together until smooth. Keep to one side. For the chocolate mixture, melt the butter and chocolate together, either in a bowl over a pan of simmering water or gently in the microwave.
In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract with an electric hand whisk until thick and creamy. Mix in the melted chocolate and butter. Finally, stir in the flour, salt and pecans. Pour the chocolate mixture into the lined baking tin and level off the surface.
Using a tablespoon, drop dollops of the pumpkin mixture all over the top, and then, using the back of a table knife, loosely swirl it into the chocolate mixture.
Place in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes, until the top is cracking and the centre is just set. Leave to cool in the tin for 40-45 minutes before cutting into bite-sized squares.
In America, pumpkin purée is used to make the Thanksgiving classic, pumpkin pie, and it gives a smooth finish, vibrant colour and sweet taste to any autumn baking. In Ireland you can find tins of this much sought-after orange purée in specialist food stores such as Dublin’s Fallon & Byrne.
Pumpkin Spice Mix
Making your own spice blends is a great way to add an injection of flavour to a recipe. I like to create BBQ rubs, curry mixes and even seasonal blends for autumn and Christmas. Right now I am using my pumpkin spice mix which is a blend of cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, ground cloves, ground mace and ground nutmeg. Add it into baking recipes, your morning porridge or even create your own pumpkin spice coffees by adding a pinch to hot milk before adding a shot of coffee.
The Informal Florist
The Informal Florists, Claire Ryan and Patsie Wrafter, are renowned for the relaxed, non-traditional floral designs but they have also stretched their creative talents beyond blooms alone. They have created their own range of handmade essential oils and soy candles. With subtle scents like peppermint and rosemary and orange, ginger & black pepper, they make a perfect gift — but be warned, supplies are limited. Available throughout December or while stocks last.