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Pampoenkoekie Brownies

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It’s the thing about brownies. They’re so willing to play dress-up that, even though they originated in Chicago in the late 19th century, it’s so easy to give them a taste of home – the Malva Brownie being a case in point. As we find ourselves in the thick of the festive season – whether gathering with family or not – I find myself giving in to my comfort cravings more often than I probably should. And even though pumpkin fritters are not classically Christmassy, their mix of pumpkin and spice has always put me in a very festive mood. So I guess the question is, why haven’t I turned them into a brownie sooner?

Pampoenkoekie Brownies

Cooking time: 1 hour | Serves: 36 portions (canapé sized)

INGREDIENTS

for the pumpkin fritter

500 g pumpkin (cubed)

135 ml cake flour

5 ml baking powder

1 whole egg

25 ml sugar

10 ml ground cinnamon

40 g pistacchio nuts (de-shelled)

for the brownie

3 eggs, large

225 g butter, unsalted

10 ml vanilla paste

200 g white sugar

200 g brown sugar

75 g cocoa powder

120 g cake flour

6 g salt

260 g dark chocolate

for the sauce

190 ml Nestlé ideal evaporated milk

145 ml Nestlé dessert & cooking cream

160 ml white sugar

5 ml ground cinnamon

METHOD

for the brownie
Melt the butter over a double boiler or melt in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave oven. Add the eggs and vanilla paste and whisk together. Add the sugars and whisk until pale yellow in colour. Sieve the cocoa powder, cake flour and salt, and gently fold into the egg mixture using a spatula. Roughly chop the dark chocolate and fold into the brownie batter. Set the brownie batter aside.

for the pumpkin fritter
Steam or boil the pumpkin cubes until soft. Place the cooked pumpkin cubes in the jug of a blender and blend into a smooth purée. Allow the pumpkin purée to cool down to room temperature.

Mix the egg into the pumpkin purée and whisk the cake flour, baking powder, sugar and ground cinnamon into the batter. Roughly chop the pistachio nuts and fold into the pumpkin fritter batter.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line a square baking tin (20 cm x 20 cm) with non-stick baking paper and spray with non-stick spray. Place the brownie batter in the tin and spread out evenly with an offset spatula. Place the pumpkin fritter batter on top of the brownie batter and spread out evenly to achieve a smooth surface. Place in the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until a skewer is inserted and comes out clean.

for the sauce
Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk to combine. Over a medium heat, allow the sauce to reduce and thicken slightly. Pour the warm sauce over the baked pumpkin fritter brownie when removing it from the oven. Allow the sauce to soak into the brownie.

Refrigerate the brownie before portioning to ensure clean and precise slices. Cut the brownie into 36 portions (3 cm x 3 cm).

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