Chocolate Mint Pecan Brownies from David Liebovitz

Chocolate After Eight Brownies David Liebovitz

This one caught my eye and held it long enough for me to print out the recipe, scan the ingredients, and pick up a box of After Eights when I went out to get the Saturday papers yesterday. (The flowering plant is a ‘false’ forget-me-not or Brunnera macrophylla – Jack Frost in case you’re wondering.)

However as I never really read recipes properly to start with I didn’t realise that the full quantity for this little delight called for 2lbs/1kg of minty chocolate!   So I thought I would make a half portion and then I would have plenty. As it turns out there are exactly three hundred grams of mint thins in a box of After Eights, so I knew it wouldn’t look quite right but even so I was committed to having a go…. I would like very much to make my own mints next time and use the wonderful Mitcham mint essence that I put in our favourite muffins, which are the green mint and choc chip ones….

Further investigation of the cupboards revealed that the block of Willie’s cacao had either been eaten by Australian spiders, or simply been mislaid. So I used the next best thing, which was some very brittle 85% I had stocked up on when it was on offer at the Co-op.

I reduced the sugar in the recipe a bit to compensate for the sugar in the chocolate and hoped for the best.

As I only made a half portion I adjusted the timing and the temperatures and crossed my fingers.

If you fancy having a go, the best thing is to read the original post on David Liebovitz’s blog as my version isn’t exactly the way it was written. I started off baking them at 200 C fan, then turned them down to 180 C Fan and generally muddled about, so I wouldn’t want you to follow me particularly.

My box of 300 g After Eight mints gave me just under two layers of middle by the time I had finished arranging them. It seemed like a lot to start with, but for the look of the thing more would have definitely been better!

It’s quite hard to cut as the mints tend to shatter as you cut through, there are lots of broken up ones that will have to be eaten first (that’s going to be a real self-sacrifice of course). I have frozen the best ones to give to guests (or that’s the theory). I am easily pleased when it comes to brownies. And these are very pleasing indeed.

Thank you David Liebovitz!

Edit: Since making these David L has amended his post to double the amount of sugar (if you’re using his gram weights which I did as I don’t get on with cups)… so… as I made these with slightly under half the amount of sugar that they’re supposed to have they came out quite nicely.  Isn’t that interesting? Maybe they would be fudgier with more sugar though….I did notice that the egg/sugar/vanilla/coffee extract mix didn’t get really stiff when I beat it up even though I ran it at top speed for ages.  I’m so glad I didn’t write my version out. Knew there was a reason! If you want to make them like I did then use half the sugar given in the recipe.

Related Posts : Celia’s Chocolate Fudge Brownies

35 thoughts on “Chocolate Mint Pecan Brownies from David Liebovitz

  1. heidi

    These look totally luscious!
    The chocolate sirens are luring me to buy some chocolate mints to make this.
    I haven’t made brownies for a month- so I think I NEED to make these.
    Dealing with temptation is so easy when you intend to cave in! :D

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      You and Oscar Wilde may have something in common ;)

      ‘I can resist everything except temptation’ (hope I’ve quoted that right…)

      I haven’t made brownies since I made Celia’s perfect fudge brownies….

  2. miskmask

    I always thought that plant was a False forget-me-not, rather than the tie-a-knot-in-a-rope variety. ;) Spelling and horticulture aside, those brownies are causing me serious cravings for a sweet treat this afternoon.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      you are right! There are a few words that I misspell compulsively, one is Ariel/Arial for aeriel or is it aerial (see what I mean, I think it is aerial isn’t it? oh bottoms I just can’t spell some words…. and forget-me-knot / forget-me-not is another… I am going to wield my editorial typing fingers right away !

      B of course forgets his knot every time he puts on a tie, and I find him sitting in front of the computer where he has bookmarked a video on how to tie a winston knot….

  3. Jeannette

    I can hardly believe this coincidence…. my friend in Scotland, the one who started me off on sourdough bread, sent an S.O.S last night about this very same recipe, and then I click onto your website and you have made them!!!! She spotted a mistake in the sugar quantity in the recipe, which has now been rectified by David, and was afraid to proceed with the recipe in case it failed, however yours seem to be successful so perhaps it wouldn’t have made such a difference, who knows? As she lives right off the beaten track she doesn’t have access to some things unless she orders them in, so she had already made the mints from the recipe in The Perfect Scoop, she is a very accomplished baker so I am really looking forward to seeing how hers turn out. I will keep you posted. After seeing yours, I must say I feel tempted to make them myself.

    After seeing yours, I must say I feel tempted

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      I am not that serious about brownies and wouldn’t notice a mistake. Though I did think the amount of mint thins was phenomenal!

      Well, I halved and approximated this recipe anyway and cut about 30 g or so of sugar. I needed another box of AE’s to get to the 500 g I should have had, but that was getting just a bit expensive, so I have done the rationbook version here ;) As I said I am easily pleased when it comes to small chocolatey things… as long as they have good chocolate, real butter, fresh nuts, eggs, sugar I can eat almost any version of these with great happiness :)

      I am very fond of Celia’s chocolate fudge brownies for a go to recipe myself!

      I’ve added a note to the post above. That was a huge difference in the sugar ! I’m surprised mine worked at all :0

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      They’re not as fudgy as Celia’s… but they are still very fine when the chocolate craving hits… excuse me – I feel one coming on right now …. ;)

  4. C

    They look delicious Joanna and I feel that you are almost entirely to blame for the packet of After Eights on my kitchen work surface. I’ll lay the rest of the blame with Tesco for having them half price….. :-) I love chocolate, I love mint, what’s not to love here. Might take a while to get round to making them though!

    Interesting about the sugar – I think I might go somewhere intermediate with the amount – I’m not that fond of unset fudginess in a brownie, especially when I’m feeding pregnant people at work!

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Go for it! Keep the after eights away from the edges of the batter as the escaping goo goes hard when it sets on the outside of the brownies if it gets that far…. Eating them thoughtfully with an afternoon cup of tea just now I thought they were pretty good and I am quite chuffed that I used less sugar. The mints are full of sugar anyway. Americans seem to like their cakes very sweet, don’t they?

  5. cityhippyfarmgirl

    Hmm, I wonder if I should make something like this for Mr Chocolate’s birthday coming up… a little lunch time treat, (what a good wife I am.)
    It could have been my huntsman that made off with your chocolate, crafty not so little thing probably would! Dragging his webbed sack of chocolatey goodies behind him.
    (thanks for the link back too.)

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      I reckon you could put almost anything in the middle layer – but there are so many chocolate recipes out there – I’ve stuck most of them in the freezer, it’s far too easy to keep eating them… How is Mr Incey Wincey doing? I can’t get him out of my mind…. ;)

  6. Mariana

    I just love how the mints sink into the brownie mixture and lay there all gooey and oozy. Truly luscious recipe Joanna. And your photos look wonderfully rich. I really need to address losing about ten kilos. I feel like beating myself up as I keep putting it off. And your post is not helping!!

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Thanks Mariana!

      That’s why I only made half the quantity, about an 8 inch by 10 inch tray, I cut them small and photographed them big. But yes I agree, they don’t help particularly, nor if you have diabetes – except I used a whole lot less sugar (by accident) than the original recipe and I liked them like that. I don’t make cakes everyday or even every week, what you see on the blog is pretty much it, always an occasion, which is why I write about them.

      1. Mariana

        Oooh I do hope I didnt make you feel bad. That was not my intention. Far from it. Your recipe looks sinfully tempting and I’d be the first one to reach in and grab a piece. Or two. A week would hardly pass without me making some kind of cake or biscuits around here. The discipline and self control rests entirely on my shoulders. It sounds like you have it worked out with a half quantity and less sugar. I’m still working on the self discipline! Halving sounds like a good way to go about it. Hope you don’t hate me. Hehe. Mariana.

        1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

          Hehe! Of course not! It all boils down to how many people are going to share in the calorific goodies I guess. The freezer helps to slow down the rate of consumption. I often get asked who eats all the bread, again it goes in the freezer or gets made with particular people in mind and gets given away. I get greedy when there’s cheese around and salami and olives, not particularly for cake. B on the other hand grew up in a house where there was always cake, one on the go and one in the tin, his Gran was a housekeeper who baked like a fiend! I grew up eating liquorice and twiglets. I prefer salt to sugar, which also has its consequences… Food eh? :D

  7. theinversecook

    Lovely write-up as usual. Will try it as birthday present for somebody who is a fan of After Eights. Regards from Germany, Nils

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Hi Nils! thank you – I think they are great fun! I believe After Eights are now sold all over the world. They were the height of sophistication when I was a child. The etiquette involved in eating them is staggering. We always left the packets behind, creating the illusion that we hadn’t eaten too many….bad children ;)

  8. Sanjana

    OMG. I need this in my life. What an awesome idea! Thanks for your comment on my blog – I’ve been doing some detective work to fully answer your questions and wanted to let you know I’m on the case!

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      The lineage of these brownies is getting quite long I think, mutating as they pass from blog to blog….

      I asked someone at the Food Festival about dosa making, seems like everyone has a different take on it… I’m planning to revisit them later in the week. I’ve bought the ingredients for your coconut and coriander chutney, now it’s just a case of making it :)

  9. Jeannette

    I think you got yours right , Joanna, putting a smaller amount of sugar in the recipe. My friend who made them, put the ‘right’ amount in and says they are far too sweet, for her taste anyway.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      The clue might be where David Liebovitz says the brownies are really heavy…. maybe as written they should be treated more like sweets and less like cake?

  10. Annie

    Hi Joanna,

    I’m Jeannette’s friend from Scotland who found the error in DL’s conversion from volume to weight. Good for you getting it ‘wrong’! I actually used 600g sugar instead of the 700g in the recipe and they were still far too sweet and very dense. They are far more like a candy bar than a cake. If I ever make them again, I’ll use your recipe! I did make the mints myself and they are very easy and tasty.

    BTW the brownie recipe has been around for years – if you Google ‘Maida Heatter’s Palm Beach Brownies’ you will find hundreds of references. As you probably know, Americans do like their sweet things MUCH sweeter than we Brits do, and, presumably, Aussies too.

    My friend Jeannette is a VERY accomplished baker – she is just very self-effacing!

    I like your blog – very friendly and informative with lots of good info.


    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Hi Annie! Nice to meet you – heard lots about you from Jeannette :) I think she’s fantastic too! Very impressed with her Pain de Campagne. Well done spotting that error, it must be the hardest thing for cookery writers to check all their quantities have made it through the editorial process correctly. I am always a bit anxious if I write a recipe out for that reason. I will look up Maida Heatter brownies, thanks! I blog for fun and for somewhere to park my bread photos for Mellow Bakers and my other bits and pieces.

  11. Tutak

    Unlike all the other commentators, I have actually had the pleasure of eating one of these brownies from the batch featured in the photos! It was delicious beyond belief. There is one left in my house, and I am guarding it like a chocolate labrador….growling and drooling simultaneously xxxx

  12. jan trounce

    I was just about to turn off and turn in, but had to have one more look at your beautiful first photo in this post. I love the sound of a recipe that starts with – first take a wheelbarrow load of chocolate! I feel myself looking at them and making Goon-Moriarty-like “owwww” sounds. Unfortunately, they are wot I durst not eat – unless somebody else made them and offered me one, or two, and then it would only be polite to let them know how much I enjoyed them, wouldn’t it?

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Why durst thee not eat brownies Jan? After all that walking the mountains of Tasmania? Surely a little chocolate brownie would be therapeutic? :)

  13. Nip it in the bud

    it’s great to hear your sugar-rationed version turned out so well.
    You can almost feel your teeth melting away with every bite when brownies are too sweet. Sigh I do love mint and choc combos…

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