After Eight Brownies with Fondant and Chocolate Ganache
These After Eight brownies have a decadent, fudgy brownie base. Then comes a thin layer of sweet, soft fondant. Topping it all off, is a rich chocolate ganache. If you are a lover of After Eight mints, look no further, as you have probably just come across your new favourite dessert.
I am no stranger to using After Eight mints in cakes, and I have a beautiful After Eight chocolate cake in my e-book, Baking with Spelt. That time, I used After Eights in the cake, and topped it off with chocolates that melted on top. This time around, it’s a brownie on steroids.
What are After Eights?
There is something very sublime about After Eights. Almost paper thin, they are square, filled with sweet, sugar fondant, and encased in rich, dark chocolate. Each chocolate comes in its own individual, silky wrapper, giving the sensation of eating something a little special every time you take one.
The official name of the chocolates is After Eight Mint Thins, but everybody and their dog calls them simply After Eights. First produced in the UK in the 1960s, the chocolate covered fondants were intended as after dinner mints. While that is still the case (and are often brought as a gift to dinner party in the UK), most people don’t need the excuse of a dinner party to scoff a packet.
What can I substitute for After Eight mints?
It pains me to realise that some of you could be living in a world without After Eights. However, that does not mean you need to miss out on these beauties. A quick Google search tells me that you can pick up After Eights on Amazon and British food online stores. In Canada, Walmart apparently stocks something very similar called Our Finest Dark Chocolate Mint Thins. For those of you in the US, Andes mints seem very similar to After Eight Mints, so would make a great substitution.
If getting hold of dark chocolate mint thins is not going to happen for you, you could easily chop up any dark chocolate and flavour your fondant with mint. It would taste exactly the same.
I love the simplicity of brownies, and their adaptability. You can literally throw whatever you like into the brownie batter, and it will taste awesome. I’ve made caramel brownies, marshmallow brownies, and even got all festive with my gingerbread brownies and brownie Christmas trees.
Like Sweden’s kladdkaka, I love how foolproof brownies are. You don’t need to worry too much about them rising, and if they are a complete disaster (which is unlikely) the amount of sugar (and in this case, chocolate) is never going to taste horrible. I have a lot of disasters in the kitchen; you just don’t get to see them. It’s all about trial, error and practice.
As with all of my spelt flour recipes, regular flour can be substituted. It is no more difficult than a straight swap, using the same quantity of flour.
After Eight Brownies with Fondant and Chocolate Ganache
- 100g (3½ oz) milk chocolate
- 6 (approx. 50g / 1¾oz) After Eight mints (see note 1)
- 150g (⅔ cup) butter
- 75ml (5 tbs) milk
- 90g (½ cup) brown sugar
- 90g (½ cup) white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 60g (½ cup) spelt flour (see note 2)
- 25g (3¼ tbs) cocoa
- 16 (approx. 140g / 5oz) After Eight mints (frozen)
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 100-150g (2-2½ cups) icing sugar
- 75g (2½ oz) milk chocolate
- 75g (2½ oz) dark chocolate
- 100ml (6¾ tbs) cream
- Freeze 16 After Eight mints (for the fondant and topping). They will freeze quickly, so they won't need to be in the freezer longer than 45-60 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170°C (325ºF).
- Grease and/or line a medium-sized pan or dish (mine is 25cm x 27cm / 9¾" x 10½").
- Slowly heat the chocolate, 6 After Eights, and the butter in a pan, just until everything has melted. Remove from the heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk the sugars together with the eggs, then add in the cooled chocolate mixture along with the vanilla.
- Sift the flour and cocoa together, and stir into the wet ingredients, just until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for around 25-30 minutes (see note 3)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Remove the After Eights you popped in the freezer earlier, and using a food processor or blender, blitz until they are fairly fine.
- Take half of the chocolate crumbs and set to one side. Put the other half back in the freezer until later.
- Add the milk to a bowl and enough icing sugar to make a very thick paste.
- Stir in the crushed After Eights you had set to one side. Leave until it has thickened even more (the fondant needs to be fairly spreadable but not runny).
- Spread the fondant over the cooled brownie, and place in the fridge to set for about an hour.
- When ready, slowly melt the milk and dark chocolate together with the cream. You can either do this carefully in a microwave, or in a Bain Marie .
- Slowly whisk or stir everything together, then pour over the top of the fondant.
- Take the remaining After Eight crumbs out of the freezer, and sprinkle over the chocolate/cream mixture.
- Allow time to set (a further hour) then slice into squares and enjoy (see note 4).
- If you can't get hold of After Eights, you can use any chocolate mint (I've included the weight of the chocolates I used to make it easier).
- You can use spelt or regular flour for this recipe (just use the same amount).
- The texture will vary, depending on how long the brownie is baked for. I baked this one for around 25 minutes, but if you would like a firmer consistency, bake it for the full 30 minutes.
- Just for info purposes: my brownies were fudgy and quite difficult to slice prettily (which is important for my recipe photos). Therefore, I popped them in the freezer for an hour. The ganache doesn't firm up too much, but you get a cleaner cut through the brownie.