Festive chocolate mince pies dusted with icing sugar

Chocolate mince pies

Festive chocolate mince pies dusted with icing sugar

I’ve been making these chocolate mince pies for years, as a nod to all those who hate mince pies. Chocolate pastry and dark chocolate mixed in to the fruit filling takes these to another place entirely – think indulgent fruit and nut chocolate but squidgier and more intense.

There’s nothing tricky here, just substitute some flour in the pastry for cocoa powder, and stir some plain dark chocolate drops through the mincemeat (I use these Callebaut drops) . Don’t be tempted to use milk chocolate, as the filling is already very sweet and the dark chocolate offsets that beautifully.

I buy good quality organic mincemeat (almost all of it is vegetarian or vegan, using vegetable fat instead of suet) and you can pimp that with a grating of orange zest and slug of brandy or rum to add more oomph.

Then make as you would normally. The cocoa powder makes the pastry quite fudgy and difficult to work with, so I roll it between two large sheets of baking parchment.

If you want to use less pastry, cut out star-shapes for the tops.

I make these quite small, canape-sized, because they are very rich. I often serve them as a petit four with coffee at Christmas parties and they always win hands down over the traditional variety.

Ingredients

Makes 12 small pies

150g plain flour

30g cocoa powder (not hot chocolate) I like the Wholefoods one

1 tbsp caster sugar (optional)

85g unsalted butter, cut into cubes and popped in the freezer for 10 minutes

1-2 tbsp fridge-cold water

For the filling:

200g good quality mincemeat (add orange zest and brandy if desired)

50g dark chocolate pistoles or drops (min 53% cocoa solids, you can also chop up a flavoured bar if you prefer)

Method

Put the flour and cocoa in a blender, add the diced butter and pulse until combined.

With the blender running, drizzle in the cold water until the pastry comes together in a ball and pulls away from the sides. You may not need all of the water.

Tip the pastry onto your work surface and bring it together. Wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Mix the chocolate drops in with the mincemeat.

When rested, roll the pastry out between two sheets of baking parchment, to around 2-3mm. Cut out larger circles for the bottoms, and carefully line your moulds.

Spoon in the filling, and top with stars or a smaller circle of pastry.

Bake in the oven at 190C for 10-12 minutes depending on size. Allow to cool in the tins before tipping out (although if the filling has bubbled out you will need to act quickly as it will stick like glue!).

Dust with icing sugar and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

© Linda Galloway 2020