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Before you say another word, yes, you can cook anything on the braai, including dessert! In fact, any Saffa worth their salt will agree that if it can’t be cooked on the braai, it’s not worth eating, and that goes for desserts as well. While rather a strange concept, cooking pudding on the braai has been around since before the days of the settlers when cooking on an open fire was the only braai recipes doing the rounds. Unfortunately, there were no fancy stoves or ovens available while traipsing around the veld in our ancestors’ days! Come to think of it, there may not have been peppermint crisp either – but we stand to be corrected on that! Braai culture was alive and well in those days and if you’d offered the settlers half the chance to enjoy dessert on the braai, you’d have received a great resounding, “yes, please!”

How do you bake on the braai?

You may be wondering how you bake dessert on a braai grid; the answer is simple, with a trusty potjie pot. These sturdy cast iron pots are synonymous with South African culture and have been used for cooking traditional South African food for decades. Potjie pots were and still are perfect for cooking delicious meals on the open fire and still feature in most modern braai recipes. Their ability to retain moisture and enhance food flavors means they are excellent for slow-cooking sumptuous meaty dishes. However, they are also great for baking, producing moist cakes and desserts.

While the modern South African may think the braai is primarily for meat and the infamous potjie, it can be used to come up with some pretty decadent sweet treats and other nifty braai ideas. Moreover, the goodies you can make on the braai are so tasty; you may just ditch baking in the oven for good! Have you ever heard of coconut condensed milk tert on the braai or sticky malva pudding on the coals? How about Peppermint crisp chocolate brownies on the braai? Take it from us; this is the most gorgeous braai dessert of all time!

A spot of brownie history

However, before you drag out the potjie pot and light the fire, let’s delve into a bit of brownie history to inspire some fresh new braai ideas. Aptly named for the coca powder that colours the cake mix a lovely deep chocolatey-brown, the brownie hails from America. Once upon a time in the 1900s, an American housewife viewed her failed chocolate cake with calm diplomacy. Rather than admit defeat, this ingenious housewife simply served rich chocolatey pieces of ‘flat’ cake. And so was born the decadent chocolate brownie! And this is the very story that provokes our South African brownie recipe!

Peppermint crisp braai brownies

While the Americans may lay claim to the brownie recipe, we South Africans have taken it and added our own unique saffa flair! Enter the Peppermint crisp chocolate braai brownie – now this is a braai recipe you want to get your hands on! Baked on the braai, this indulgent chocolate brownie topped with candied mint and a dollop of ice cream will have your braai guests drooling for second helpings! Yum, let’s dive straight into a recipe now!

What you will need

  • 1 heavy-bottomed skillet
  • 4 small (680g) potjie pots

Ingredients

For the brownies

  • 200 g milk chocolate chopped into chunks
  • 280 g unsalted butter cubed
  • 6 free-range eggs
  • 450 g Huletts castor sugar
  • 94 g cake flour
  • 60 g cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt for seasoning

For the topping

  • 3 Peppermint crisp chocolates (50 g each)
  • 1 tub vanilla ice cream or preferred ice cream flavour

What to do

  • Place the large skillet on the braai grid over a bed of slow-burning coals. Note flames are not required unless you want charred brownies!
  • Melt the chocolate chunks and cubed butter together, occasionally stirring to prevent the mixture from sticking.
  • Next, whisk the eggs and sugar into a light a light, and fluffy mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the cocoa powder, flour, and salt.
  • Once the chocolate chunks and butter have completely melted in the skillet, remove the skillet from the braai grid and add the egg and sugar mixture. Stirring continuously to ensure both mixtures combine thoroughly.
  • Now slowly add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt mixture to the skillet and stir until thoroughly mixed. Ensure there are no lumps.
  • Next, spoon the brownie mixture into the potjie pots, divide the mixture equally. Note it may be easier to use a soup ladle when filling the potjie pots.
  • Place the peppermint crisp chocolate bars into a zip-seal bag and lightly crush using a rolling pin. Then sprinkle the crushed peppermint chocolate on top of the brownie mixture in each potjie pot. Note you don’t need to mix the crushed chocolate into the brownie mixture; it will melt into the mix with the heat of the braai. Save a little crushed chocolate for the final topping.
  • Then, place the potjie pot lids on and position each potjie pot on the braai grid over the coals. Allow the brownies to bake over the coals for approximately fifteen minutes. 
  • After fifteen minutes, lift the potjie lids and check the brownies. If you prefer a less gooey consistency, allow the brownies to cook for a further five to ten minutes.
  • Lastly, carefully remove the potjie pots from the braai and allow them to stand for a few minutes before serving.
  • Add a generous scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream to each potjie pot, top with a sprinkling of crushed peppermint crisp chocolate, and serve!

Now that’s how you do dessert on the braai, the South African way!

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