I love mince pies and I love brownies, but when I heard about Paul A Young Brownie Mince Pies, I wasn’t immediately won over by the idea. My favourite mince pies are rich, fruity and very moist. They’re not at all brownie like, and I would never think of combining a mince pie with chocolate.
Having said that, my favourite brownie in the whole world is Paul A Young’s Easter Simnel Brownie. That’s rich and fruity, and with big chunks of marzipan it would make an equally good Christmas treat – if it were available at this time of year.
As you can see, these look like large, open mince pies. There’s a layer of brownie on top and mincemeat underneath, although they layers aren’t particularly distinct.
Of course, the important thing is the taste, and that’s where these don’t quite work for me. They’re pleasant, but they don’t have the rich fruity flavour of a mince pie (or Paul’s Simnel brownie for that matter), and they’re also not particularly chocolatey. The brownie is more cakey than the usual Paul A Young offering, and when combined with the pastry, it’s just a little dry for my taste.
I don’t think they look as good as they could either. That may not seem important, but I’m used to everything I buy from Paul A Young looking drop dead gorgeous, and that feeling of luxury and indulgence is why I’m prepared to pay a premium.
This is as much down to personal taste as anything else though. I know as many people that claim to hate mince pies as I do people who love them. I’m in the latter category, but these don’t evoke my own childhood mince pie memories. Neither do they have they intense chocolate flavour and wow factor of Paul A Young’s amazing, indulgent brownies. I think in this case, I’d rather have the two separately. I will certainly be buying some of Paul’s chocolates as gifts this year, but I don’t think it will be these.
Paul A Young Brownie Mince Pies can be bought from his three London shops. They are not available to buy online, but you can usually arrange delivery if you call the shop.