Posts Tagged: brownies


17
Mar 11

Vegetables and chocolate

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Funny old cooking time of late. I’ve been surrendering to my sweet tooth. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a sucker for a pudding and for anything chocolate-based, from a Cadbury’s fudge to an Akesson’s single plantation Madagscan chocolate bar.

At the same time though, I’ve been rather virtuous, subsisting on a diet at home that is mainly vegetable based, with the odd Friday night feast of something naughty like Buffalo wings. It’s been dhal, salads (on the sunnier days), curries, soup. I’m not quite sure what’s been going on.

Oh yes, and the brownies. Yes the brownies. I keep them hidden in the freezer, ready cut, and eat them straight from there, slightly chewier and with a delicious, cool, snap.

Perhaps it’s the changing seasons – my body is gearing up for the warmer months. Mind you, I’d eat chocolate on the hottest and coldest days of the year, no problem.

I even woke up in the middle of the night the other day and snapped a few pieces of the bar(s!) I keep stashed away for a rainy day. Still, I ate my salad on the balcony in the sun the next day – getting my Vitamin D fix while I chomp through my other vitamins.


17
Aug 09

Blondie vs brownie

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The blondie is the delicious opposite of the brownie – as opposed to the dark chocolate treat which is seemingly a more adult affair, this is for those with a sweet tooth and an affection for rich, decadent puddings.

For me, both have their upsides. Well, I can’t think of downsides for either but I guess they both suit certain moods. A brownie for when I’m feeling grown up, a blondie for the kid in me.

This recipe comes from my good friend Lara who runs an underground restaurant – all the rage these days – in South West London, Sheen Suppers (for bookings email sheensuppers@googlemail.com).

There are a few of these places around town and indeed the globe now – the premise being that an amateur chef invites a group of friends, acquaintances and strangers over to pay for a sit down meal in their house. And if this pudding is anything to go by, it’d be worth trying to find one in your area!

The recipe makes about 16-18 small blondies or 12 large ones. A tin 18cm x 32cm is ideal, or a square of similar dimensions.
 
For the blondies

  • 300g good quality white chocolate, chopped into very small bits
  • 150g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 level tbsp of grated fresh ginger – microplane grated is best (no fibres)
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 300g soft brown sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 175g plain flour

Ginger Cream

  • 1pt double cream
  • 4tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 lvl tbsp ground ginger


Method

Pre-heat your oven to 180°C.
 
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, sugar and vanilla pod scrapings.

Melt together 200g of the choc and butter on a low heat in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Cool for 5 minutes so you don’t scramble the eggs and add to the egg/sugar mixture.

When well mixed, add the flour – don’t beat the life out of it but do carefully make sure it’s properly mixed.

Mix in the ginger and taste. It should be there but should not overpower the fudgy flavour of the chocolate.

Stir in remaining chocolate bits and pour into the tray (they need to be small so they melt quickly and don’t sink). Tap the tin a couple of times to get rid of big bubbles.

Cook for 35 minutes, testing at 30. They are ready when an inserted skewer comes out cleanish – some stickiness is fine and in fact, desired.
 
For the ginger cream, combine ingredients and whip to desired thickness.

Serve the brownies either warm or cool – you may find it easier to cut them once cooled though – with a dollop of cream on top.


26
Mar 09

Blog: Under the influence

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I keep track of all my cooking in little black book, writing everything down as there have been too many instances of “Wow that was great – what was in it?”. A dash of this and a handful of that all seemed so simple at the time, but by the next day they’re hard to recall.

Reading back over it is a strange and interesting experience. I can see what I cooked for whom and on what occasion. The successes and failures, the phases of eating I went through, the weeks of Asian food followed by French and British, Spanish or Mexican – it’s all there.

Pulled pork tacos with smoky salsa sit alongside frozen plum yogurt.  The latest pages contain various brownie recipes I tried to get just right.

There are empty pages, too, where I’ve meant to write up things the next day or revisit dishes long since forgotten.

The pulled pork recipe is there, but a page sits blank where the salsa should have gone. And sadly the whole experience is so far in the past I can’t even remember the name of the chillies I made it with.

An experiment for another time and a new culinary adventure…

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