BROWNIES (and a little nostalgia)

 

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I have been meaning to post these recipes since a long, long time….but life gets in the way of blogging and the old laptop plays up like your stubborn teen and the Y key needs to be stabbed atleast 5 times before it works…… in the interim moments of inspiration come and vanish and before I know it, its months since I have typed out my story.  I am trying to avoid the Y key but is so damned tough (LOL)

 

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These are the lines that move my heart with a little regret, a little sorrow and nostalgia. It makes me wish I had held on longer to those baby moments, wish I had done some “conscious living” when I held his baby fingers and made him walk, when his dribble slid down my neck, when I bathe him and ended up getting wet,  Wish I had built more sand castles on the beach with him instead of burying my head in a novel, played with his lego blocks more often. Wish I hadn’t used a sharp voice when his little fingers couldn’t colour within the line or when more food ended up on the T shirt than in his mouth. Wish I had spoilt him a little more, laughed and tolerated his naughtiness without feeling the need to correct him, behaved his age and less mine.  I wish and I long for that little baby who made numerous demands on my time, energy, patience and emotions. I long for that little boy who loved to watch “scaredy” movies and wanted stories read in the characters’ voices, who lost his socks, always had untied shoe laces (and still does),  who called out in the middle of the night and always found an excuse to snuggle into my bed.

As I watch my lanky teen silently doing his own thing, wordlessly browsing through is phone I miss that chatter. His eyes roll at “lame” “Mom” jokes, there are no more secretive giggles, all you get are moody nods, monosyllabic expressions and demands of a different kind. Occasional smiles, Thank yous and Hugs suddenly bring that little boy to the fore and light up my bleakest days.  So now I “live” and cherish these hugs, smiles, laughs and conversations to the fullest and when I hear “Can I have some brownies?” instead of saying “Too much sugar”, I wink and say “Why not?”

 

 

 

BROWNIES

The Oreo Cookie Brownies are a family favourite and I carry them as gifts whenever I have forgotten to buy one and to bake sales and whip them up for easy brownie desserts or just thaw the frozen ones in my freezer ( ha…ha). It’s a recipe I sourced from La cuisine d’Helene by Ina Garten.

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The second one is by Jamie Oliver, everyone’s favourite guy. This is the second time I have made them and they are extremely soft, gooey and moorish. I kept the proportions the same but just changed the method.

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Don’t you all think baking brownies is somewhat like mothering? How can you go wrong with so much love (chocolate, butter, nuts), attention (keep an eye on them, don’t over bake, ever) and a little bit of common sense?….. and your brownies will turn out just fine.

 

RECIPE 1

OREO BROWNIES (by Ina Garten from la cuisine d’Helene)

Makes a 10×12  inch pan

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240gms butter

250 grms semi sweet chocolate chips

90 grms dark chocolate

1 1/2 tablespoon instant coffee granules

1 tablespoon vanilla

60 grms flour

1/2 teaspoon baking poder

1/2 teaspoon salt

25 Oreo cookies chopped into tiny pea sized bits

  • Pre heat oven to 180 C
  • Line a 10×12 inch Pan  with grease proof paper. Make sure the corners are neat and not crumpled
  • In a heat proof bowl set over a double boiler melt both the chocolates and butter stirring to break up lumps.
  • In a large mixing bowl  whisk together the sugar, eggs, coffee, vanilla.(I give it a good whisk till the mixture is thick and frothy. this is against brownie making principles. But this is what gives my brownies that crust on top when baked)
  • Add the slightly cooled butter and chocolate mixture to the egg mix and stir till its well mixed and smooth.
  • Sift together flour baking powder and salt. Ad a tablespoon of the flour mix to the oreo and coat well.
  • Add the oreos o the chocolate mxture, followed by the flour. Mix well to ensureno lumps of flour remain.
  • Pour the brownie mix into the pan and bake 35 minutes until a skewer inserted 3inches from the side of the pan comes out clean. do not over bake. cool to room temperature and refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting.

 

 

RECIPE 2

CHOCOLATE WALNUT BROWNIES (Jamie Oliver)

Makes a 10×12 in pan

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200 g quality dark chocolate (70%)

250 g unsalted butter

75 g dried sour cherries , optional

50 g chopped nuts , optional

80 g quality cocoa powder

65 g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

360 g caster sugar

4 large free-range eggs

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line baking tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Break chocolate into a large bowl, add the butter and place over a pan of simmering water, until melted, stirring regularly.
  3. Sift the cocoa powder and flour into a separate bowl, add the baking powder. Stir through the  nuts (if using).
  4.  Beat the eggs and sugar until froth and add to the slightly cooled chocolate mixture. mix in the dry ingredients until you have a silky consistency.
  5. Pour the brownie mix into the baking tin, and place in the oven for around 25 minutes. skewer inserted an inch or 2 from the edge of the tin should comeot clean and the centre must be soft and goey/
  6. Allow to cool in the tray, then carefully transfer to a large chopping board and cut into chunky squares.
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