y’know, i do cook and eat things other than cakes and sweeties, really i do. it’s just that it’s that (cake and biscuit) time of year, and baking something is absolutely so much easier than facing desperate hordes of shoppers. and anyway, lately i’ve been cooking a lot of rather unexciting nursery food, and/or other food which doesn’t photograph well (i have a poached chicken in mind that i must tell you about sometime).
besides all that, i just like cakes : )
today i realised in a flash of panic that i hadn’t bought a gift for the staff at max’s chinderhuus. eeek! i simply CANNOT be so rude as to not give them something. they do a great job and max really loves going there. so tonight i made a batch of smartie cakes (chocolate cupcakes with smarties) for the kiddies and a batch of brownies for the adults. max helped me ice and adorn the cupcakes with smarties, carefully placing one in each centre. he did a very good job, although he did get a little over-enthusiastic licking the spoon. and i saw him sneak a couple of cupcakes – i made the super-tiny little ones (36!!), not normal cupcake size, because kids are only interested in the icing and the lollies anyway, so why waste cake?? – but then, isn’t that just the best part of helping mummy bake cakes???
sorry, no photo of the brownies as they all turned out blurry (the photos, not the brownies). just a big blurry mound of brown with white (icing sugar) dust. suffice to say, they were warm, squidgy, and chocolatey.
squidgalicious brownies (via jill dupleix)
250g dark bitter chocolate, chopped
185g butter, chopped
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
100g chopped nuts (jill uses walnuts, but i used hazelnuts and almonds – i hate walnuts)
3/4 cup of flour
1 level tsp baking powder
– pre-heat oven to 180°c, grease a 25 x 30cm tray (or, as in my case, a 30cm tart tin) and line with greaseproof paper
– melt choc and butter in a large bowl over a pot of simmering water. stir to mix to a velvety smoothness. set aside to cool for 10 mins.
– beat the eggs and sugar until thick and pale.
– add egg mixture to chocolate, folding gently. the resulting mixture will become magically thick and glossy.
– add nuts and vanilla and mix thoroughly (but gently)
– fold in flour and baking powder until just mixed through.
– pour yr glossy goop into the tin and bake for 30 mins or so, or until a skewer comes out moist but not wet. don’t over-cook! brownies are meant to be muddy and moist, not dry and biscuity. actually, check after about 20-25 mins, because my brownies didn’t take 30 mins, more like 20 mins.
– let cool in the tray, then cut into squares and dust with icing sugar. pile high on a plate and devour ’em as soon as you can. if you aren’t eating them straight away store in an air-tight container or cover with cling film. they are almost even better the next day.
ps. i didn’t post the recipe for cupcakes because, well, everyone has a cupcake recipe, don’t they? i made the cupcakes, then used chocolate buttercream icing, with a smartie on top. lovely! if anyone needs a cupcake recipe, let me know and i’ll post it. i use the edmonds one, of course.