Wednesday, 2 September 2015

chocolate brownies, to celebrate purpose & joy!

My Sunday mornings have recently consisted of coffee, cake and a dose of Oprah. You all know I’m a fan! I love the range of guests showcased on her masterclass series. One of the running themes has been the concept of having purpose and meaning in your life.  I’ve always believed that no matter what we choose to do, big or small – we should have a purpose. Just existing isn’t good enough. In fact it’s wasteful. Whether you take joy in raising your children to the best of your ability, or you are pursuing your dream career – it all has value if you live with passion and know that we never stop growing or learning. 

There’s no such thing as having learned everything and when I hear people claim that they’ve been there, done that and ‘done’ a country, place, or art form it makes me drop my head in despair. If we all knew everything we would cease to flourish. Of course we can’t do everything all the time and with equilibrium. I often start a few books (I like the freedom to be able to dip into a particular book based on my mood) and then they’re just hanging around on my desk or bedside, making me feel guilty each time I glance at them. So yesterday I started reading one of the books again. Picked up the paper pages in my hand and basked in the joy of my childhood, when books were all I lived for. 

Most of us were practicing gratitude in life way before gratitude became a ‘thing’ - a fashionable mantra for people wanting to appear nicer, kinder and well…more grateful than they actually are. Whether you’re spiritual or not, it doesn’t hurt to take stock of what you have rather than what you don’t have. And if you want something in particular – put all your energy into making it happen. And in that vein I am taking a moment today to celebrate my friends, family and foodies who have taken the time to engage with my blog.

I’ve wanted to start a food blog for years and this year I finally took the plunge, spending days and nights working on creating something I’m proud to call my own and it’s been amazing! Having my recipes published, tried and tested has been so rewarding and revitalising. So I want to say a huge thank you to my readers/eaters and the universe for allowing me to add another purpose to my life. These rich, dense and very chocolatey brownies scream celebration and pure unadulterated joy – so I made some, shared some and ate some! Have a great dayJ

Inspired by Felicity Cloake’s brownie recipe.

Ingredients (serves 9)
100g dark 70% chocolate melted
15g plain flour
15g self-raising flour
40g cocoa
3 medium free range eggs
Pinch of salt
3tbs strong freshly brewed coffee
140g Light brown sugar
125g butter melted
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
20-25 min gas mark 5

Pre-heat oven to gas mark 5

Add butter to a small pan on medium heat and add melt just until it begins to bubble. Remove off heat and mix in the sugar. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and remove off the pan. Add this to the sugar and butter. Let this mixture cool for at least 5 minutes.

In a clean bowl whisk eggs, vanilla and coffee and slowly incorporate the chocolate mixture and whisk until glossy.

Gently fold in the cocoa powder and flours but don’t overmix.

Pour mixture into a greased and lined 8inch square baking tin and carefully spread with a spatula to ensure even baking.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick/cake tester inserted shouldn't have any wet batter but still have a sticky coating as you want a fudgy centre to the brownies.

Cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from the pan and cutting with a sharp knife. Dust with extra cocoa powder if you like! 

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