Archive for April, 2007
One of the cruel ironies of the best brownie recipes is that they demand the inclusion of chocolate. The problem that I have with that is that I tend to make brownies when I need chocolate, and have none. If I have chocolate in the cupboard, I’ll eat it. If I don’t, I need brownies. If my brownie recipe requires chocolate, it’s wasting my time. The following recipe uses the most simple ingredients and can be prepared in one saucepan.
These brownies are very resilient to stupid mistakes. Once I forgot to add the flour; the end result was a very tasty brownie brittle. On another occasion, I discovered that I had only one egg after starting the whole process. I ran over to the neighbour who directed me to her fridge. I selected an egg and ran home, only to discover that I’d taken a hard-boiled egg. Too embarrassed and too lazy to return, I just used the single original egg. End result: still delicious. Last night when I made them I forgot to turn the oven on early enough and it hadn’t reached it’s heat by the time the mix was ready. I stuck it in the oven anyway. The brownies didn’t mind at all.
This brownie has a lovely crumb, and is delicious from the slightly crispy edge pieces to the spongey inner pieces.
- 200g butter
- 200g soft brown sugar (1 1/2 cups lightly packed)
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
Heat oven to 180C. Lightly butter your favourite brownie dish (I either use a crappy aluminium disposable square one, or a non-stick cake tin).
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add the cocoa and sugar and heat until shiny and dissolved. Remove from heat. Add flour, mix to combine. Add eggs and vanilla, beat to combine. Pour into greased baking dish. Bake 20 minutes.
simmer down notes:
- Cool before cutting or you’ll get a crumby mess.
- It’s likely that if you heat the mixture after adding the sugar until the sugar dissolves, you won’t get a slight speckle effect on top after baking. However, as the recipe works fantastically without melting the sugar properly, I’ve never bothered to investigate.
All the best things go into chicken soup. Some of the things that I put in chicken soup are in the picture on the right. Although every recipe is different, I’m pretty fond of mine and generally don’t waiver from it.
Some of the Good Things:
- chicken pieces
- whole peppercorns
- celery leaves or celery
- kohlrabi – thick slices
- parsnip – thick sticks
- carrots – thick sticks
- onion – quartered and stuck with cloves
- garlic – whole
- zucchini – thick rounds
- potatoes – large chunks
- dill or parsley – chopped
First, put the chicken pieces in a large pot of cold water. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes. Skim off the scum and fat that is floating around on top. Add the peppercorns and all the vegetables except the zucchini and potatoes and dill/parsley. The vegetables can be chopped however you like. As I prefer a clear soup, I keep the pieces of vegetables large so they don’t fall apart. Cook for about half an hour, then add the potatoes and zucchini and cook for another half hour. Remove the celery and add the dill or parsley just before serving.