Brownies! (and a Herman update)

Another incredibly busy week has passed. I have made brownies for a reading that was taking place at the bookshop I run, and I made red velvet cupcakes as well (which didn’t turn out so great, and I didn’t have time to ice them, so they weren’t taken along to the reading)

There were plenty of brownies left over – due to lack of people to eat them. I’ve been slowly munching my way through them over the last couple of days as they’ve been sitting on my desk. These are brownies which never disappoint. Brownies come in so many varieties – the solid sugary ones, with nuts, without nuts, fudgey or gooey or hard on the outside and soft in the middle. I am a fan of the kind of brownies that make you feel sick after only having one, that are so gooey that they practically fall apart in your hands (particularly when it’s hot and your shop has no air conditioning…). This recipe is for those kind of brownies – instead of flour they have ground almonds in them, which gives them that extra squidgy consistency

225g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids is the best)

200g butter

200g sugar

3 eggs

150g ground almonds

2 tsp vanilla essence

100g chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas Mark 3

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a pan over a low heat

3. Take the pan off the heat, mix in vanilla essence and sugar, and let it cool a little.

4. Beat eggs in with chocolate mix, then add the ground almonds and walnuts.

5. Put in a 24cm square tin, and cook for 25-30 mins, until the top is set, but the inside is still gooey.

6. Once cool, cut into squares.

One of the other great things about these brownies is that they keep well for a while (if they don’t get eaten) – they don’t lose any of their flavour – eating a couple today, I can certainly say they taste as good as they did when I made them on Tuesday evening.

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In other news, Herman is doing well. I’m going to be splitting him into three tomorrow, and giving parts of him to two of my friends (who I actually still need to make aware that they will be receiving some Herman tomorrow). He’s smelling pretty strongly of yeast still – I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing, but I guess I’ll find out on Sunday when I bake him. My friend Catherine, who kindly passed Herman on to me, has also commissioned the first cake I will ever bake that someone will pay me to make. I think it’s going to be a carrot cake, but I’m not 100% on that yet…

The other exciting thing that I’ve done this week is sign up for Foodie Penpals. I got my first penal yesterday, and am really excited to put together my first parcel and send it off. Sending and receiving post is one of my favourite things to do – I really love coming home to find there are letters for me (even when they’re bank statements, although I suppose that will wear off after a while). I feel like technology has taken over so much now, it’s easier to send people emails to catch up – but so much more rewarding to send post. No one’s going appreciate you sending an email as much as they’ll appreciate a package of stuff you’ve picked out and put together for them. Just writing this is making me want to send post! So getting to do this each month is going to be great fun. And it’s food related, so even better!

Talking of post, and completely unrelated to baking, I ordered some CDs from Barsuk last week, and they arrived on Wednesday. I finally own the (not so) new Mates of State album, Mountaintops, which is such an awesome album. I will be listening to it all summer.

Next week it’s my birthday, which probably means I will be receiving cake instead of making it, which is nice.

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