Friday, 16 March 2007

Coffee Morning

One of my friends brought her little boy round for lunch and to play with Christopher today. Mums means coffee, and coffee means CAKE. To that end, I made some brownies yesterday. I'm always tinkering with my recipe, and it's changed dozens of times over the years. I used to make them with walnuts in, then pecans or macadamia nuts, but have eschewed nuts recently, preferring the dense chocolatey slabs to be uninterrupted. I use a 9in 'Eyecatcher' brownie tin with a slide-out base, made by Silverwood™. In fact, nearly all my cake tins are Silverwood™ ones.

Fabulous Chocolate Brownies

350g dark chocolate (I use Cadburys' Bournville)
200g unsalted butter
125g dark muscovado sugar
125g light muscovado sugar
3 eggs
80g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

Melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave on Medium. Whisk eggs and sugar together until paler and thickened. Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, then gently stir to combine. Pour into a greased and floured 9in square tin and bake at 170°c for 25 minutes. Check that the top is firm - don't use a skewer to test it as the middle should still be sticky and squidgy. Cool in the tin, then cut into squares and serve, dusting with icing sugar if you like. I do.

We all had granary rolls with cheese for lunch then we played with the boys while trying to chat. I lent her "Toddler Taming: A Parent's Guide to the First Four Years" by Dr Christopher Green from my rather extensive home library. We'd chatted with our health visitor about the book when she came to give a talk at our playgroup yesterday. It's a great book; Karl and I have used it a lot to help us deal with Christopher. Dr Green has a refreshingly direct attitude and writes honestly without patronising the reader. We have found the sections on sleep and on sibling rivalry particularly useful, but it's a great all-round resource.

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