I made these when I was very, very cross. In fact, I’m just gonna go ahead and say it, I had PMT. I was so grumpy, it was actually ridiculous. I shouted at a sofa, a laptop, my phone and Richard. Luckily he’s very patient and extremely understanding so just laughs at me when I lose my temper at everything! In return for his patience I shared my anger quashing brownies. I find that chocolate is good for when my hormones are on the blink and I add extra chocolate enhancing flavours like cardamon and coffee to make them even more consoling.
Anger Management Brownies
100g butter (plus extra for greasing)
200g dark chocolate
200g golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
1 espresso (or 50ml of very strong coffee)
1 teaspoon of rosewater
130g plain flour
1 tsp of baking powder
30g cocoa, and a bit more for dusting
- Line a 20cm square cake tin (or similar sized rectangular one) with a piece of baking paper and grease well with butter. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Put the chocolate and butter in a bowl which is fitted on top of a pan of just boiling water, heat until both are melted.
- Whisk the sugar and eggs together until the mix has about doubled in size and is a lot paler than it was when you started whisking.
- Add the espresso, ground cardamom, honey and rosewater to the egg mixture and whisk again to combine.
- Now pour the melted butter and chocolate into the egg mix and whisk once more until smooth.
- Then fold in the flour, baking powder and cocoa and then tip the mixture into the prepared tin.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Don’t worry if it’s still quite wobbly in the middle, it will set more when it’s cold.
- Leave to cool (if you can wait that long) then slice into squares, dust with cocoa powder if you’re feeling fancy.
I like to serve mine (if I’m feeling particularly grumpy) with a good slice of action movie! Yippee–ki–yay!
My Jubilee Weekend
I am slightly ashamed to say that with all the meetings, recipe testing and business planning I almost entirely forgot about the 4 day weekend of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Luckily I was prompted just in time when my good pal Helen asked if I would like to go to a street party on Sunday.
Still keen to stick to my healthier ways I whipped up a light, wholesome Jubilee Picnic ready to share at whichever East London bash that would be willing to let us pull up a plastic chair.
I made coronation chicken skewers using free range chicken breasts, yellow peppers and dried fruit, served with a dip made from Greek yoghurt, curry powder, coriander and lemon juice.
For a more whole-food cucumber sandwich I used rye bread filled with quark, cucumber and dill.
And as a sweet treat I made some Lemon & Lavender Drizzle Cake & Portmary Scones (both from Harry Eastwood’s book) which were lovely.
I felt a royal picnic would not be complete without a little Pimm’s but instead of Lemonade I used Perrier to mix which isn’t half bad and much kinder on the teeth!
We decided to head to London Fields as we thought that there was a good chance that Broadway Market or Columbia Road Market (both pretty much side by side) would be having some kind of shin dig. No such luck. Broadway Market was empty and Columbia Road had it’s usual Flower Market, which is always nice (and one of the flower sellers made a fuss of Helen’s bowler hat) but it wasn’t exactly what we were looking for. Just as we were about to give up hope we heard the “thud thud thud” of some exciting music and tried to work out where it was coming from. This was the final nail in the coffin that was our street party hunt as the music in question was coming from the boot speakers of a parked car next to an unmanned barbecue and a small bouncy castle complete with a single kid. I’m sure this street party livened up later on but at this point we were cold and damp from the drizzle so lugged our picnic back to Helen’s flat.
This turned out to be the best decision; Helen’s flat has bunting, hot coffee and a TV on which we could watch the live broadcast of all the celebratory boats sailing down the Thames and all the rain was outside 🙂
Happy Bank Holiday x
To make myself more productive I have taken on lots of collaborative projects as working with others makes me work harder.
This week meant a second meeting with Helen & Sophia who are to be the brains behind my next YouTube cookery show. I am extremely lucky to work with them, they are possibly some of the most professional and talented people I have ever met and I am constantly terrified of letting them down which pushes me on to make sure the scripts are done on time and the recipe is properly tested. Eeek!
This meeting was no different, I made sure my “homework” of completing the first draft of the script was ready and I had a quick tidy round. About 15 minutes before they were due to arrive I suddenly decided that I should give them something to eat. Cake; cakes are always good, right? But 15 minutes is a bit of a push even for me but most foodies have at least one or two solid recipes they can pull out at a moments notice and this is mine.
(excuse the imperial measurements – it’s the one recipe which I don’t do metric – weird, I know)
For the cakes:
4oz self raising flour
4oz self raising flour
4oz of sugar
4oz butter, melted
2 free range eggs
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
zest of 1 orange
juice of half an orange
For the frosting:
2 tablespoons of cream cheese
juice of half an orange
icing sugar to taste
1 passionfruit to serve.
Preheat the oven to 170°c
Line a 12 hole bun tin with cake cases – this is brilliant for speedy cooking because you don’t need to grease the tin!
Mix all the cake ingredients together and whisk with a handheld electric whisk until smooth and pale.
Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the cake cases dividing it evenly and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cakes are cooked through (check by inserting a cocktail stick – if it comes out clean then they are ready)
Put the cakes on a wire rack to cool and get back to the meeting!
Sneak back to the kitchen and mix up the frosting, adding a dessertspoonful of icing sugar at a time until it tastes sweet enough to your liking. Whisk until smooth then plonk dollops of the frosting onto the cooled cakes. Top with a few passionfruit seeds and serve. Winner!
So excited that my sister-in-law’s article has just featured on major wedding blog site Rock My Wedding! It was a completely brilliant day and a total honor to be asked to make their cakes.
The design process (for the cakes alone) I think took about 12 months, but I’m not complaining; I got to taste them too and what better excuse for churning out cake after cake than in the name of research!
This Summer they will have been married a year and even now I cannot believe how much detail and creativity went into everything from the flowers to the cuff-links to the giant Japanese fish windsocks.
Do go and see the full account from my fantastic sister-in-law here: http://www.rockmywedding.co.uk/full-disclosure/