Valentines day. That’s how this past week began. The possibility of trying to block out the ghastly occasion was rudely disrupted by all the pink glittered kisses and in-your-face foil balloon hearts decorating every inch of absolutely everywhere at this time of year. By all the star-crossed lovers that swan around seduced by the consumerist enterprise. Who, having fallen into the commercial trap, all uniformly confess their undying love by purchasing flowers and garish ‘I’m forever yours’ mugs. Ughhh.
If you haven’t already noted from the very icy tone of this weeks post, February 14th is not my cup of tea. I’m sorry if any die hard V-day celebrating sweethearts out there are saddened by my lack of love for the big love day. Please don’t mistake my cynical edge for resentment. I just don’t really get it and I don’t think I ever will (even after I’ve kissed all the frogs and found my prince). It’s too forced and contrived and downright cringe worthy if you ask me. But, since no one did ask me I’m going to stop rambling. Instead I’ll conclude with a quote from Tanya Gold, a freelance journalist who’s statement so greatly summarises the shambles that is Valentines Day…
“It is also weirdly like paying taxes. It’s expensive, incredibly irritating and everyone has to do it. If you don’t take part, you are possibly suspicious and probably dangerous.”
(Tanya Gold, Good riddance to Valentines Day, 2009)
Regardless of my feelings towards the annual celebration, Valentines day does bring one good thing and that’s a lot of well-stocked chocolate shelves. So, although I made an executive decision not to post a special Valentines bake, I thought I could at least whip up a batch of my Macadamia Nut Brownies. In the hope that you don’t think I’m an entirely miserable old batty cat lady. FWI I like dogs better anyway.
Macadamia Nut Brownies
I’m aware of the debate out there in the baking world, regarding the consistency of brownies. Cake-y Vs Fudge-y. Personally, I’m a fan of the gooey kind. The ones that ooooze chocolatey goodness. And that’s why this recipe is my-kind of brownie perfection.
Adding nuts give the bake a little bite. I find Macadamias to be a buttery dream but pistachios and walnuts work just as well if you’d prefer.
100g good quality dark chocolate (70% coca)
150g unsalted butter
125g plain flour
15g coco powder
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
300g soft light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g chopped Macadamia nuts
Slowly melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over a low heat.
Sieve the flour, coco powder, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Then, in a separate bowl beat the eggs, add the sugar and vanilla extract and stir until combined.
Fold your melted chocolate into the egg & sugar mix. Finally, fold in the flour mixture and add the chopped macadamia nuts. Fold all until just combined.
Spoon into a greased and lined 20cm x 15cm square tin and bake at 180/Gas Mark 4, for 25 minutes.
Texture is key for brownies. When ready, the mix will be coming away from the edges of the tin. It might seem underdone in the centre at first, but when the mixture cool’s it’ll have the perfect consistency for all those fudge-y fans.
Delicious warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some tangy Greek Yoghurt.
Thursday 18th February 2016