Friday, 21 March 2014

Charity Challenge Day 6 - Chocolate Brownies save the day...

The brownies arrived in the nick of time: there was a sprinkling of dissent in the ranks, and I think the eldest was on the verge of a possible muffin mutiny. It appears you actually can have too much of a good thing.

Don't think he'd ever get sick of brownies though.

I know the internet is awash with brownie recipes, but sure one more won't hurt.
I make these a lot, probably the thing I bake the most. Perfect for cheering up grumpy kids/husband.

150g dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa)
150g butter
3 eggs
225g sugar
tsp vanilla extract
90g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Grease and line a 20cm square tin (or round if you want a brownie cake) Oven 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.

Melt the chocolate and the butter together, and while that's going on, beat the eggs, sugar (brown or white) and vanilla in a large bowl. When the choc/butter has melted, let it cool for a bit before adding it to the sugary eggs - then tip in the flour and baking powder, and mix. 
Pour into your prepared tin, and pop into the oven for 15-20 mins. Cool before cutting.

As we only had 100g of chocolate, I reduced the quantities by a third, but probably could have done with a bit more flour as they're extremely gooey - not that anyone's complaining.

There has been an increase in moaning though as the week's gone on - not about what I'm giving them to eat; more about the lack of variety, and that they can't have what they want. This is no bad thing, because these moments, when the kids are thinking about not being able to have crisps or custard creams or whatever it might be; they're good times to remind them about children who never have any choices; children who are grateful for every meal and every mouthful. But not in a lecturey way, because I know they'd just switch off if I did that. It'll probably make more sense when they watch a bit of Sport Relief tonight and see where the money we've raised will be going.

For me, the Challenge has meant a lot more planning, cooking and thinking ahead - it's been good to do,  but know I'm not organised enough to keep it going. I was thinking that yesterday morning when I made the kids pancakes for breakfast with the leftover batter from the night before: they loved them and it gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling - but I'm not usually on the ball in the morning and don't need to add any extra chores. Hard enough getting them out the door by 7.30.
And remembering to brush my hair.

I used Hugh FW's drop scone/pancakes recipe, but watered down the milk to make it go further. We've done quite well making our milk supply last. I only have one milk drinker though, and he's been on water rations.

The old bits of bread mentioned last time were whizzed up to make breadcrumbs. I fried them with some butter, a splash of oil, a chopped clove of garlic, and a little rosemary from the garden (chopped so finely no child would spot it). I added a little grated cheese from the rations too, and then sprinkled the toasted breadcrumbs on our tomato pasta (popular in some parts of southern Italy as a cheap alternative to parmesan apparently).  I really liked the garlicky crunch with the pasta, and even got a thumbs up from the fusspot! But the youngest wasn't so keen - always bloomin' one, isn't there.

Anyway, they all ate it up.

I bribed them with brownies.

I'm doing the £12 Challenge for Sport Relief - if you're interested, my donation page is here.


  1. Yes, I went to work the other day without brushing my hair! There's just too much other stuff to do in the morning...sigh.... Anyway, the choccy brownies look rather yummy and that pasta dish sounds right up my street too. xx

    1. Thanks Loo! With the hair brushing thing, don't usually think about it till I look in the rear view mirror... #:) xx

  2. Well done you!!!! You've done so amazingly well all this week, and pancakes are great for any occasion. X

    1. every time I make them I think I should do it more often, and the Hugh FW recipe is really worth a go. Makes loads! xx

  3. I think that you did a fantastic job of the challenge, well done you. Your brownie recipe looks good I might have to give it a try, I never seem to have much luck with brownies.

    1. I know what you mean about brownies, never quite sure how they're going to turn out! But my lot seem happy to eat them regardless :) Thanks for your support Lorna x

  4. Well done on a successful week! Now I know what the chocolate was for! They look delicious! :)

    1. definitely lifted the mood, even if they were a bit on the runny side! :)