Australians don’t really embrace Halloween. I grew up thinking that it was a really “American” thing to do. I’m not making a comment on the origins of Halloween, or its potential pagan roots; I mean the commercialised, gore-loving, pumpkin-carving Halloween that is marketed to us every year.
As much as I think it’s a pretty weird occasion to celebrate, I do love an excuse to decorate cupcakes! I realised, however, that I’m no good at genuinely gruesome or scary things…my Halloween cupcakes are like a cutesy kind of gross. Like Frankenstein and the Powerpuff girls collaborated.
It turns out that yesterday was chocolate milkshake day.
How did I miss such a glorious day??
As soon as I found out that I’d missed it, I set about to make amends (mainly for my own benefit, but hopefully my readers will appreciate it as well!) I made six variations on the humble old chocolate milkshake – I hope one (or more) of them take your fancy.
Norman wasn’t too impressed with my recipe choice today – he spent the day snuggled on the lounge because he decided it was too cold for milkshakes.
I love everything about milkshakes. I love how milk straight from the fridge is the coldest liquid substance you can drink, how lovely milkshakes are when they’re jam-packed with ice cubes, how some chunks of ice cream get stuck in your straw as you drink them. And how satisfying those last few chocolatey bubbles are when you get to the bottom. Continue reading “Chocolate milkshakes and childhood”
It’s election day in Australia! At some point I have to tear myself away from baking and vote, but for the moment I’m busying myself making peanut butter cupcakes for a friend’s housewarming! That recipe will be posted tomorrow – get excited!
These glorious little coconutty bites are moist and crumbly in perfect proportions. With only six ingredients, they’re the perfect morsel to throw together when you have people drop in unexpectedly, or when you want to make something fun and nutritious for the kids. Continue reading “Choc coconut bites and election day”
A few weekends ago, the boy and I went for breakfast together; yep, we’re pretty cute. Coupley cuteness aside, the café that we ate at had a whole wall of organic and interesting products. One such product that we found was Lyle’s golden syrup…he almost lost it! Being English, Lyle’s golden syrup has a special place in his heart. I don’t think it’s too different to normal golden syrup that we can get here, but the tin it comes in is so iconic and tempting that this simple sweetener has snuck its way into my good books as well. Continue reading “Golden syrup cupcakes and Englishness”
I made brownies yesterday in preparation for going away tonight. I’m doubling the recipe and leaving half with the fam and taking half away. The Boy and I are spending a few days in Orange. I’ve got cousins to visit, fresh produce to check out and cafes to explore. There is also a sausage dog pup that I want to steal from said cousins. The Boy doesn’t really have a choice in what we do, luckily he’s fairly compliant when it comes to these things! He’ll busy himself being a country boy for the weekend. He spent the first 20 years of his life in England, but something about leaving Sydney and heading for dirt roads unleashes his inner country boy. When we visit my cousins’ farm he wears plaid and an akubra and busies himself with fencing, quad-biking and burning things.
I read, bake and attempt to coax the farm dogs into leaving the country and returning to the city with me. I’m never successful. Sometimes I feel as though The Boy also needs coaxing back home.
I made this brownie recipe because it just screams homeliness and I think it suits the farm vibe perfectly. It’s cosy and simple. And just delightful.
Just as the farm is escapism from Sydney life, this brownie is escapism from the real world. Put away your diets for a minute, lay down the celery and indulge in a square of escapism.
200g dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups (310g) brown sugar
2/3 cup (35g) cocoa powder, sifted
1 cups (185g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat your oven to 160°C and line a 20cm baking tin. Roughly chop your chocolate and butter and place them in a saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth and glossy. Put this to one side to cool slightly.
Combine the sugar, cocoa, flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add in the eggs and mix as thoroughly as you can, it will be hard to mix because the mixture is so dry. Add the chocolate mixture and combine. Pour the mixture into your baking tin.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean. For me, a perfect brownie should be squidgy in the centre, so I don’t want a completely clean skewer. If the skewer pulls out a whole chunk of mixture, pop it back into the oven, but if there is just a little bit of chocolate on the skewer, I’d say it’s done.
Allow the brownie to cool slightly in the tin before slicing. It will sink. It just will. There is nothing wrong with that – the sides and top will have puffed up more than the rest of the mixture and the centre will be deliciously moist. It’s dense, chocolatey and decadent.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and whip up some cream to serve.
The boy and I started house-sitting in April and I had recently been made redundant – what is a girl to do in her copious amounts of spare time? Instagram of course! Once people cottoned onto the fact that I was mostly cooking and taking pictures of said cooking, it became a bit of a joke that I spent all of my time this way.