I didn’t get swine flu this Christmas. I didn’t get regular flu. I didn’t even get food poisoning. So now I have a half-assed sniffle and a cough that is keeping me awake at night. Thankfully this is my plan-free Brussels weekend, after weekends in the Ardennes and London and before weekends in Paris and Scotland (stay away, burglars!), so I have been able to hibernate, binge-watch the Wire and fiddle around with the blog. Regard the new tabs at the top of the page: all the details of the podcasts I listen to and the blogs/feeds I read. It’s time to embrace my nerdiness to the full. Drop down menus, bitches!
So anyway, we stayed in a mahouuuusive house near Malmedy in the Ardennes. They call it a cottage, but there aren’t many cottages that hold 20 people comfortably. It was lovely: 15 adults, 5 kids, lots of space, fresh air, teeny-tiny goats across the road….
…heaps of food and drink, a games area and good weather. I wouldn’t have believed it possible, except that Jane organised it, so everything was perfect.
My only responsibility was to bring cakes. Unintentionally, chocolate became the theme of my baking session. I tried out WhyIAmNotSkinny’s Chocolate Surprise muffins, using Nutella instead of chocolate so they instead became Chocolate Disappointment muffins, although everyone else liked them. I made delicious white chocolate and cranberries cookies (maybe for a future post). And the piece de resistance, chocolate raspberry brownies. They were gooey, messy, sticky and truly scrumptious.
Chocolate raspberry brownies
200g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
100g milk chocolate, broken into chunks
250g salted butter
400g soft light brown sugar
4 large eggs
140g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
200g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan.
Line a baking tray tin with baking parchment. This is more important than you realise, I didn’t do it and it made everything much more difficult to pack up for the car drive to Malmedy.
Put the chocolate, butter and sugar in a pan and melt gently, stirring with a wooden spoon. When completely melted, remove from the heat.
One by one, stir the eggs into the melted chocolate mixture.
Sieve in the flour and cocoa and then stir.
Stir in half the raspberries, scrape into the tray and scatter the rest of the raspberries on top.
Bake for 30 minutes (plus an extra 5 minutes if you prefer a firmer texture).
Allow to cool before removing from the tin and slicing.
Store in an airtight container for up to three days.
Source: BBC Good Food