Weekly Blog No 3 – Baking Very Rich Brownies

Brownie Bliss

 

I have never cooked or even liked chocolate brownies in the past but this weeks challenge is in honour of my uncle. My uncle was an incredible man in the kitchen and he was always an inspiration in regards to food. My mum is another excellent home cook however I didn’t achieve the generic talent, yet I took home economics (cookery) as a subject at school. Let’s be clear about this, I’m not a disaster nevertheless I’m so much better being creative in other ways.

I could talk for hours with my uncle about food & cooking techniques and it wasn’t that long ago we were pondering over his cookery book collection. Just last year he sent a couple of cookery books, one being brownies one of his favourite cakes. When starting this weekly challenge I did wonder if I could be converted to love this cake too. I have to be honest it doesn’t float my boat at all, I’ve never been a huge fan of chocolate. I would rather a lemon flavour cake any day, so maybe I should attempt a lemon brownie next time.

Here is the recipe for you brownie lovers from a British cookbook (inside the book my uncle has made some changes to the recipe).

Very Rich Brownies

200g Dark chocolate
100g Unsalted butter, softened
250g Light muscovado sugar
4 Large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
60g Plain flour
60g Unsweetened coco powder
Dark chocolate shavings to decorate
Whipped cream, to serve (optional)
A 23cm square brownie tin

Makes 20

Changes to the recipe by uncle T.

1/2 Teaspoon of baking powder to flour
Reduced 60g cocoa powder to 40g
Add 100g Belgian chocolate chips to the mixture before going into the tin

Preheat the oven to 180c ( 350F) Gas 4

Break up the chocolate and put it in a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of steaming water and gently melt the chocolate stirring frequently. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water remove the bowl from the pan and leave to cool until needed.

Put the side butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and use either a wooden spoon or a hand-held electric mixer to beat until fluffy. Gradually beat in the egged then add the vanilla extract. Next beat in the melted chocolate. When thoroughly combined sift the flour and cocoa directly onto the mixture and stir in. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin, spread evenly and level the surface.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until almost firm to the touch. Remove the tin from the oven.

Leave to cool in the tin before removing, cutting into 20 pieces and sprinkling with chocolate shavings. Serve with whipped cream.

Well I attempted the recipe yesterday and I soon realized that I was quiet skillful in the kitchen when weighing, measuring and mixing ingredients. Now here comes the disaster, the brownie tasted lovely, however out of the baking pan it did resemble a mole hill on a plate. I can just see my uncle laughing at me, my defence is “it was a British recipe that should have been cooked in a British cooker(stove)”. I won’t give up uncle T, I will attempt them again someday. Oh my, I will have to work on my baking skills. Home Baking 1 – Kat 0

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Weekly Blog No 2 – Katipedia

Katipedia

Katipedia

Katipedia is a play on words. Kat being part of my first name and ipedia from Wikipedia.

Before I went in for my last operation in Jan 2014, I came to the realization that I had a lot of information stored in my head that my husband does not have access too. I had never previously gave any thought to how he was going to do certain things if I was gone. He always praises me for the fact that I can store 16 digit numbers etc in my head and reel them off without even thinking about. It is definitely a skill that I have found very useful over the years, if anyone was to ask me a about a job on a construction site, I could remember all the facts and I have seen hundreds maybe even thousands of job sites up and down the UK. Nowadays, my skill is getting rusty and having fatigue doesn’t help me either. I’m sure there is many cancer patients that have lost some of their memory for various reasons whether it is treatment, medication or fatigue.

This week, I started a Katipedia for my husband, I got him a lovely green book so it was visible and easy to find, it has nothing to do with the fact he is a lover of Glasgow Celtic, a Scottish soccer team for those that don’t know. You can take a Scottish man out of Scotland but not Scotland out of a Scottish man. This book will be his “go to” book for any information he doesn’t know already because it’s all in my head. The sort of information that I will be supplying him is the 16 digit numbers, passwords, addresses, birthday’s, where he can find important paperwork and what organizations he should be contacting. Oh my the list is endless but every time that I remember something important now it will go into his Katipedia. I may even expand on one of the entries, in one of my weekly challenges in the few months.

Some people may be thinking, why is she doing this, she’s not dying. No I’m not, nevertheless it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. In fact we should all have one to be honest, how many of us store information somewhere yet our partners/family don’t know where it is. Gone are the days of picking up a bill and saying I must contact that company to notify them of the changes. Nowadays everything is done online so there is not always a paper trail of information.

I was talking to a dear friend the other day and she said what a good idea, she is considering a Katipedia for her family. I can see all your little brains ticking away, gosh she is right, I should get myself a Katipedia and start writing things down.

Maybe I should market this product and some of the proceeds could go to research for Carcinoid Cancer.

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Weekly Blog No 1 – The Ironing Basket

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Having a cancer can prevent you from doing simple mundane tasks, however this could be considered as a blessing in some cases. My pile of ironing has been building up for several weeks now and it never seems to deplete itself. Ironing can be therapeutic at times and I’m not sure really why, it is the depletion of your pile of ironing, the creation of nicely ironed clothes or an empty basket. The Brits love to iron with ironing services being offered everywhere, however Canadians are all about the tumble dryer. I have to admit I am now a combination of both so if I can avoid doing certain things then I will. This ironing basket may take me 3 – 4 attempts this week but my goal is to complete the task in hand.