Throw open your windows and bring the outdoors in- spring is finally here!!!
With the advent of spring, I see a sea change in my attitude and my level of enthusiasm. I find it so much easier to wake up early in the morning, not having to fuss about my jumpers or turning up the dials on the heater, the best part of this beautiful season is that my garden gets a makeover. A plethora of multi coloured flowers bloom and little shoots stem out from previously stark naked branches. There is a buzz of the bees gathering pollen and cross pollinating them as if recreating the world anew. The kids are generally happier being able to run around bare feet in the grass, and the beautiful sunshine warming the noon’s for a lazy swing with the weekend newspaper. It’s also the season where my husband starts to dust off the BBQ giving me the weekend cooking respite. Spring is like the emergence of a beautiful multi-coloured butterfly that had since been encased in her cocoon waiting just for the apt time to emerge and spread the happiness by her mere presence.
I take an extra initiative to make my garden more presentable unlike in winter where the poor thing is often overlooked & sadly neglected with weeds taking the centre stage.
This year I am planning to plant a seasonal flower bed in my front yard with colourful easy growing petunias. These are so easy to plant and grow that a newbie like me feels immense pleasure in trumpeting my green thumb.
The last couple of years I have been planting the shockwave varieties of petunia in hanging pots and it is amazing to see them flowering the entire season.
Although the seasonal change affects my moods in gardening and other outdoor activities, my level of enthusiasm doesn’t seem to ever wane off in the kitchen & despite the seasons I continue with the same spirit. It is where I find my true flow of creativity.
I have been seriously looking out for a decent brownie recipe and my original ones which I have been following for a while didn’t work out on a couple of occasions. I guess the baking time was exceeding or some other thing was missing to get the gooey texture with the outer crisp crunch. The taste seemed to be fine but I was rather getting obsessed with the texture.
Recently on flipping the delicious mag ( August issue) , I stumbled upon the Kristen Tibballs recipe. She recently launched her new Chocolate book and shared a few recipes on the magazine. After going through the recipe and the ingredients, I could feel the words echoing in my ear and beckoning me to give it a go. This is it!!! I told myself and I had to try it out.
So when my husband’s office came out with an idea of a cookbook for their employees & they needed some sweet contributions using their products. I thought of this particular brownie recipe and adapted it to my taste. It was simply delectable and has become a keep sake recipe for me. I am happy that this inspired recipe will be part of my personal collection of awesome recipes. The photographs also somehow managed to do justice.
The kids especially got a nice kick out of loading up dollops of ice cream on these brownies and eating them outdoors watching time do its crawl over the southern skies. I was overjoyed that I could finally get the balance right. Perhaps it has something to do after all with the advent of spring.
So, throw open your windows and let your creativity flow. It is spring after all.
- 100g unsalted Butter
- 230g dark chocolate melts or Nestle Plaistowe
- ½ cup soft brown sugar
- ¼ castor sugar
- 3 eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- ½ cup plain flour
- ¼ cup almond meal
- ¼ baking powder
- 1 tablespoon baking cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 90g white chocolate melts
- 50 g Nestle Plainstowe or dark chocolate melts
- Preheat the oven to 170”C. Grease a 18 cm by 27cm brownie pan with butter and line it with baking paper.
- Melt butter and 230g of dark chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.
- In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, sugars, vanilla bean paste and add it to the chocolate and butter mixture.
- Mix plain flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Gently fold them to the above mixture.
- Add chopped 50g dark chocolate or Nestle Plaistowe and white chocolate melts to the brownie mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes or until crusty on top and soft in the middle. Let it cool and serve with dusted cocoa powder.