It is mid-July already – things are moving fast yeah!!! It’s as if the calendar is on a high dose caffeine fix and is yearning to be somewhere and so is in this mad rush. What’s interesting though is in the midst of peak winter we lucky ones in the Southern hemisphere get to celebrate a special “Christmas” the winter Christmas as the locals prefer to call it, when we get to exchange a tank top for a jumper. Yeah you heard it right! Not many of those countries in the Southern Hemisphere take pride in celebrating Christmas twice a year like we do here in Australia and although not in a fancy way through but the festivities do include the mandatory party with fancy mouth-watering food. Our regular Christmas is on the beaches with thongs and an Esky basking in the golden sun and surf while the rest of the world wrap themselves up waiting for a White Christmas.
Australia has a strong British and European heritage, so there is that strong attachment to the tradition of celebrating Christmas during the winter months. No one seems to know for certain, where the original concept for the Winter Christmas came about but it’s rumoured to have originated in the foothills of the majestic blue mountains towards west of Sydney.
The original immigrants loved to cherish their memories of a snow clad White Christmas during peak Aussie winter which happens to fall in July, while most of the world is roasting in the peak of summer or while the monsoon season lashes its fury on the South East of Asia, we in Australia welcome Santa. You can then imagine how confused, strange yet interesting it must feel for the tourists to see the high end shops displaying decorated Christmas trees & all the Christmas decorations, they must certainly be thinking we Aussies live up to the reputation of the Quintessential party animal & like to get ahead of the celebration or are simply too lazy to bother taking down the decorations of the last year.
Coming to my recipe post, now what tickles my fancy is some of the latest food trends I read about in some of your blogs and the latest food magazines. Honestly I am not obsessed with it but I always love to give it a try and see if my heuristic attempts in the kitchen suit my palate. Cacao is one of them. I find its rich taste so fascinating and its bitter taste is what makes my mouth crave for it. I often use it for making a delicious and mean hot chocolate and now this brownie with a hint of chili has impressed me a lot and definitely has made it to one of my favourite recipes of all times. I had actually posted it in my Instagram feed with the recipe & it pleased me to see the phenomenal response I received.
Did I mention that this is a result of my own experiments in the kitchen from a mishmash of recipes that I follow and came up with my own version of “feel good brownies”. The reason I have named these “Feel Good” is because munching on them does not make me want to count calories as I often keep a tab of what goes through my oesophagus tube with my armada of cooking and recipe’s.
Now another fascinating ingredient that is often in the limelight these days is turmeric. Given my Indian origin, I can’t imagine a day without this golden yellow herb in its powdered state splashing about in almost all my cooking. Turmeric latte or popularly known as “haldi dudh” in India has captured the “centrefold page” in the western world. It wasn’t as popular in eastern part of India as compared to the northern part primarily because of the cooler climatic conditions I reckon. Brewing this latte paired with amazing flavours of ginger and spices along with a very sought after flavour of vanilla makes it absolutely swoon worthy.
- 1 cup almond meal
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup organic melted butter/ coconut oil
- 1/ 3 cup maple syrup
- 1/ 3 cup cacao powder
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs
- 2 tbsp walnuts chopped
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp chilli
- Whisk eggs in a bowl. Add maple syrup and butter. Whisk well and stir in rest of the ingredients. Pour them in a lined baking pan. Bake them in a preheated oven at 175 ‘C for about 18 minutes.