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Archive for March, 2011

The Baked Brownie

Phew! Where has the time gone? I honestly can’t believe that it’s almost April. It’s really great to see the hours of daylight (and, this week, sunlight) increasing and the mornings becoming brighter. It’s so much easier to feel enthusiastic about the cycle to college when it’s not against a practically-gale-force wind!

I’ve posted about brownies before. That recipe was for brownies that are fudgy and moist, and perhaps more ‘kid-friendly’ than the dark and densely chocolatey product of this recipe. The home of these brownies is the Baked coffee shop in Brooklyn, NY, a place I have unfortunately not yet visited, and, let me tell you, they are very good. The coffee brings out the dark depths of flavour in the chocolate and, just to see what would happen, I used chili cocoa powder instead of regular. Turns out I should have used more as the chili-ness was very subtle and in the background. I’ll ramp it up next time. The original recipe given below will fill a 9×13 inch baking tray or dish. I wasn’t sure that my waistline could handle that much brownie, so I halved the quantities and used an 8x8inch tin. I left the amount of coffee untouched as I don’t have any instant espresso (and I was damned if I was going to brew up a pot at 10pm) so I used regular, freeze-dried, instant, and I rounded up the halved egg quantity to 3. If you don’t have any unsalted butter, I think salted would work fine, just leave out the 1 tsp salt. When you read through the directions, the method can seem like a bit of hassle, but really, it’s all quite quick.

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Delia’s Lemon Curd Cake

This weekend, a big group of Irish food bloggers are having a meetup in Inishowen in Donegal. Inishfood, as it has come to be known, is shaping up to be a truly wonderful event, with a hands-on black pudding masterclass, butter making, pork curing and a discussion on the promotion of Irish food, to name but a few highlights. I think it’s also safe to assume that the grub will be top notch! I am really disappointed that I can’t make it, but fingers crossed it will become an annual event and I can join in the fun next year. There will also be a charity raffle, with some fab prizes, in aid of Barnardos. There will be three raffles: one for those attending Inishfood, one for those unable to attend, and one for everyone. You can buy raffles tickets online here, and every cent will go straight to Barnardos. I will be following the event on Twitter, under the hashtag #inishfood.

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Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

I don’t know about you, but thick, fluffy pancakes just do it for me. Thin, crepey style pancakes are fine and all, and I won’t turn them down if they’re handed to me, but there’s something much more exciting and satisfying about a thicker pancake. Though the pancakes whipped up by Delia in the latest Waitrose ad would sway me a bit. Observe:

Wouldn’t say no.

It’s hard to find a good recipe for fluffy, American-style pancakes. I stuck with Nigella’s one for a while, making the batter nice and thick, but there was always something almost rubbery about them. Thick, yes. Buttery, yes. Light and fluffy, not quite. Especially as I had to keep the pancakes warm ’til the final one came off the pan.

But I’ve found the answer: buttermilk.  I tried these pancakes for breakfast yesterday morning and they are divine. Fluffy, light, perfect. This recipe is from Brown Eyed Baker. I didn’t have any sour cream, so I swapped in creme fraiche and they were still amazing.

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I spend alot of my day at my office desk. And while I’m not being super productive with my thesis work, I’m checking blog updates, catching up on Twitter, and reading any cookery-related site I come across. I have a folder of bookmarked recipes that is increasing at a rate too fast to keep up with, full of inspiration for the next culinary challenge. I sigh over beautifully decorated kitchens that I dream about cooking in. I drool over gadgets that I immediately decide I need to buy straightaway, until I find another gadget even better on the next site I visit (I’m fickle like that). Here are some of the sites and gadgets that have taken over my browsing time lately…

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