I have just finished my (paid) work and am bracing for school home time. It’s been a mixed bag of a week which saw me in tears last night at the thought of making dinner AGAIN (#everyfuckingnight, I swear to God people, every.fucking.night). Sure, there may have been some hormones involved but let’s just put that day to bed.
These are on the front cover of Food52’s baking book from which I want to bake every single recipe. Hey, maybe that’s a challenge I can set myself? And are so very good.
You need a big baking pan – 33 x 45cm, 13 x 18 inch – so get onto that. You could of course just split the mixture between two smaller ones but as to what size they’d be don’t ask me because, well, numeral.
It makes a lot – 24 large brownies, 36 smaller ones. It uses eight eggs. EIGHT EGGS! When I started cooking as a kid and then with a fair amount of gusto as a teenager I’d show mum a recipe and without fail there’d be an exclamation about how many eggs were in it. Were eggs expensive back then? Was there some sort of price collusion in the 80s I was unaware of? Anyway, it uses eight eggs.
Now, even though in the recipe’s intro it talks about how this is the 35th version of these brownies the recipe creator June Jacobs has created, I still didn’t follow it exactly. Just follow it exactly OK?
It’s been so invigorating having my cooking mojo back but let’s face it, cooking dinners tends to focus on the functional in this house and I just had a hankering to make something requiring a bit of technical skill and that was a little bit fancy.
I was rearranging my cookbook bookshelf and the June July copy of Donna Hay fell out with this on the cover. I basically had to make it immediately. I swapped out the white chocolate for milk because it was all I had and the mousse probably didn’t set as well as it should have because I didn’t have enough whipped cream. I also used almond meal instead of hazelnut meal because it was what i had in the cupboard. But guess what, it was BLOODY DELICIOUS.
It’s not technically challenging, but there are steps and waiting/cooling times so go in with that knowledge.
There was a time in high school we did a lamington drive to raise money for some charity. The organisation we were helping has long left my head but the memory of buying six dozen lamingtons under false names and eating them all myself has not. (See also: Bulimia).
I have banned myself from buying the Woolworths lamington fingers purely because I KNOW I could eat the entire packet. In one sitting. I never have, but the knowledge that I COULD is enough.
What is equally alarming is the fact they are STUPIDLY easy to make. Fiddly? Sure. Messy? My word. But an absolute snap all the same.
This recipe comes from my kitchen bible – Allan Campion & Michele Curtis’s In The Kitchen. I refer to this cookbook more than any other and every single thing I’ve made from it has always worked and been delicious. If you don’t own it, buy it.
1/2 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup plain flour
3 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup water
4 cups dessicated coconut
Preheat oven to 180C and line a lamington tin with greaseproof paper and then grease it and dust with flour
Beat the eggs and caster sugar together until very thick and really pale in colour then gently fold in the flour
Pour into tin, smooth the batter and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden on top
Cool in the tin for a few minutes then lift out and peel off the baking paper. Cool completely
Put the icing sugar, cocoa and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, whisking well
Reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat and cool a little
Now get ready to get messy.
Set up a workstation with the cake cut into squares, then the chocolate sauce, then a wire rack and then a shallow dish holding the coconut and then another wire rack
Dip the sponge in the chocolate until all covered – I use to forks to turn the cake over in the mixture – then put onto the wire rack to let any excess drip off
Roll the pieces in the coconut then onto the final wire rack to dry.
I, like nearly every other biscuit maker in Australia simply used to Women’s Weekly recipe for choc chip biscuits. Fail proof, reliable and tasty that recipe really does tick all the boxes. But a few years back now a friend of mine gave me her recipe. It’s pretty similar to the WW one but somehow better. If you like a soft chewy biscuit this is your gal. If you don’t mind them flat then bake them straight-away, otherwise fridge (or freeze) the dough.
Choc chip biscuits
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (heaped)
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 cups choc chips
1/2-1 cup of chopped nuts (if you so wish)
Preheat oven to 180 and get your baking trays ready
Cream the butter, sugars and vanilla until pale then add the eggs and beat until well incorporated
Lower the speed on your mixed and add the dry ingredients
Tip in the choc chips and turn the speed up to incorporate (if you’re using chunks this breaks it up into various sizes which makes for an extra special biscuit)
Now, you can make the biscuits straight away by spooning heaped teaspoons onto your tray or make logs of the dough (get some cling film, spoon dough in a log shape) wrap and fridge or freeze. (if you’re using from the freezer just cut into chunks/slices and bake straightaway – no need to let it defrost)
Bake for 12 or so minutes depending on if you like super soft biscuits or darker and more crunchy.
I’ve been making this dessert for more than 10 years. There’s a few recipes that fall into that category, so this is going to be the first in a little trip down memory lane.
This recipe came into my repertoire through a mum in my mother’s group. I had an awesome mother’s group, we were open and honest with each other, and met up twice a week for years. While we have all drifted to different parts of Sydney, interstate and even overseas it was a group of women I will always be grateful for having in my life.
I talked about this on ABC radio in a discussion about comfort food. You can hear my dulcet tones here.
1 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tblsp butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
Optional: 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts and 1/2 cup choc chips
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup boiling water
Preheat your oven to 160C and grease a smallish baking dish (mine is 27cm x 18cm)
Mix together the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and cocoa (and the optional nuts/choc chips)
Stir in the butter and milk – the batter will be very thick so don’t be alarmed
Scrape the mixture into the dish and spread it around
Combine the brown sugar and cocoa and scatter over the top of the batter
Pour the boiling water over the mix and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the pudding is set and there’s thick sauce bubbling up around the edges.
Beautiful with ice cream, cream, custard or all of them quite frankly.