Today's offering is from as guest blogger - Charlie is coming up 13 and we have been working together on his writing over the past few weeks. I think he has a lovely turn of phrase and is a writer - he is yet to be convinced! I hope you enjoy his musing and please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section at the end.
One of the most exciting things through my childhood was chocolate brownies! When I was younger, I used to wake up to the delicious smell of brownies. We made brownies every morning because everyone just simply loved them. In my family we have been making brownies most mornings as a tradition passed down from my great grandma and we use her recipe. We started to make them after she died as we thought it would be really nice to carry her recipe through the family - so we made chocolate
brownies most days. In our house as soon as you wake up you have to race to the brownies before anyone else eats them all! Yesterday I woke and ran downstairs and asked my mum, "Did you make brownies and if so where are they?’’ She pointed to the brownies - there was one left - saved for me. I grabbed it just as my brother got a plate down to take it for himself. I was not going to let that happen!
Brownies come in a variety of forms and may be either fudgy or cakey, depending on their density - we like the fudgy kind - squidgy and easy to eat. The ones we had at school were rock were hard and you would need a brick to break them up! Brownies may include nuts, icing, cream cheese, chocolate chips, or other ingredients.
Since the early 20th Century, the brownie has been one of America favourite baked treats. The brownie was born in Boston in the U.S.A. and the recipe first appeared in print in the early 20th century. One legend about the creation of brownies is that Bertha Palmer, whose husband owned the Palmer House Hotel. In 1893, Palmer asked a pastry chef for a dessert suitable for ladies attending the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition.
She wanted a cake-like confection smaller than a piece of cake that could be included in a packed lunch box. The result was the Palmer House Brownie with walnuts and an apricot glaze.
The modern Palmer House Hotel still serves the same recipe today. The name was given to the dessert sometime after 1893 and appeared in the 1896 version of the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Farmer although Farmer's brownies did not contain chocolate - that came in 1907 with the Bangor Brownie (Bangor is a small town in Maine and being the home of author Stephen King).
Brownies even have their own day - in the U.S.A. The 8th December is National Brownie Day - a little while to wait then but you have plenty of time to practise making and eating!
Sometimes brownies are on my mind so I (with a little help from mum) wrote this:
Oh, I love a Brownie
I’ll eat three every day
When they’re warm and gooey
It’s the only way!
If I had a choice
I’d eat them breakfast, lunch and tea.
I’ve even been known to hide them
From the rest of the family.
There’s nothing like a Brownie
I dream of it and chatter
But I’ll pass some on to Martin now
As they just make me fatter.
As for my Grandma, she loved to bake and my mum said that every day when she finished school there was a freshly made cake waiting for her. Oh, I wish she was around today!
Charlie's Family Brownie Recipe
Our Family Recipe, might be something like:
185g/6oz unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
185g/6oz best dark chocolate
85g/3oz plain flour
40g cocoa powder
50g/1½oz white chocolate
50g/1½oz milk chocolate
3 large eggs
275g/9oz golden caster sugar.
1. Heat the oven to 170°C/350°F
2. Mix the eggs, sugar and butter together and then gradually add the chocolate and cocoa powder – stirring well.
3. Line a brownie tin and then place the mixture in the tin.
4. Bake for 40 minutes on
If you think that’s the real recipe well... A family recipe is never to be shared and should always be a secret, so I may have left out a few extras! Give it a go and see what you think.
Word of the Day is ...
[di-GUHST] (v.) To taste or savor appreciatively.
From “degustationem” from “degustatio” (a tasting) from Latin “degustare” (to taste)
ps: a variation made with brown sugar and vanilla rather than chocolate in the batter is called a blond brownie or blondies.
pps: for the adventurous out there, you might try some of these variations:
ppps: Made Charlie's family recipe last night - I urge you to give it a go as they were wonderfully squidgy - Martin
"Childhood smells of perfume and brownies" - David Leavitt - writer