I had a Monday from hell this week. Don’t you just love those days? The kind where nothing goes you way. Or at least it very much seems like that. The kind where you feel as though you’ve got your head stuck up a dead bear’s smelly butt all day. The kind where you initially fight the doom and gloom, convinced it’ll pass in an hour or so. Positive thinking all the way! That by lunchtime you begrudgingly acknowledge that whoever is ‘up there’ has it in for you, big time. That by mid afternoon you’re wracking your brain, trying to remember what bad deed you committed to deserve this particularly nasty bout of karma. That by 7pm you’re collapsed in a heap on the floor wholeheartedly believing that nothing bad can happen if you stay there, very still and pretend you’re invisible. Then the leg cramp kicks in and you know there’s only one solution left. One way to turn the day around. Face-planting into a plate of warm fudgy Chocolate Brownies. Emotional eating? Nothing quite like it, particularly with something as indulgent as these. And heck, you’re already apparently in the sin bin so what’s a little more wickedness going to do?
Mean Mondays can pretty much always be fixed by some late night remedial baking. Not only are you able to release all that pent up frustration beating together the ingredients, you get to lick the bowl and stuff your face with heavenly, rich, chocolatey goodness. During the process, chocolate sampling aside (well you do have to check that the chocolate won’t poison anyone. Multiple times. It’s your duty to the people.) you also have enough time to realise that yet again your god-awful Monday is small fry in the scheme of things. You may or may not have been a little melodramatic. A bit inclined to feel sorry for yourself. Believing that because your rice paper rolls just.won’t.roll but no one else is having the same problem means that someone out there reaaalllly doesn’t like you is kind of extreme. Maybe, just maybe, you’re a bit unco..
Well darling, it’s time to pick yourself up and get on with life. Take a Chocolate Brownie or two to help you on your way. To perk you up when the going gets tough. Who said chocolate brownies weren’t a health food? Rich, fudgy, scrumptious nutrition for the soul….
Makes one 18 x 28cm tin (7 x 11 inch) – about 24 4.5cm squares.
150g unsalted butter, chopped
125g 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces or chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup plain flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
Optional: 1 cup roasted walnuts or pecans, chopped
Icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line an 18 x 28cm (7 x 11 inch) baking pan with baking paper.
Bring a small pot of water to the boil. Remove from the heat and place a heatproof bowl containing the butter and dark chocolate over the pot. Set aside and allow the butter and chocolate to melt, stirring every so often.
Meanwhile sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a bowl.
In a separate large bowl whisk together the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla essence.
Once the butter and chocolate has completely melted, remove the heatproof bowl from the pot and leave to cool for a few minutes. Pour the melted chocolate and butter into the egg mixture and whisk to combine well. Gently fold in the sifted flour and cocoa until just incorporated. Do not over mix. If using nuts, fold in now.
Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and jiggle the pan slightly to ensure an even top. Bake for 25 minutes or until slightly risen, just firm to touch and a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
Set the baking pan on a wire rack and leave the brownie to cool in the tin. Once cool, remove from the tin and cut into squares or bars. Dust with icing sugar if you wish.
Will keep for 3 days in an airtight container. Also freezes well.
Source: Adapted from Cooking: A Common Sense Guide.