Monday, 1 January 2007

It's a Fat Start to 2007


Hello and welcome to my Blog and this, the first entry to what I hope will be a refreshing and humorous discussion on my favourite subject - food. I want to get straight into my (excuse the pun) waffling, but let me do a quick introduction. I'm obsessed with food, simple as that. I talk and write about the subject, I would like to think I inspire and teach people about food. I'm a MasterChef Goes Large contestant and I'm a self-taught cook who provides a customised Fine Dining experience in your own home. It is a new business therefore my website/logo etc is still in embryonic stages, so once the website is up and running (www.bookthecookdirect.co.uk) I can point you towards what I do. In the meantime, I need to write about food so here we are at my food blog, my little release to hopefully ease the pain on my poor family's ears as I rant daily on our daily bread. Enjoy.

Well, today is of course the first day of 2007 but unfortunately for me, not the first day in my life. I turned 37 today. Do I feel it? I have no idea. What I can feel though is an expanding waistline that could actually be 37 inches after the past week's gorging. But today I was presented with an amazing culinary sight courtesy of my lovely wife Helen. Instead of the ubiquitous double layered sponge cake with cream/jam/chocolate combination, she made me the most fabulous chocolate brownie stack, complete with candles that didn't blow out. As you can see in the picture, me and the kids are bright red with puffing.

Cakes are wonderful things if made correctly, and I for one adore making then eating them. But the simplicity of the Brownie Stack, as I've named it, made for a visual and eating sensation. Easier to make than the average cake but tastier and better to look at, I urge you to give it a go at your next celebration. Both the kids and the adults will 'wow' at it then proceed to give you many slaps on the back afterwards. It is a chocolate punch of a taste explosion that melts in your mouth with each bite. Everything about the thing works - looks, texture and taste. A dry looking top that bites into ( and this is why I urge you to not overcook it) a chocolate fudge and nut mouth bomb. I washed my first one down with my birthday wine but I can't wait to have a slice later when the children are in bed with a big mug of tea. Actually, I can't wait that long. Aside from the taste and texture working, a baking tray will easily feed 20-30 people and no awkward slice size calculations, just cut the thing into squares, stick a candle in each one, dust them with cocoa and stack them then away you go.

The first day of 2007 may be the beginning of many a diet but for me, it is the beginning of a love affair with a fudgy little square with a flame that burns forever. Or is that flame burning in my heart? Or maybe that's the heart burn. Go on, it's 2007, my official year of sin.....

300g soft butter
300g 70% chocolate
5 eggs
Vanilla essence or extract
180g plain flour
400g caster sugar
pinch of salt
200g roughly chopped hazlenuts, almonds or walnuts

1 - Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees, GM4. Line a baking tin.
2 - Melt the butter and chocolate.
3 - Beat the eggs with sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy.
4 - Beat the eggs/sugar with the chocolate, followed by the flour, nuts and salt.
5 - Pour into the baking tin and bake for 20-25 minutes. Do NOT overcook, that goo in the middle is essential......

1 comment:

thepassionatecook said...

Happy birthday! and what a coincidence... my son Max celebrated his 3rd birthday on New Year's Eve and I also made some brownies: banana, chocolate and pecan - his absolute favourite! but instead of stacking them, I arranged them in the form of a train, steam engine and 4 waggons... he loved it!
Good luck with the blog, I sure will stop by as much as possible!