I needed brownies on Saturday. Home made ones. Like you would not believe.
So I went into the kitchen, got Nigella out, and discovered that I didn't have the kilo of chocolate that I needed for her fab brownies. I had to improvise with the resources I had, which fortunately included 4 precious squares of the Chocolate Alchemist's Spicy Chocolate. mmmm. sigh. I ended up making a grown up chocolate cake. Even though it has marshmallows in it, it is far to good to share with children. If any had been around they would have been made to stare at it but banned from eating any. I did, however, share it with friends who came to dinner last night. We ate it with Greek yoghurt, and despite the groaning and a general loosening of waistbands, seconds were required. I count that as a success.
This is all that is left...
But before that it looked a bit like this;
Feel free to make your own version.
Grown Up Chocolate Cake;
2 large eggs
4 oz soft butter
4 oz soft brown sugar
2 oz best cocoa
2 oz self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
a GOOD tsp (didn't actually measure it, it may have been 2, use your judgement) vanilla essence
scant 1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
dash of milk to slacken, if needed
as much good quality choc as you want chopped up small but still worth eating-sized. I used 4 squares of the Chocolate Alchemist's Spicy Chocolate, which is probably a 60% dark choc because that is all I had. I would have used more if I had it.
8-10 marshmallow, but really to taste. Chopped into roughly 8ths if proper size ones. If minis just leave 'em be
Cream butter & sugar. Add egg & vanilla and whisk til creamy. Add cocoa, flour, salt & baking powder and mix by hand, a bit like you would for brownies, don't worry too much if it isn't silky smooth. Add milk if needed to make a nice soft batter. Throw in the choc & marshmallows, and anything else you have forgotten or want to add (macadamias, pecans, dried mango, splash of brandy). Stir. Slap into a greased cake tin. I didn't bother to even it out, and let the cake self level.
Pop into 160 deg.c. oven for 25 mins. Check. I turned the oven down to 150 after 25 mins and let it have another 10, which was about what it needed without burning the top of the cake, cover if it is getting a bit dark though.
Make cup of tea and lick out bowl while waiting for cake to cook. Transfer to wire rack. Put in a tin once cool.
Now on to the 2nd part of the title. Is casting on new projects when you already have a ton of UFOs a known illness? Is there a cure? I got a bit bored this afternoon and rather than work on Charlie's Christmas present, or the one for my Ma, or either of the pairs of socks that are underway I cast on Baby Kimono II. I had to. Quite apart from the fact that this is a gift for my friend Andy's soon to be son or daughter, I just needed to use the yarn, which is Blue Sky Alpaca's Dyed Cotton in colourway Tomato. It is so soft I have checked at least 300 times that it isn't merino. The kimono is based on the same MDK pattern. This time I am doing a little Moss Stitch edging rather than garter.