I am a well-mannered young man. I always say please and thank you. (Unless I forget.) But I do think that sometimes, just saying thank you isn't enough. You have to mean it. Show it.
To my mind, brownies mean thank you. They say I care. Making brownies doesn't take very long, but then neither does saying thank you. Some people do neither (rude!). But I do both. Maybe they should just put me in charge of the world.
Remember I said we'd been getting free eggs from Mr. Other P's work colleague who keeps hens? Well, there's only so long you can take someone's eggs and bake macarons and what-not without sending a little sweetness back their way as a token of thanks.
I obviously advocate expressing appreciation every time someone helps you out (in keeping with my previously discussed status as a Good Manners Guardian, and future world leader), but since I have a copy of Martha Stewart's Cookies which I really should be doing more to work my way through, I leapt at the chance to make something from it.
I always think that chocolate is a really boring flavour for cakes and cookies, but you can't really look at the picture of the chocolate-ginger brownies in this book without wanting to bake them immediately. I think I'm doing pretty well having owned the book for a year or so and having waited until now. They are incredibly moist, sweetly yet mysteriously spiced and the unbaked batter is darkly, seductively inviting: you almost do not want to bake it.
That one batch yields sixteen brownies is further cause for joy and elation. It means I get to give eight to Egg Lady (or Julie, as she is known in the office), stuff four in a pretty box as a 'Happy Belated Birthday and thanks for having me over' gift for a work friend, and snaffle two each for me and Him Indoors. There's really only one word for this, and it's 'fabulous'.
You'll note metric measurements as well as cups; I, too, am fabulous.
adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies
You will need:
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
3 oz (75g) dark chocolate, broken into squares
1 cup (200g) caster sugar
2/3 cup (95 g) plain flour
1/4 cup (30g) cocoa
1 tsp fresh root ginger, grated
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
- Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and grease and line a 20cm square baking tin (though you could probably use this batter to make brownie cupcakes too. Just an idea, if you don't have the right sized tin...).
- Melt the butter and chocolate together in a medium sized saucepan over a low heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Add all the other ingredients and stir until smooth. (How easy was that? Going to start saying 'thank you' more often, aren't you.)
- Pour the batter into the lined pan and bake until set. I gave mine 30 minutes, and they were per-diddley-erfect.
- Cool in the pan, and then cut into 16 squares. Or however many you like.