Nothing beats good Friends… except a good Brownie

Due to a spanish exchange I have been separated from some of my friends reducing the amount of allies I have from 11 to 5. It wasn’t up until now that I realize how much I take my friends for granted. Despite how bitchy or irritating we become together we have each others back. We can arrive at parties in intimidating numbers. When someone messes with me I know my friends will have my back and when my friends are angry at someone they let you know. As a group we complement each other there is the friend that you spill you troubles too, who by the way is ginger, there is the funny friend who makes you laugh, who also happens to be ginger. The friend who will be honest with you no matter what, and the friend that will tell you exactly what you want to hear, the one that has amazing style and can pull anything off and the one organizes everything. As a group of girls sometimes things can get a little heated and boil out of control but so far things have always managed to cool down. I love my friends who have been so good to me, so for that reason I dedicate this brownie recipe (which I use to make more friends) to them

Friendship Brownies

90g of plain chocolate

150g unsalted butter

125g of plain flour

15g cocoa powder

1/2 tsp of baking powder

150g of caster sugar

150g of soft light brown sugar

1 pinch of salt

2 eggs

1tsp of vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 160C

Grease a baking tin (20cm x 15cm) and sprinkle flour over it, tap the tin to evenly spread the flour. Break the chocolate into a bowl and add the butter. Melt over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl the heat and allow the chocolate to cool slightly. Meanwhile sieve the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl. In a third bowl beat the sugars and eggs together then add the vanilla. Fold in the melted chocolate then fold in the flour mixture. There should be no flour visable. Spoon the mixture into a tin and smooth the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into 12-16 squares.  Best served a little warm with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Variations: You could add 100g of chopped nuts (pecans, almonds, hazelnuts etc.) or chocolate chips when folding in the flour. You could serve it as a cake and ice it with a chocolate ganache. Although I am not a fan some people love brownies with dried cherries, if you would like this add 75g of cherries in when folding in the flour


Science, A Piece of Cake

I haven’t been in school for about 4 or 5 weeks for various reasons and a whole load of projects have piled up. I have Irish, Maths, Psychology, Religion, Science…. the list is endless unlike the time frame given to do them. Most are due this week. It serves me right I knew I had all the projects but decided to procrastinate (a word I have learned and used a lot since I started secondary school). All this procrastination inspired my idea for my science project. I decided to combine the project with something I love to do BAKING. I am a lazy cook I rarely read the instructions of recipes instead I tend to through all ingredients in together and mix. In most cases this has worked for me, I always do it with Madeira cake and the result had always been fine to me. I was always intrigued to why people creamed the butter and sugar for 5 minutes until light and fluffy sieving flour not only once but twice, I would laugh at these fools wasting their time turning butter white. I decided to do a scientific test to see if all these methods really did make a difference to the end result of the cake. I made two exact same cakes – same size, cooking time and ingredients. I than observed the differences (very scientific). My family agreed this was the best project ever.

The results are in ……………The first two are Cake B the second two are Cake A. Cake A had a smoother top while Cake B’s top was bumby. I was suprised to see that Cake A weighed more and rose less despite looking more airy. Cake B had a closer crumb but Cake A was a little drier. Both Cakes tasted good but Cake A was probobly marginly a better cake especially when it came to looks.

Make cake A –1) Get the Mass of all ingredients (115g of flour, sugar and butter).

                 2) Sieve the flour. Cream the butter for 2 minutes in bowl using electric whisk.

3) Add the sugar gradually and continue to cream until light and fluffy (5 minutes).

4) Crack two eggs in a bowl and mix. Add the eggs to the butter one tablespoon at a time mixing well between each tablespoon. Resieve the flour this time into the butter mix.

5) Fold in the flour gently using a spatula.

6) Grease one 20cm tin with oil and sprinkle with flour. Put the mix in the tin and flatten to the edges.

7)Bake at for 26 minutes.

8) Leave to Cool before taking from tin and putting on wire tray

To make cake B-

1.Get the mass of all ingredients (115g of flour, sugar and butter) and put in bowl.

2.Crack in two eggs. Beat all together for 2 minutes with electric whisk.

3.Repeat steps 6-8 above

Eat as much cake as you need. The test has to be fair after all 🙂