Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hazy Fern Scarf with Brownies

So it begins. Again. I caved in today and after much procrastinating, something I am a champion at, I bought a ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze and set off on some knitting practice. As suggested by a friend that really knows her stuff, unlike me, I began a plain garter stitch scarf made mildly interesting by occasionally switching to larger needles. It is going reasonably well considering it has not turned into the bird's nest I feared as I worked through my sweat-inducing first row. Sure enough there appear to be accidental yarn-overs (also known as holes, depending on whether your glass is half-full or half-empty obviously), but this is nothing that a strategically placed brooch cannot fix.

The grand scheme of kidsilk things will take me down the hairy slope of jumper-knitting. I already have a pattern I am dying to try (from Fitted Knits, more on this when the time is right...), but I must admit that I really love one from A Kidsilk Dream by Rowan. Interestingly, and perhaps weirdly, this jumper is called Brownie.

And what better time to share the recipe for my fabulous brownies than today? I baked a lot for the knitting group yesterday and the results were the same as they always are. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't like brownies. One last word of warning: to think that there is so much butter and sugar and chocolate and eggs in them will not put you off eating them.

400g dark chocolate (the best you cannot afford, I cannot stress this enough)
400g unsalted butter
230g flour with 1 tsp salt added
1 tbsp vanilla extract
6 eggs
500g sugar

Warm the oven at 180C as you line a baking tin with baking parchment. You will need a big one because this recipe is for many brownies! I use something that measures approximately 30 cm X 23 cm X 3 cm.

Put the butter and chocolate to melt in a double boiler, stirring occasionally. Now crack your eggs into the sugar and whip them up until they have at least doubled in volume, by which stage the chocolate will have nicely melt with the butter.

Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture and continue to whip while you also add the vanilla extract.

Once all incorporated, slowly add the flour as you continue whipping. A minute or so later, you should have a fabulous mass ready to pour into the waiting tin.

Bake for a good 40 minutes and, I beg you, do not open the oven's door before at least 35 minutes have expired. Experience has taught me that many baking disasters could have been averted if only there were a little more patience in the world and a lock system on oven doors. This will need to cook for closer to 45 minutes and do not be alarmed if you see the top going too dark for your liking. When the time is up, pull the tin out and let it rest for a good couple of hours. Then ease the brownie out of the tin with the paper, cut it in pieces and store it in a tin container ready for your next knitting group or horsey joint, whatever comes first and stuff your faces with glee.

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