Tuesday, 22 February 2011

La Vie Quotidienne.

Beautiful, bold, yellow forsythia bringing spring back to my garden at last.
Nothing much going on around here this week just everyday life -  la vie quotidienne.
Tuesday dawned grey and misty but by midmorning developed into the kind of day that's good for mooching around the garden clearing away winter debris, that sort of thing.

One of my hydrangeas looking forlorn and unloved.
Once I get a pair of secateurs in my hand I do find it hard to stop, and so after cutting back the hydrangeas and allowing the fresh green shoots to show their faces to the sun, I tackled the wisteria which is already showing signs of rebirth.

Bright green shoots at last.
Sharing the garden with all the participants of Susans
Outdoor Wednesday @ A Southern Daydreamer.

After lunch I decided to make a sweet treat for our afternoon teatime and baked a batch of Lorraine Pascales cookies and cream fudge brownies.

Here's the recipe:
Equipment and preparation: You will need a 20cm/8in square baking tin.
165g/5½oz butter, plus extra for greasing
200g/7oz dark chocolate, grated or finely chopped
3 free-range eggs
2 free-range egg yolks
1 vanilla pod, seeds only (or alternatively 2 tsp vanilla extract)
165g/5½ oz soft light brown sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch salt
154g/5½oz pack chocolate biscuits, such as Oreos, broken into quarters
icing sugar, for dusting
Preparation method.
1.Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a 20cm/8in square baking tin with butter, then line with baking paper with the paper overlapping the sides a little.
2.Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the grated (or chopped) chocolate. Leave to stand for a few minutes, or until the chocolate melts, and then stir together. Alternatively, you can put the chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt in the microwave in 25-second blasts, stirring well each time.
3.Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together in a large bowl until the eggs begin to get light and fluffy. Add the sugar in two additions, whisking between each. Pour it around the side of the egg mix so as not to knock out the air that has been whisked in. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes stiffer. Once the egg mixture is ready, pour the chocolate into it - again around the sides so as not to knock the air out.
4.Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt and a third of the biscuits and stir until fully combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Scatter the remaining biscuits over the top, pressing them in slightly. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25–30 minutes. The middle should be very so slightly gooey. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin - the top will sink and crack a little.
5.Pull the brownies out using the overlapping paper and cut into squares.
Dust with icing sugar.

These are those most luscious brownies I've ever made, dense and fudgy and so full of  "chocolateyness" .
Word of warning!
When you cut them they will crumble a little around the edges and, if you're like me, you will find it hard to resist popping these little morsels into your mouth each time you pass by the plate.

I think the safest thing would be for me to take these straight over to
Miz Helen's for Full Plate Thursday
 and share the love!


  1. Oh my, what wonderful looking brownies. I'm drooling here.

    You are ahead of us in terms of spring - no forsythia blooming here yet. There's snow all around (but not in our little enclave) and freezing temperatures every night.

  2. Snow is forecast here for tonight. I am getting tired of it! I had a look at the hydrangeas and can see buds, but the forsythia is still just a lot of buds. sooooooon!

  3. It's 9:30 p.m. here and I'm seeing the pictures of those delicious brownies and now I'm hungry!!
    I'm glad you got to spend a day in the garden. Everything will be in full bloom before you know it!

  4. Maggie, doing the same around here, but sans the chocolate goodies. So thanks for sharing the love.
    ~ Sarah

  5. Mmmm, mmmmm, yumm :)
    Hope you continue to have a productive time in your garden.

  6. Two enjoyable hobbies - gardening and baking! I love doing them both in one day as well. As for your recipe, I've noted it down. It sounds delicious.

  7. I love it when the only thing going on is Life. No drama. Loved your cute post.

  8. Your beautiful flowers are a wonder to behold.
    Joyce M

  9. What exciting looking cakes.

    Pleased to hear spring is beginning and you are back out in your beautiful garden.

  10. I am so fascinated with your house. Hoping to see lots more photos of it.

    These brownies look delicious.

  11. Maggie, I have been out working outdoors, cutting and cleaning up too.
    Your forsythia is beautiful and the cholcoate treats look delectable. YUM!

  12. Love to see the signs of spring in your garden photos, Maggie. Let's hope it's on it's way.
    In the meantime, we can munch on those delightful brownies! YUM.

  13. These brownies look so fantastic. I need to make these. Gardening sounds so relaxing right now.

  14. My Dear Maggie,
    Those Brownies must have a bit of heaven, they look out of this world. I can hardly wait to try your recipe. Thank you so much for bringing them to Full Plate Thursday and please come back!

  15. Cookies and cream anything always catch my attention. These sound like a great twist on regular brownies. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your brownies up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/02/sweets-for-saturday-6.html


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