Friday, 16 July 2010

Where Does Time Go?

It's already Friday, and I haven't had time to size down my photos from Farmleigh. We're leaving work early today and heading up to Northern Ireland for the weekend, so it certainly won't get done in the next couple of days either. One thing we are going to do is change C's motorbike boots. One day last week he came home with wet feet! Or a wet foot - one was still dry. The boots are quite new - he only bought them in March, and in the summer he usually wears different ones anyone. But it just goes to show that it's the first drenching rain we've had on a weekday since he bought them! I made some delicious Cashew Brownies to bring with us. Now, I like rich, dark fudge-like brownies, (and chocolate cake) but C likes lighter cakey things, so he thought these were way nicer than a regular brownie. The recipe comes from Linda Burum's book Brownies, which has some wonderful luxury brownie recipes, as well as some "healthy" ones.

Cashew Nut Brownies

9" square metal pan, lined and greased.
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sifted flour, sifted again with 1/4 tsp each salt, baking powder and baking soda
2/3 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup light cream or milk
1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped roast unsalted cashews

Gently melt chocolate and let cool a bit.
Beat butter till soft, and then beat in the sugar in three parts, beating well after each addition.
Add the egg and beat till smooth.
Stir in the vanilla, milk and chocolate to mix thoroughly.
Fold in the flour mixture and 1 cup of the nuts.
Bake in an oven preheated to 350F for 25 -30 minutes, till the centre is just cooked.
Cool in the tin, then frost if required, sprinkling with remaining 1/4 cup of nuts) and cut into 20 or 24 brownies.

One of the suggested frostings was a coffee brandy buttercream which sounded lovely, but I wasn't sure it would stand up to a whole day in the car, even in a cool bag. So instead I made this one:

Fudge Frosting (enough for an 8" or 9" square tin)
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
2 tblsp /  1 ounce unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
1 tblsp milk or cream.

Melt butter and chocolate over a very low heat.
In a small bowl, mix egg yolk, vanilla, cream and sugar. Stir in chocolate mixture and blend till smooth. Let cool, and add a little more milk if it's too thick to spread.

When we holidayed in Brittany, C fell in love with the sweet crepes they make there - totally unlike what we get here. You can buy packs of them, like the one shown here - and we used to have them for breakfast. We picked up a couple of packs at the airport when we were over for the funeral - alas, all finished now. They also make a savoury one with buckwheat flour - these ones are often served with ham and a fried egg, or other savoury fillings. In the local restaurants and snack places, they are traditionally served with cider in a little earthenware bowl.Much lower alcohol content than our Irish cider, and delicious!
Again when we holidayed there, Pierre brought us to an old lady who used to make them for tourists - she'd pretty much retired by the time we visited, but as Pierre was a local, she was happy to oblige. I still remember her old-fashioned kitchen!
 For a couple of years one of the restaurants in the Tuilieries Gardens in Paris served Breton style crepes and both dry and sweet ciders in bowls, but then the franchise changed.

This is a large dinner plate - the crepes must be at least 12" diameter.

1 comment :

  1. I love cashews. I am going to try this recipe when it gets a little cooler. It sounds delicious. We do crepes for breakfast on Easter and Mother's Day. My daughter loves them and I have a little crepe pan that comes in very handy. We just add some chopped up strawberries and dust with powdered sugar. There used to be a restaurant at one of the malls that only served crepes - sweet and savory. I always enjoyed that.