I've made a batch of Congo Bars to cheer L up and a chocolate brownie for Saturday night. I'm also doing a trifle but will leave that till Saturday afternoon. I promised you the fail-safe and easy-peasy choc brownie recipe that has done the rounds of Romsey among other places so here it is, making it's Blog Debut...
4oz granulated sugar
2oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1. Melt choc and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water
2. Off heat stir in all the other ingredients
3. Wack in a 22cm lined tin (square or round)
4. Bake at 160 or thereabouts until the middle has stopped wobbling when you move it and a skewer comes out clean
5. Cool and then turn out on a tray, dust with icing sugar or drizzle melted choc over the surface
6. Serve with ice cream or cream
|About to go in the oven|
|Just out of the oven|
|Dressed and Ready To Go|
In the middle of cooking I got a Nice Surprise, when I looked out of the kitchen window and saw a female Siskin perched on one of the feeders. No pic sadly because she skedaddled when she saw me, but doubtless she will be back and if last year is anything to go by she'll get used to seeing me so I should get some photos. They are such beautiful birds with incredible plumage and I'd never seen them until they started arriving here last year. I estimate the flock to be between 50-100- it is enormous. I have recorded them chattering in the alders and will attempt to upload the resulting vid so you can hear for yourself the racket they make. We usually get 2-4 in the garden from Jan onwards so I'm wondering where all the others go to?
I did manage to get some snaps of some Familiar Faces.....
|My Lovely Friend Mrs Sparrow, who spent most of last summer either leaving her chicks with me or forcing me to duck quickly as she zoomed past, often brushing my nose with her wings. I have missed her and am glad to see her back.|
|'Are you taking a picture of me?' Our resident Pige taking a break from all the bowing and beak nibbling he's putting on for his VERY disinterested missus.|
|Our Lovely Robin, who is stretching his head up and backwards whenever he comes across the other two- it's either courtship or territory posturing, but they're all doing it at the moment.|
|Mrs Sparrow and her husband in the hedge by the feeders|
Also on the Wildlife Front, blogging pal and fellow moth-enthusiast Caroline at Ragged Robin recently put me onto a book about the moths of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. As with all these tomes it was pretty expensive (£35) but I was thrilled to find it second-hand at the Oxfam Bookshop for £20. Bargain. Anyway, needless to say I ordered it and it has just turned up. I've had a quick flick through it and it looks fab, so I'm even more excited about mothing season starting now.
Back to cakes...
Here is the recipe for Congo Bars. Again, very simple, takes minutes to make and they are delicious (and if the photos don't make you want to go out and get the ingredients and cook some up this afternoon then there is something wrong with you. Unless of course you happen to be my niece or sister in law and don't like chocolate. I know - shocking isn't it?).
4oz light brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 oz butter
2oz self raising flour
200 grams chocolate
1 tbsp cocoa powder if you like
1. Melt the butter and vanilla in a saucepan.
2, Whisk eggs and brown sugar till smooth.
3. Beat melted butter into egg and sugar mix.
4. Sift the flour and salt onto the egg mix and fold in.
5. Line a 22cm square tin with greaseproof paper and crack the chocolate into chunks of varying sizes into the bottom of the tin.
6. Pour the cake mix over the choccy pieces.
7. Bake at 160 for about 20 mins till a skewer comes out clean.
8. Leave to cool then cut into bars and either eat or store in an airtight tin.
|Just out the oven and cooling down|
|Cut into bars|
|The chocolate melts and forms a lovely gooey base while the sponge is light and fluffy on top|
Wouldn't it be great if wildlife programmes combined with baking ones? Just a thought....
Hope your day is going well?