Life is full of ups and downs, and you learn to take the rough with the smooth. But the downs really do smart when the disapointment involves your children. Like when you wait for what seems like forever for a place at the school of your choice. And after being told that you were at the top of the list, you wait patiently. But then, when a space does comes up, you're told that well, actually, you're not anywhere near the top. It hurts. It's dreadful. It's devastating. Really.
To soothe my vexed nerves, I probably should exercise, but I bake.
Today I turned to a recipe from Christine Manfield's Paramount Desserts for a quick chocolate fix. These are super easy and Hugo did most of the stirring. And bless Miss Chris's temperate little socks, she suggests that these be eaten as a petite fours. So I slice these into elegant little squares, one per person as instructed. But to help medicate that gutted feeling I have, my suggested dosage is to eat as many as required. Here's the recipe, file under first aid.
Chocolate Brownie Fudge Slice
170g unsalted butter
340g caster sugar
3 x 61g eggs, lightly beaten
75g cocoa powder
75g sifted flour
270g dark couverture chocolate, chopped (I just use chips - I'm in a hurry)
125g dark couverture chocolate
100ml thick (45 per cent) cream
To make the brownies, melt butter over low heat. Whisk the sugar and into the lightly beaten eggs, then add the melted butter, cocoa and vanilla and mix well.
Stir in the flour with a spatula, then stir in the chopped chocolate. Pour into a greased 20cm square slice tin, lined with baking paper, and bake in a 160C oven for 25 minutes or until just set (I always find it takes about 40). Allow to cool in the tin.
To make the chocolate cream, shave the chocolate into a bowl. Heat the cream in a pan to simmering point and pour over the chocolate. Stir until glossy and smooth. Allow the cream to set in the refrigerator for 2 hours (an hour if you're desperate) to become firm enough to spread.
Turn the brownie slab out onto a chopping board and spread the top with a thin layer of the chocolate cream. Slice into small elegant squares and serve with tea and sympathy.Homeschooling never looked so good...