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Well, actually...

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
1tsp vanilla 
75g sifted flour
270g dark couverture chocolate, chopped (I just use chips - I'm in a hurry)
Chocolate Cream 
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...


  1. Sounds like awful news. I hope you find somewhere else that you are happy with.... homeschooling could be good! Hard work but good.

  2. oh michelle...i'm so sorry. will send you an email soon but wanted to send my love and thoughts. they are the hardest disappointments for a mama...Kxx

  3. Oh, that is very disappointing. School admin is obviously the same as Uni admin! That recipe looks dangerous to bake when in need of comfort...I'd eat the lot.

    Home's one of those things I ponder a lot.

  4. Ouch yes that sounds hard and sad for you guys. As for the brownies...yummmm.
    I hope it works out for the best for you deserve nothing but the best...xx

  5. Sorry to learn of your school predicament Michelle. Even after six years here & my wife a teacher I am still finding it difficult to get used to the weird system here

  6. sorry to hear of your dissapointment.
    I understand the stress as we had a trying time with finding a highschool for our eldest daughter. So much letter writing and appeals did nought. Fortunately she is very happy with the second choice - even if she needs to het up so early to catch two buses to get there.

    Anyway, what I mean to say is that sometimes there are other options which turn out to be better. Perhaps for you it is homeschooling...

  7. Sorry to hear about the school. It must be terribly frustrating. But it's good you turned that frustration into something productive!! They look so yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe too

  8. Disappointment takes on a whole new meaning when it involves your children I think. I hope you can sort out something that works out even better for you guys. Those brownies look absolutley AMAZING

  9. How disappointing for you Michelle. It is such a tough thing, this schooling choice-caper. I am torn constantly and cannot make a decision.

    But the brownies look like a little bit of heaven.


  10. Thankyou for sharing this recipe - off to go and check that I have everything and will make it with the kids this afternoon.

    I have pondered home schooling my two - but I think that because we move so much that it is a good idea that they meet other people instead of just me! Hope that you find a happy medium and something that you are all happy with soon!

  11. Yay for baking away the blues. You are not alone in doing that, or for having tough times figuring out what is best for the children. But I am sorry, for you. That sounds just awful. Big jerks.