I made it at the same time as cooking roast dinner so I would like extra points for multi-tasking, please. We had it for pudding and everyone wanted seconds so it only lasted one sitting for our family of five and none of the taste team could guess the secret ingredient.
The first step was the most labour intensive with the sweet potato needing to be peeled chopped boiled and mashed. Then chopped dark chocolate was added and melted as it was mixed in.
Meanwhile, the cake ingredients are mixed together then the whole lot combined.
It goes in the tin and into the oven. I don’t know if it was my oven or what but it took longer than an hour to cook.
The icing is more melted chocolate, butter, golden syrup and chocolate pieces!
I’ve had a couple of new projects I’ve been working on and one, in particular, that has been pretty full on, for good reason, the last few weeks. I’ve also been thinking about the future again and continuing to support my small (and not so small) people through life’s challenges. It’s all good but I’ve not been doing so well at really filling my own cup so I’ve got the resources to keep on giving out. I know I need to change that but the inbuilt guilt is a struggle so I was pretty relieved to read this article
and realise I’m not going crazy and I’m not alone, think my husband was relieved to find that I wasn’t really going to run away with the circus either.
This weekend was pretty busy but we managed to get everyone together at the table for dinner on Sunday. So these brownies were for pudding and were declared yummy by the members of the taste team who weren’t too full or too keen on having a lolly.
This week’s baking involved another flashback. This time to University days when I used to make this Chocolate Fudge Pudding as a treat for my friends because it’s pretty cheap to make but really indulgent and super yummy. Just the thing for people who need lots of energy, a bit like my kids who are always hungry, especially after a day at school.
This week’s musings have been about if we’re possibly causing a problem for ourselves. If we tell small children to smile and pretend not to be sad as they go into school so they can get a sticker and then we wonder why our teenagers are unable to express how they feel and talk it out but rather tell us they are ‘fine’ and then start self-harming or develop an eating disorder! (To be clear I’m talking about ‘we’ as a society, not my own family). So no, I’m not happy about the accidental wee in my bed this morning but yes, I am going to keep cuddling my children whenever they need me to (or let me in the case of the teenagers).
On to the recipe, chocolate always helps me feel better.
Chocolate Fudge Pudding.
1 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix it all together until it’s a brownie type consistency batter and pour or spoon into a greased 6″ square tin.
In a separate bowl mix together:
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons sugar
Sprinkle over the batter.
Pour 1 1/2 cups of boiling water over the top and bake at 350f 175c Gas 4 for 40 minutes.
When cooked the cake is at the top and the sauce underneath just like magic. Tastes like magic too and even better with a little ice cream or cream.
Tring out some new flour in my sourdough this weekend. The rolls are a mix of wholemeal and rye flour. They’re made with honey and butter so are sweet and soft. Not my favourite but I wanted them to go with soup which is next on my list along with more flapjack of course. The loaf is made with the regular wheat starter but then all spelt flour. It tastes amazing, the perfect mix of soft middle and crunchy but not too hard crust. I’m thinking the same recipe could be made into baguette shapes and would even make the fussy teenagers happy.
This week we’re almost back on it with the older kids routine which is making everyone a bit less stressed, although we’re still working on some kind of screen time compromise that doesn’t suit anyone!
It’s been the last week at home with one afternoon of trying out school for the youngest. Such a mix of emotions. Not looking forward to having to get out of the house in time for school every day but very much looking forward to routine and time to do things other than child care better.
Baking for fun partly motivated by having forgotten to buy any treats for lunch boxes this week. Back to good old Mary Berry Fast Cakes. These are Chocolate Fudge Squares and live up to every part of their name as expected.
The only issue being they sunk in the middle. Sorted by adding extra icing to make it look flat. So for those who like icing the middle pieces are the ones to aim for!
It’s week three of the holidays. Things keeping me sort of sane through the repetition of the same argument a million times:
My lovely friends who reassure me it’s just the same in their houses and provide solidarity in the trenches.
The mantra my lovely mum passed down which got her through our childhood (although obviously, she can’t have needed it much as we were all angels). “It’s not me it’s them”.
A lot of chocolate.
I’ve also just had a health check due to my ancient age at which I discovered I am simultaneously ‘obese’, have slightly raised (from ‘ideal’ not average) cholesterol and am at very low risk of developing heart disease. Which is good motivation to keep up with finding ways to eat more healthy food (or at least a bit less chocolate).
I think this might be the most healthy version of my flapjack recipe so far.
50g coconut oil
4 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Molasses
50g cacao powder
Remove from heat and mix in:
Into a lined pan sprinkle over 50g cacao nibs and bake in a preheated oven gas mark 6 for 20 minutes.
Cool and cut into squares.
Tastes less chocolatey than previous versions but still yummy. These are probably not sweet enough for you if you’re used to eating ‘normal’ amounts of sugar but for those who have already cut down, they’re sweet enough.
Taste team accused them of having funny rubbery bits on the top!
It’s been a very busy week of fun family days out and cleaning the house.
Continuing the theme of can I make that with sourdough this weekend we had brioche.
Not sure if it’s just that I’m getting better at reading the complicated recipes but enjoying this blog I found this recipe on as it does seem to be mostly written in plain English.
Having read around I decided to use the mixer as the dough is quite sticky and needs a lot of mixing. After the first rise, the butter has to be massaged in. This bit was pretty sticky and hard work. One of the taste team spotted the bowl of butter waiting to go in and remarked wow that’s a lot of butter! He was right, it’s not a healthy recipe it’s a yummy one though and it is the holidays.
The dough was more workable after a second rise but still quite sticky.
Having made two trays of small brioche and still having dough left I thought I’d try a bigger loaf too in the loaf tin.
The small brioche spread more than I wanted them to but they all looked good. The taste team loved them, although they did remark they aren’t quite like the brioche we buy from the supermarket. Personally, I thought they were tastier!
I read that ‘baby brain’ is a real thing. But how old does your baby have to be before you can stop blaming having children for not being able to remember anything? And how do you know if your brain is just the normal amount like a sieve? Anyone else ever wonder if they would even know if they started developing dementia early?
The only way I get through the day without forgetting everything is by making lists. I can’t remember when I started having to write the lists down but at some point not long after my first baby arrived once my third was here I had reached the point of realising if something isn’t written down it’s not going to happen. The silver lining for me is more stationary shopping, I’ve always loved a good notebook.
It’s true what they say, who you are matters more than what you say in determining who your children will become. It’s a slow and steady process. I’m six months in to eating differently and paying more attention to my health (some weeks it goes better than others but there are no failures when you don’t give up) and my super fussy eater has not only tried and even liked a few new things but has been reading and thinking about allergies and food that makes you feel better. Now if only I could find a way to cope better with them being really irritating so I could pass that on to them too. Or maybe siblings will just always get wound up by each other no matter what. 🙂
The last few weeks I’ve also started consciously working on not letting anxiety stop me from achieving what I want. I know that doing the thing that makes me anxious is almost always not as bad as not doing it and getting anxious over what might happen. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I need to head back and re-read The Opposite of Worry and maybe get on and write my diary so I can move on to the next part of the CBT course rather than continue to just avoid it by starting other courses. At least the learn to code HTML and CSS course is really interesting and making my brain work hard and being encouraged by my son to give it a go and keep going is super special.
Despite prevailing opinions on quinoa in the household I decided to give a quinoa experiment a go this week. So I made some for my lunch which was yummy and then made the rest into quinoa crispies like this it wasn’t the weather for having the oven on for longer than necessary so I took the opportunity to slow roast some veggies which means that my dinner is under control for today. Not often I’m that organised so feel pleased with myself!
The quinoa didn’t all get the same amount crispy but it was sticking to the tray more and more so I decided it was time to move on.
These are so simple. I didn’t have (and don’t like) stevia but I’m also used to things not so sweet now. If you’re not used to being sugar-free or don’t want to be then a teaspoon or even half a teaspoon of icing sugar would work really well.
Decided to be extra decadent and put some melted chocolate on top before they went in the freezer. When they came out they looked great.
They taste like a chocolate bar. The only issue for me was a little bit of getting quinoa stuck in my teeth, worth it for the kick for sure. Two of the taste team found them a little too chocolatey but the maybe not so fussy anymore one wanted a second piece!