Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hedonistic delights

This week has been one of hedonism of the food variety. It was my birthday on Wednesday, so the days have been filled with lunch and dinner dates in honour of the occasion. Tueday night we (Mother and Father Dotty, and I) were invited to the neighbours for dinner and, ever needing a reason to get into the kitchen, I offer to prepare to dessert. Enter Mango and Peach Coconut Pavlova:

YUM! The base was a recipe spied amongst Wabiwabi's ever-so-lovely ponderings, which I prepared with great excitement and shaped into one giant macaroon. And just as she said, it was delectable topped with fresh cream, mangoes and peaches, and a wee bit o'lime just for good measure. It was so good all males present had second desserts, and all ladies sat, as ladies do, and wished they too could be uncouth enough to gobble down two giant helpings of joy.
With Mother and Father Dotty gone exploring the northern-most tropics yesterday, I declared it the perfect time for a night of Italian feasting and fun, inviting some of my very best ladies to dine with me for the evening. And didn't we dine! There was course after course of delisciousness to be had. And still so much left over! Darling Wabi shined with a scrumptious pinenut tart and a crunchy asparagus salad, and the other lovelies brought food treats aplenty to temp all tastebud. And me? Well I racked my brain and, in true Dotty style, decided at the last minute that Italian Food Forever's Chicken Oreganata, and Orrechiette with tomatoes and pecorino would be our fate. It was a tough choice, because every recipe was completely droolworthy. Look:

Does it not make you want to race to the kitchen and cook yourself perfect pasta?
Cut to today and, after cleaning the kitchen from last night's events, I pulled out my green mixing bowl and matching spoon and set to work on a bounty of baked treats, including these:

I discovered the recipe for these brownies years ago on A Spoonfull of Sugar, pilfered the recipe and never returned, only now discovering the blog still exists and is still unbeleiveable fabulous.I took the basic recipe, changed it to suit myself, and created a brownie that not only never fails, but is always greeted with sounds unbecoming of any self-respecting person. They cook in 30 minutes and come out crispy and crunchy on top and gooey and chewy in the middle. 

Country Fair Brownies A La Dotty
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar (any you have on hand will do, I've tried the lot)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 flour 
1/2 cup cocoa
250g compound chocolate buttons

Beat butter and sugar until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla nd mix well. Sift in flour and cocoa, ensuring the mixture is thick, similar to cookie dough. Break in chocolate buttons and any other additions and stir well. Pour into well-greased ceramic baking dish and bake at 180C for 20mins then turn oven back to 160C until brownie is crisp on top and a few crumbs still stick when tester is inserted.

Ps. I've made this mixture with gluten free flour many times and, not only does it work, I think it tastes better. The gf flour makes it chewier and more fudgey, just make sure to add extra flour if needed to keep the consistency nice and thick. I've also added all sorts of fruit and nuts and it only seems to get better, so feel free to get creative.


  1. Oh YUM! Those brownies are to DIE for! Wish I were trekking out to Ballon with you, if only for the lunch I know you're bringing.

    I still feel wretched about leaving you with all those dishes. :( SO SORRY.

  2. The brownies were good but she couldn't keep them. Some stupid rule about getting rid of all the sugar so mice don't feel the need to infiltrate the cabbins. BUT it means I now have half a batch for me:0)
    Don't worry about the washing up, it took me no time at all!

  3. by "no time", i bet you mean 3 hours! save a brownie for me...? ;)