A brilliant reason to have kids is ‘Mother’s Day’. (Kidding!) I love Mother’s Day. It’s basically like a Birthday but without getting a year older. Brilliant! Bring it on.
I am lucky enough to receive a lovely card, (usually made by my little girl), gifts and I am spoilt all day long which of course I relish. And I’m sure as she gets older I will be able to milk this occasion even more by demanding things like breakfast in bed, hourly cups of tea and of course, chocolate brownies. She isn’t quite old enough to boil a kettle yet, but as soon as she is…
Mother’s Day has been my focus these past few weeks as I’ve been designing products for my shop. There is now a collection of pretty cards and I’ve even remembered Nanna’s and Grandma’s as they are lucky enough to be able to Celebrate both Mother’s Day AND the new ‘Grandparents’ day!
And for those of us who want to give our Mum a little something other than flowers then I’ve got the perfect personalised gift with my new ‘Ring for service bell’. A great way to make your Mum smile and to receive a beautiful gift totally personalised for her.
My daughter’s school is also embracing Mother’s Day by inviting Mums to join their children for lunch, which is a lovely idea. Well, apart from having to sit on those itty-bitty chairs. And with my long legs it means I will have to eat my lunch with my knees level with my face. That and having to sit with other little ones, with table manners not exactly being their strong point.
Both Amelie and I have very delicate tums so it doesn’t take much to make us heave. There was the time when my brother’s Boxer dog stood in their lounge with dribble coming from his mouth which is usual for Boxer dogs. I turned to find Amelie stood there retching! She has told me on several occasions that she has almost been sick during lunch at school due to other kids table manners (or lack of). So you can understand my nervousness about this lunch. I’m hoping it will be incident-free and it’s not like feeding time at the zoo with Amelie and I taking it in turns to share the sick bag!
Now, onto much nicer things! I mentioned chocolate brownies earlier. I LOVE brownies and I have THE best recipe. They have a nice flaky top but they are lovely and soft in the middle. I know there are brownies out there that are classed as ‘healthy brownies’ as they include avocado and beetroot in their ingredients. But my brownies do not even pretend to be even the slightest bit healthy. They do not contain any ingredients that you would normally find in a salad. In my opinion, that is just wrong. They are full-on chocolate, full-fat chocolate brownies, which I bake as a treat for special occasions. I’d have to eat chocolate brownies on a daily basis to want to make a ‘healthy version’. Bake and eat them on a special occasion such as Mother’s Day as a treat and we’ll be fine. And yes I love them that much I don’t even mind baking them myself, for myself!
Amelie won’t be able to eat them, as they’re not gluten-free. BUT, before you start to think I’m the worst Mummy ever, Amelie doesn’t like brownies! “WHAT!?” I hear you cry. I know – it’s just not right is it? How can a daughter of mine not like brownies? But on the upside it means there are more for me to scoff. (And then whine that I’ve put on weight afterwards).
So, as my little gift to you I’m going to share my brownie recipe in honour of Mother’s Day. They make the perfect gift cut into squares and wrapped prettily in cellophane tied with a ribbon. Hopefully you will have these baked for you, but if like me you’ll have to bake them yourself then it just means you get to eat the first one as that is the number one rule of baking.
The best-ever chocolate brownies
200g (7oz) unsalted butter
200g (7oz) good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
3 medium eggs
300g (10.5oz) caster sugar
175g (6oz) plain flour, sifted
100g (3.5oz) dark chocolate drops (70% cocoa)
- Pre-heat the oven to 190°C, 375°F, Gas 5. Line two 28cm x 19cm (7.5” x 11”) baking tins with grease-proof paper and set aside. I sometimes use one large tin to make a chunkier brownie, but that’s me being a piggy!
- Melt the butter (slice into chunks) and chocolate (snapped into small pieces) together in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Set aside and allow to cool completely. Or if you are in a rush, you can cheat and put the mixture in the fridge to speed up the cooling process. (I’ve done this a couple of times and the brownies have turned out just fine. Just give it a mix with a spoon after taking it out of the fridge).
- Meanwhile, beat the eggs and sugar together with an electric whisk until pale and creamy. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold in the chocolate mixture, then the flour and three-quarters of the chocolate drops.
- Divide the brownie mixture evenly between the two prepared tins (or one larger tin), then scatter with the remaining chocolate drops. Bake for 25 minutes, until set and a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack. Once completely cooled, cut each ‘cake’ into eight brownies (or more if you have used one large tin). Best eaten on the day of baking, but they do last for a few days if kept in an airtight tin.
- If you are being kind and making these as a gift for Mother’s Day then wrap a couple of the brownies in pretty cellophane and tie with a ribbon or string.
Now make a cup of tea, turn the phone off, grab a book or a magazine and enjoy your delicious chocolate brownie in peace.
To all the Mums out there, I hope you have a really lovely Mother’s Day on Sunday 26 March 2017! xx