Sunday, 17 January 2010

This is how to win his heart - and the world's bellies

He said I was a goddess.

I perform all the tricks that domestic goddesses are supposed to be able to do: move well, raise one eyebrow suggestively and engage in pseudo-intellectual conversations. But, as we all know, to really touch the heart of a man - of either divine and earthly nature, you have to appeal to his belly. The seemingly unexpected and effortless appearance of these gooey, sticky, the colour of mud things had swayed the celestial balance.

Chocolate brownies.

These are days, and particularly nights, of depressing, matter-of-factely mid-winter, when despite all the calls to austerity, one yearns for something ridiculously rich, extravagant, and in big quantities. What the goddess does is she smiles gently, strokes a feverish forehead and lightly strikes her magic wand...

It is surprising to realise that the Brownie, so un-Russian in its origin, so both exotic, because of all the chocolate and dark sugars, and teen-American, because of its current association, has in fact become the most treasured dessert in this household. Come to think of it, perhaps it is precisely because of the Brownie's Americanist, straight-forward appeal, its capitalist ability to adapt to all tastes and cultures and its strumpet skill to appeal to both most basic and most sublime, that it has earned its place. A kind of Cold War victory on the ground, in the sexy James Bond and Natasha with a choker on her throat type of way.

Chocolate and chestnut brownies

100g butter
200g dark chocolate
150g cooked chestnuts, chopped
200g sugar, a mixture of caster and dark brown
100g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
3-4 large eggs, lightly whisked

1. preheat the over to 180C and line a baking tray, about 20-30 cm

2. melt chocolate with butter over a pan of simmering water; let it cool down for a couple of minutes

3. transfer the chocolate/butter mixture into a bigger bowl if necessary, add chestnuts, sugar, sifted flour, powder and eggs

4. enjoy the unhurried mixing of the heavy load

5. pour into the baking tray, make sure the surface is roughly even and bake for about 20 minutes

6. the Brownie mixture should be taken out of the oven when still looks a bit uncooked, it will give it that gooey centre

7. let the mixture cool a bit, cut into squares and enjoy the almost delirious combination of bitter chocolate, earthy chestnuts and American superpower:) . Great with unsweetened Turkish coffee, black Russian tea or, indeed, a strawberry milkshake.


MarleenCares said...

wish you had a link to facebook!
Than I could easily share your amazing-ness with all my foodie friends!

Katrina said...

thanks Jane - how do you mean exactly? I'm always happy to share my amazing-ness;)

kelsie and mel said...

looks orgasmic. must try it. must get together. february????

Katrina said...

kelsie, mel - the best compliment anyone could give to my post;)

defo must get together! when are you back from your exotic travels?! facebook me!

Agirlhastoeat said...

Hey I'm disappointed you didn't make these at your Russian dinner!