Sunday, June 24, 2012

Let's talk chocolate and Niha

Humanity at large is gifted.
We are indeed a lucky bunch of buggers. I say this with conviction because of one big brown reason that stares us in the face.
Can you imagine a life without chocolate?
Just take a second and think about it. We use chocolate for many many reasons at all stages in life.
Kids behave. 'Good boy, here you go, a slab of chocolate'
Teen drama. 'I hate my life cause I'm so fat, might as well have another piece of chocolate cake'
Adult fun. Ahem! Aphrodisiac much. Get chocolate.
Senior citizen indulgence. 'I'm going to die sooner or later. Now tell me where you've hidden the goodies.'

Somebody who truly understands the vital role that chocolate plays is Niha. 

'Ni', as I call her since Niha is too long a name for me to say, is well educated with the art of brownie making. 
The first brownies I ever tasted were the ones she made when we were in junior school.
Ni and I have been friends since we were in the first grade. In a world of flimsy friendships and easy goodbyes, I don't think a day has gone by since we met that we haven't spoken to each other. *knocks on wood*. 

It all started with school. 
We were normal kids and who did normal things...
- Walk around school having conversations about how we were better than everyone else around
- Talk about how we would become archaeologists and go live by the amazon
- Be convinced that it would definitely come true
- Read Famous Five. Discuss. Read Nancy Drew. Discuss. Read Mills&Boon. Discuss. Read Twilight. Discuss.
- Analyse how we read so much crap. Discuss which one next
- Pass unfair judgments on everyone and everything
- Completely believe in the fairness of judgments passed
Have a few more conversations about being such a boon to mankind
Well, the joy of sitting on a make believe pedestal is very fun.

So, apart from the reading and thinking and talking, the other common interest the two of us have is desert. We used to send each other yummy things to eat as kids. I used to make Mysore Pak and she, BROWNIES.
So in memory, of the first batch of brownies that was delivered to my house when we were pesky snooty girls, this one goes to you Ni!

The Hummingbird Bakery Brownie, with a crispy chocolate layer and a dollop of chocolate custard!

Easy to make. Heaven to eat.
Though, I did had a bit of trouble baking this one as it took a long time. Longer than mentioned in the recipe. An hour longer! But, simple elements and a good outcome.

200 gms dark chocolate
175 gms butter
325 gms sugar
130 gms flour
3 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
2. Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth.
3. Remove from the heat. Add the sugar and stir until well incorporated. Add the flour and stir until well incorporated. Finally, stir in the eggs and mix until thick and smooth.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until flaky on the top but still soft in the centre. Be careful not to overcook otherwise the edges will become hard and crunchy. Add some walnuts if you like!

So, like I have a fond memory of a box of brownies, if you want to whip some of your own, try this one out. 
Or go buy a bar of chocolate.
Just don't ignore something as lovable as chocolate.

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