Last month I missed out on taking part in the Random Recipe challenge run by Dom at Belleau Kitchen, and this month I was determined I'd manage it. However illness and general beingtoobusyness meant that today being the last day to get your entries in, and me being off to London at about 10am, I had to get up disgustingly early to make my recipe. I'm so dedicated!
So the rules were that you had to count along your bookshelf till you reached the eighteenth book and that's what you had to use. Number 18 for me was Martha Stewart Cookies, a gorgeous book that sits criminally ignored on my shelf because I despise using cups to measure out ingredients. Seriously - what's wrong with a good old weighing scale? I also have her Cupcakes book, a lovely book called Swedish Cakes and Cookies and Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home To Yours, all of which use cups which really puts me off using them. I really must get over myself.
Anyway I opened the book at a random page, which had a recipe for chocolate ginger brownies. Lovely, I love anything ginger, and while I know I've done a brownie recipe on the blog before, that was a low fat one. This definitely isn't. And it's also a nice quick and easy one.
Recipe from Martha Stewart Cookies, adapted very slightly.
3oz plain chocolate, chopped
4 oz butter
1 tsp grated fresh ginger (I used a jar of minced ginger)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1 clove, ground up in a pestle & mortar
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
Line an 8" square tin with baking parchment, letting the ends overhang the tin. Preheat the oven to 160ºC.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave - take care not to burn the chocolate. Stir in everything else. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until set. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then lift out using the parchment and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone else has come up with! I got an easy recipe but I know other people won't have, so it'll be very interesting.
The few things I have cooked from this particular book have all turned out very well. The lemon squares in particular were gooey and gorgeous and definitely worth making again. And these brownies are fantastic. So I'm determined to stop hating cups and make more of Martha's lovely goodies.
Oh and by the way, I have had a very, very unsuccessful week of baking. I made some Viennese biscuits that went a bit wrong, some Cornish fairings (little spicy biscuits) that I overcooked and consequently went absolutely rock hard and inedible, and yesterday I made a ginger cake that stuck horribly to the (really well greased and floured) tin. Luckily all the disasters happened at home and not at work (although last week I did forget to put the eggs in a carrot cake, the staff ate the resulting disaster with spoons) but it's a bit disheartening. I hadn't had a baking disaster in years and then three happened within the space of a couple of days. It almost made me go out and buy a cake from the supermarket...