Well – it’s been a while. Too long.
Too busy? Too lazy? You decide!
This is the story of a batch (love that word) of Brownies that made it’s way from Brussels to Paris and back to Parc du Cinquantinaire, where I then paid 2Euro to taste them. (DISCLAIMER: I may have tasted a crumb whilst in Paris – but celebrating winning the Six Nations Championship will work up an appetite).
Since circa 2007 Belgium GAA and FC Irlande have been joining forces to help the people of Brussels, Irish and otherwise, celebrate our national day, and raise a few bob to help the running of our clubs in the process.
On whichever Sunday falls closest to the 17th March (AKA St Patrick’s Day) the kind, or foolish people in the Ecole Militaire allow us to use their terrain de foot in Parc du Cinquantinaire.
It started off with a few games of Gaelic Football, hurling, camogie and soccer with a bar and some food being sold along the sidelines. Obviously Guinness was involved, and large green hats.
Luckily for us, the people of Brussels seemed to like this and every year, as the rain kindly stayed off for most of the day, their numbers increased. We added things like bouncy castles, kids games, cake and sandwich stands, more green things – this year was amazing – there was even a stage with excerpts from ‘Annie’, Irish dancers, and musicians.
Unfortunately I spent the Saturday in Paris and was only able to join the festivities around lunchtime where I got snap happy with my camera:
Paris was a total drag, like totally. It was sunny, people were smiling, Ireland won the Six Nations Championship, we celebrated with a street party thanks to the French Police kindly closing it on our behalf. WORST WEEKEND EVER. As you can see below, I was not a happy camper.
Anyway, I still wanted to contribute to the Cake stand in Parc du Cinquantinaire – so I chose something that would last (as I was assured by Sylvia that brownies were the way to go. It was to be my first attempt, and twas a success (IMHO).
So I made the Brownies Friday night, packed them into my overnight bag and brought them with me on the Thalys to Paris. They survived, one disappeared circa 3am – a certain Colin Byrne was suspected, but I turned a blind, green-tinted eye as I fell into bed with dreams of Brian O’Driscoll, Rob Kearney (drool) and Gordon D’arcy’s mighty fine beard.
Sunday morning, bright and early, they were packed into the bag (note: they did spend their time in Paris in a fridge!) and duly delivered to Sylvia’s cake stand. Then I gave her 2Euro and bought one right back 🙂
Malheuresement I didn’t take any photos of the actual brownies – rookie mistake. But here is the rest of the delights on display and the dedicated volunteers selling their wares!
So after all that, I only got a little taste BUT I was very impressed – if I do say so myself.
So here is the recipe – if only so that I remember to make them again!
- 225g unsalted butter
- 225g dark chocolate (55 per cent cocoa minimum)
- 4 eggs
- 225g rich dark brown sugar
- 110g plain flour
- 80g nuts (hazelnuts/pecans/walnuts – I only had hazelnuts and slivered almonds so I improvised with these)
- icing sugar
- Melt the butter and the chocolate in an ovenproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and pale – this will take about 10 minutes and can be done in a mixer with the whisk attachment. I did it by hand – be prepared to work hard!
- Stir in the chocolate/butter mix.
- Fold in the flour and nuts.
- Pour into a greased and lined cake tin (30cmx20cmx5cm) and bake for 30-35 minutes at 170C/Gas mark 3.
- Remove from oven, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to cool.
- Cut into squares and dust with icing sugar