“Pistachio and Raspberry Brownies” from “A Modern Way to Cook”

IMG_7321DISASTER! A delicious disaster, but a disaster just the same.

I don’t want to bury the lede. I wish I could say this recipe worked and it was great, like all the other things I’ve tried in this book so far this month. As I was assembling the ingredients, I kept thinking to myself, “This is going to be fantastic.” As it was baking in the oven, everyone else in the family came into the kitchen and said, “Wow. That smells delicious.” Alas, it was not meant to be.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should tell you that I did not use any of the healthier options for the ingredients. I went ahead and used unsalted butter rather than coconut oil, soft brown sugar instead of coconut sugar and eggs instead of chia seeds. I very much appreciated the suggestion in the introduction that said, “If coconut sugar is a bridge too far then soft brown sugar will work too.”

Indeed. Coconut sugar is a bridge too far for me when it comes to baking.

When I recounted the experience to Kirstin, she reminded me of the chocolate cake they made last year out of the first cookbook and that didn’t work either. 

I wish I could say this was down to operator error, but I just think the bake time was wrong. Perhaps it only takes 25-30 minutes if you use the alternative ingredients, but slightly longer if you use traditional ingredients.

After 30 minutes, I took them out of the oven, against my better judgment. Good brownies should wobble a bit when you take them out of the oven, then they’ll continue to set while they cool on the counter. In this case, there was quite a bit of wobble [are you enjoying this technical discussion?] but I figured the recipe said to bake them for 25 to 30 minutes, so I figured it would firm up later.

I was wrong. When I went to cut into them, two hours after they came out of the oven, the middle was still a gooey, liquid mess. We ended up eating the brownies that were on the sides, as the middle bit was just a pool of chocolate-raspberry-pistachio liquid.

There is a happy ending to the story, however. I put them into the refrigerator and by the next day, the centre had firmed up enough that I could cut them into squares. From a food safety perspective, I don’t know if the egg had been cooked enough to make the safe, but we like to live dangerously in this family. They were delicious.

Would I make this again? I’m tempted to, if only to see how much longer I really should have baked them (I’m guessing another 10 minutes). But the combination of pistachio and raspberries is highly recommended.

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“Pistachio and Raspberry Brownies” from “A Modern Way to Cook”

“Saffron-scented Chicken Pilaf” and “Slut-red Raspberries in Chardonnay Jelly” from “Forever Summer”

Miles: I like the chicken! But not the rice. I tried it but I didn’t like it. It was gross!

Ella: The chicken is amazing! Yummy! I’ve almost finished it. I have now. There was some rice on it and it went under my wobbly tooth. And now it’s hurting.

Miles: Ella, you don’t keep on eating protein. But I do. I’m going to grow bigger than you!

Ella: I don’t care. I like being short. You can fit through things that tall people can’t. I don’t want to be tall, otherwise I’ll have to be a defender on the netball team. I prefer being wing attack. It’s funner.

Anna: I liked being goalkeeper. You just stand about for a bit.

Ella: Mmm, the rice is good! I don’t know why, but it kind of tastes creamy.

Anna: Can you see it’s yellow? What do you think had made it yellow?

Ella: Eggs? Bananas? Lemon sorbet? Lemons? Is it an animal, a vegetable or a mineral?

Kirstin: A vegetable. Something called saffron.

Tom: It costs more than gold, pound for pound.

Anna: It’s one of the most prized spices in the world. Mmmm, this is good. How easy was it?

Kirstin: Really easy.

Ella: Can we grow saffron in our garden?

Continue reading ““Saffron-scented Chicken Pilaf” and “Slut-red Raspberries in Chardonnay Jelly” from “Forever Summer””

“Saffron-scented Chicken Pilaf” and “Slut-red Raspberries in Chardonnay Jelly” from “Forever Summer”