Triple Chocolate & Kidney Bean Brownies

For my first recipe in 2012 I thought I would make it interesting, apparently there is a whole beans in baking ‘thing’ going on in America; so I thought I would hop on the bandwagon. I have a feeling Martha had something to do with this ‘thing’, this recipe originated from her via Joy and then I made a few tweaks.

This is one of those recipes that you read and you immediately start browsing the cupboards for ingredients. The only thing I didn’t have already was the black beans that the recipe called for, and I couldn’t find any, so I subbed in kidney beans. I was already feeling uneasy about this recipe and this change was adding to my unease.

The unease may have had something to do with the fact that I have never made brownies before, and you always hear horror stories of dry brownies, or brownies that actually make people hungrier; something about munchies… I don’t know. But these were a success! They worked out perfectly and I didn’t over cook them. In fact my sister ate three in a row, they were cut small, but we still judged. I won’t judge you though eat as many as you want. And they have less fat and more protein! Only slightly but still! Did mention they are delicious!

Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker

57 grams of unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan

85 grams of semisweet chocolate, chopped, I use 70% Lindt

57 grams of unsweetened chocolate, chopped, I use 85% Lindt

48 grams of kidney beans, rinsed, drained, and pureed until smooth in a food processor

299 grams of granulated sugar

2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

125 grams of all-purpose flour

26 grams of unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

10ish white chocolate buttons, I use Cadbury’s white chocolate melts

walnut chunks and coarse sea salt for topping (optional)

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.  Butter a 9-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving 2-inches of overhang on all sides.  Butter and flour the parchment paper as well.

Fill a medium sauce pan with 2 inches of water.  Bring the water to a simmer.  Place butter, semi-sweet, and unsweetened chocolate in the bowl.  Place the bowl over simmering water and stir until chocolate and butter are melted and combined.  Remove the bowl from the simmering saucepan (the bowl might be hot!).

Allow the melted chocolate mixture to cool for a few moments.  Whisk in the eggs and white, one at a time, until mixture is glossy. Whisk in the sugar.  Whisk in the bean puree and vanilla extract.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and sea salt.  Add the dry ingredients, all at once, to the chocolate mixture.  Break up the white chocolate and add to mix. Use a spatula and fold to incorporate.  Once thoroughly combined, pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Top with walnuts and sea salt, if using.

Bake brownies for 25-28 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with just a few chocolate crumbs on it.  The center may seem undercooked, but it will cook further as it cools.  Brownies are better slightly underdone than overdone.

Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.  Use the overhanging parchment paper to remove the brownies from the pan and slice.

Cut brownies into 9 or 12 generous pieces.  Store brownies, wrapped individually, at room temperature for up to 4 days. Mine did not last this long.


DIY Advent Calendar

So I totally don’t have an advent calendar this year, but my mum did buy me 24 Lindt chocolates, which makes it almost okay (when will they make a nail polish advent calendar?). Also 24 is the perfect number of days between when I was given the Lindt, and my next day off. I’m kidding of course but Christmas is coming and this at least prepares me/lets me know what day it is.

To jazz up my little reindeer, snowmen and santas I added numbers; glittery numbers, because nothing says Christmas like glitter. And more importantly nothing else says “Wake up Rachel, you need to go to work. Here have this chocolate to eat because this has suddenly become a socially acceptable morning activity now it’s December” like glittery, numbered reindeer chocolate.

It’s actually really easy, next year I’m going to make little boxes I think! Unless those nail polish calendars are available, in which case it’ll be a month of me posting about different shades of polish.

Happy 2nd day of chocolate!

Top 5? High 5!

Hey did you guys see my new header? And new site name? WordPress finally let me change it, YAY!

I haven’t written much about books on here, which is silly, because it’s supposed to be about baking and books (sometimes always together). Before I get down to bagging your fave book or something; I’ll tell you my top 5 so you can get your insults ready for when I call your favourite book badly written and yuck (if your favourite book is Twilight we totes aren’t friends).

None of these are food related books, that is a whole other kettle of fish!

5. It new, and it’s a bio. I generally don’t read bios, but…

This book literally made me laugh out loud and giggle like a lunatic in the most awkward of places (economics lecture, bus). A random selection of stories from Marieke Hardy’s life; a few prostitutes, an art exhibition for the bubble and a rather angry letters to white wings. If you have read her stuff from Frankie you have had a taste, but you need to take a bite. Honest.

4. Scottish Author Iain Banks

I actually had to read a book of his in the last year of high school, and then got bored about a year later and actually read it.Turns out he was actually good, props Mr Patterson.

The Bridge. The imagery in this book is insane, I don’t want to give too much away but basically you are in the mind of a man who is in a coma, a kind of limbo. The limbo is the bridge. Another world of class levels and limited freedom, the books gets a bit dream within a dream, but hang in there; if you like 1984 and Brave New World this is right up your alley. If you don’t well read this anyway, even for the imagery.

3. I was going to put Perfume by Patrick Süskind here; but I lost the book (I’ve also got a good review I did a few months ago that I intend to upload pretty soon). Instead I’ve got this book. Cliché? Maybe.

It truly is one of my all time favourite books, I know this one isn’t particularly literary. But it takes you straight into this other world, of wizards and witches, goblins and ghosts. Let’s be honest even if you say you hate it, you’ve at least seen the films (something I do not condone at all, read the books!). You all know the story so I really don’t need to elaborate.

It’s one of the modern children’s classics, an engaging fight between good and evil; the importance of truth and friendship against all odds. To be honest if the world was more like Harry’s it would be a better place.

2. Audrey NiffeneggerA love story, but with two characters who aren’t dumb dopey eyed lovers. They are real believable characters. It’s the gritty edge of Chicago and the imperfect characters that make this a good novel. Oh and there’s time travel. And I love books told from multiple points of view and this ticks that box in oh so many ways.

1. Lewis Carroll

Leaving aside the fact that this was written by a drug taking mathematician that hung out with young girls, it is amazing. And my all time favourite book. Yes it’s a children’s book. But to this day I still laugh at the same bits I have always laughed at, and I still get creeped out by tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee. It never gets old; and it’s the book that started my whole love of reading. You can’t top that.

What are your top 5? Childrens books totes count!

What is on your bedside table at the moment? Keep it clean people!


Flapjacks, Macarons and Falls

New years resolutions are so 10 months ago, this is different. This is a check-list, to be done before the end of this year, like an end of year resolution.

10 things to do before the end of the year:

  • Make Macarons (without any cracks in the top);
  • Take more photos;
  • Pass my exams;
  • Go to the Mac factory;
  • Buy this;
  • Make my own butter;
  • Go to BTS (better than sex) for cupcakes!
  • Convince my friends that a) flapjacks are not pancakes, b) flapjacks are delish;
  • Tea infused cake?
  • Go to falls!

Go ahead and make a to-do-before-end-of-year list? Let me know what it is!

Dressing your dog up is totally optional.

Worcestershire broccolini on toast

Have I ever mentioned how much I love the Adelaide Central Market? No? Well I do, lots. It’s so cheap and full of delicious things. Walking around there for an afternoon will blissfully wash away any memories of those fluorescent ‘super’markets. (note: I totally still shop at these places but I definitely hate myself for it)

I’m doing this whole month without sweet foods thing; which is kind of turning my dreams into this; Cake car? Uh shyeah!


Did you know broccolini is in season, super awesome and super cheap? It totes is.

This is what you can do with your super awesome super cheap broccolini from the markets.

First slice up some nice bread!

Then you chop up some broccolini (a bunch), mushrooms (2 handfuls sliced) and garlic (4 cloves, chopped finely), lotsa garlic.

Your gonna need Worcestershire sauce (6 tablespoons), lots of this. and then you chuck it all in a pan with some big slugs of olive oil. It gets steamy.

Then serve on the bread and pour the excess juices all over it.

Recipe adapted from the Jamie’s Great Britain.


Strawberry Coconut Ice

Okay, I’ll admit it. I honestly didn’t know coconut ice was even a thing before last Thursday. Apparently it’s a thing, like a childhood thing. I totes missed that thing.

But it is super fun to make, and easy! Which is good, because at the moment my life looks a lot like this.

So this recipe used fun things like a deepish square pan, and baking paper!

And icing sugar – Sifted of course

And of course coconuts, I’m still working on a coconut pun.

Don’t tell me my hand looks fat, stop nodding your head in agreement! You know the saying, chubby hands…warm heart.

Then you mix it all up, and divide into 2, one of them gets vanillafied. And the second gets strawberried.

Clearly the whole situation got too much for my camera, as the photos I took have been lost forever, but you layer it up and throw (place) in the fridge!

Recipe adapted from Not Quite Nigella:

  • 320g/2 cups icing sugar mixture, sifted
  • 315g/3.5 cups desiccated coconut
  • 395g can condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a few drops pink colouring
  • 4 tablespoons strawberry sauce or strawberry purée
  • A few drops strawberry extract

Grease a fairly deep pan, (smaller sizes work best) and line with baking paper.

Mix the coconut, icing sugar and condensed milk together in a bowl.

Divide mixture into two bowls.

Into the first bowl add the vanilla extract and mix, this mixture is thick, really get in there, use clean hands if necessary.

Into the second bowl mix in the purée, extract and colouring, if this gets too liquid add icing sugar and coconut in small tiny doses until this mixture has the same consistency as the first.

Then layer the prepared pan with the vanilla mix first then the strawberry mix.

Put in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours. Cut with a hot knife (run metal knife under hot water) for the best looking results.

Next post is most definitely going to be Halloween(y)(ie)? Get ready to be spoooked!