One thing I love about reading stories on the internet is that they are up to date with live languages. Not historical fiction, that is true, but when I’m reading that genre I stick to real book because there is enough amazing lectures (it’s enough to cite ‘Quo vadis’ or ‘De vita Caesarum’.) And one of my favourite expressions is, very fitting for a baker, ‘brownie points’. I don’t live in an English-speaking country and most people I spend time with everyday do not think it necessary to talk in English, so I’m often lost when it comes to words because I sometimes feel much more comfortable not speaking my mother tongue. And the whole charm of ‘brownie point’s is lost when translated. So when I read, I can’t help but smile every time I see the expression. Because it’s so nice, yes, and because I like brownies.
So yesterday, when my dad asked me to make some cake, the only things that came to my mind besides autumn favorite, pear tart, was brownies. I went through all cupboards in the kitchen to find that there were about ten grams of chocolate in my house, but I wasn’t going to give up so easily, so I fished out a half-forgotten package of cocoa and decided to make chocolate cake.
It doesn’t exactly qualify for what I would call brownie; the cake is moist and chewy but very light and crumbly in texture at the same time; it lacks the density though, and the strong chocolate flavor. There is more of a hint of it, thanks to the cocoa, that is not overwhelming and goes perfectly with cane sugar. It’s perfect for a snack or everyday dessert, but in this shape, looking professional, with an easy addition of buttercream that looks like ice cream, under and additional coat of melted chocolate (my poor ten grams), it makes a perfect elegant dessert for all occasions.
And a piece from my 70 k novel, for appetite:
They didn’t go to sleep immediately that night. Silver took out some of the supplies they got in random places on the way and prepared a small feast: there were cubed fruits and cheese and prawn cocktail sandwiches, some saltines with cream cheese and dried strawberries in yogurt coating that he has learned to love, following Sky’s obsession with them. There was even a chocolate cupcake or two for each of them for the dessert. Silver opened a bottle of sparkly raspberry lemonade they poured into plastic wine glasses.
chocolate sponge cake with rose buttercream
(makes 6 + leftovers)
1 cup cane sugar
½ cup white sugar
220 g melted butter, lukewarm
½ cup cocoa
1 ½ cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
preheat the oven to 180C
beat whole eggs with sugar until almost white and fluffy (about 5 minutes)
add melted butter, mix with the mixer
soft cocoa, flour and baking powder, then add to the batter and mix delicately with a spatula, it should have mousse-like consistency
line 20x20 cm square pan with baking paper
bake for 20-25 min until toothpick comes out clean, leave to cool in half-open oven to prevent collapsing (it will fall a bit but that is okay)
250 g butter
120 g powdered sugar
3 tbsp rose petal jam (if not available rose essence should do, a few drops to taste)
pink food colouring
beat the butter until pale, add sugar, jam and colouring and nix until well incorporated
cut circles out of cake with 6-8 diameter rings / cookies cutters/ whatever works
make a ball of buttercream using ice cream scoop, place on top of the cake
pour some chocolate syrup / melted chocolate on top