Have you ever had someone or something enter your life briefly, consume so much of your thought, energy, and passion, only to then let life carry on fulfilling its mission, taking them as far away as close as it had brought them to you?
Yet you continue thinking about them – allowing your mind to be consumed in thoughts for extended periods of the day. You only wish the very best for them because of how well they were to you, and you yearn to embrace them once more…?
This has happened to me on multiple occasions – I’m sure it’s happened to everyone – and I don’t mean for it to be only about other humans. We can take the feeling, the entire ritual, and contextualise it in different ways. It can be in the form of a natural state, like health (as health can come and go), it can be objects or pets, or even experiences, like travel.
One particular instance I’ll share with you today is my encounter with a young woman from Switzerland. I had come home from uni many nights ago with a terrible headache. I was feeling down in dumps, tired, and just wanted to be left alone. I got a phone call from a friend whose English isn’t great, asking if I could come and help entertain this young woman. I was beyond disappointed that I had to get off my couch and do this – but I did it. And it was such a life changing experience.
This young woman has since returned to Switzerland and if I could fly there every week to meet her, I would. She very kindly sent me some fine Cailler cooking chocolate, and a gorgeous pink shawl. I decided I’d make the recipes inside the chocolate wrapping because I wanted to live the Swiss experience of cooking something a Swiss person would if they’d bought this chocolate.
I ran into trouble here because the recipe was in French and German… So I turned to my trusty interneters and asked for a translation! I got an awkward recipe back, which I attempted, and somehow managed to NOT follow. Meaning I could have just done some brownies myself and called it a day. Sigh. I was meant to cream 180g of butter – but instead I managed to dump it into the mixture and create a brownie that took an hour to set in the oven, as opposed to a mere 20-25 minutes.
These brownies not only sound fancy (c’mon, surely they do), but they tasted deliciously sweet, and I shared it with my uni team members after finishing our project – especially after, as project manager, I’d been giving them “extra brownie points” all semester long for their hard work. So they deserved these. And you do, too, go ahead and make these, and keep an eye out for my next brownie recipe – I’m doing a little comparison test :) Original (and my messy) recipe are below.
Serves: 6 – 8 people
180g butter, plus extra to grease pan
120g (1 cup) flour
160g (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
80g pistachios, roughly chopped
200g Cailler milk chocolate, divided
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
Melt 140g of the Cailler chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Chop the remaining chocolate to use later.
Place butter in a bowl and beat until pale and uniform. Add the melted chocolate, sugar, eggs, flour, and pistachios, mix to combine.
Butter a 9 x 9 inch square pan and spread to about a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thickness.
Sprinkle over the chopped chocolate from step 2 and place in the oven for 25mins or until set.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely before slicing or removing from the pan.
Seems so simple, right? I ended up doing the following due to my poor recipe following skills…
Melt 140g chocolate and 100g-120g butter* in a heatproof bowl. Add in all the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Stir in 2 lightly beaten eggs then 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and the pistachios.
Bake until set in 180 degree C oven, then leave to cool completely before serving.
* I’ve reduced the amount of butter for you in this version (do not use 180g!)
Enjoy with milk, ice cream, or as well-earned brownie points!