I really don’t think I will get used to hearing the speakers all over town blast out Christmas songs when it’s a blistering 35 degrees out and I’m ducking inside for a bit of cooling air con. I am dreaming of a White Christmas…do you think we will have snow in Ireland this year? It’s cold enough for it!
Recipe testing brownies in the middle of summer in South Africa wasn’t my best idea, I will admit that but boy am I glad I got the notion when I did. They are rich, moist and a little nutty. I kept telling myself they were healthy, loaded with good fats, no refined sugar and gluten free definitely means they’re good for me, right? Although it doesn’t mean I should eat the whole tray 😉
I’m a big fan of Brownies, who isn’t?? But I wanted one that would welcome different flours, fats and sugars. I like to be awkward. These turned out surprisingly delicious albeit very much rich and indulgent.
We are getting pretty excited in our house as the big annual trip home to Ireland is so close, only 9 days to go. Despite living away from Ireland for three and a half years, I don’t think I will ever miss a Christmas at home. You spend all year saving up for that time of year when all (most) of your family and friends are in the same place ready to share stories from the last year. Huddled around the fireplace, hot port in one gloved hand and a mince pie in the other. What I am most looking forward to is sitting down at the dinner table with my family, it’s the time of day when all hell breaks loose in our house, everyone wants to speak first but in between mouthfuls of mum’s delicious dinners we all descend into silence until all the plates are cleaned and then the real chat begins. Hours have been spent around that kitchen table discussing every topic under the sun. I can’t take that for granted any more because I only get it once a year.
This has been the longest I have been away, a pretty big deal for me as I am so close to my family. I know I chose to move away but it does make it harder when all you want is a hug from your pops. I must say though it is all the more worthwhile when you do get that first hug at the airport and see those smiling familiar faces. It’s been a tough year, missing landmark birthdays, loved ones passing away and the all important hugs (I like hugs!!). It’s also a pretty important time for me to go back to Ireland. A goal I have been working on all year is nearly ready to begin and I couldn’t think of a better place to do it. Once I’m back in the old country I shall let you all know 😉
So, for those of you willing to turn the oven on to warm up. Try out these Coconut Chocolate Brownies, washed down with a glass of milk and you’ll have rosy cheeks in no time!
Coconut Chocolate Brownies
½ cup Coconut Oil
½ cup Raw Cacao Powder
¾ cup Honey/Maple Syrup/Rice Syrup
½ cup Milk (or your preferred choice of milk)
1 tspn Vanilla Essence
1 tspn Baking Powder
1/2 cup Coconut Flour
½ cup chopped Macadamia Nuts
4 squares 80% dark chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a baking dish with baking paper (15 x 27cm)
Cream the coconut oil and cacao powder together in a bowl, add in the honey, eggs, milk and vanilla essence .
Once evenly combined, add in Baking Powder and Coconut Flour.
Add in the chopped macadamias and dark chocolate.
Pop in the oven for 25 minutes (depending on your oven).
Leave to cool and then pop in the fridge for an hour (if you can resist!)
Top with the Probiotic Chocolate and a sprinkling of dessicated coconut…because you can just never have enough coconut!
This idea is from Susan Jane Murray. Her Raw Cacao Brownies with Probiotic Chocolate are to.die.for and I thought topping these moist brownies with even more chocolate was just the best idea ever. I’m just that little bit greedy! I doubled the recipe she has listed but there is no need if you only want a touch of ganache.
So, to all of those flying home for Christmas over the next few weeks, travel safe and hopefully I’ll see you for a mince pie!
Ps. Have you noticed my blog is SNOWING?!?!