It’s winter again. As you may already know I finally decided to stop the cycling to work for now. The morning chill rushing against my face was too much to bear, and my rosy cheeks upon arrival at work were rather embarrassing. So it’s tram for me lately, much to my sadness. It takes me 20 minutes to cycle to work, and 55 minutes to get to work via public transport. Trams are always delayed; inspectors are scary. It’s safe to say that we Melburnians do not like our public transport system. However, we do tend to complain about very menial things, like the fact that it is “so cold” when it really isn’t.
Many people have been complaining that this winter has been the coldest ever, although people repeat this every year. I disagree. This winter has been beautiful. We had one week of rain and ever since, it’s been sunshine mostly every day. Some days the sun is so warm that I have to remove not only my scarf, but my winter coat too.
Last night I had a dream that we lived in France. It was winter; the fire was blazing, and we were entertaining our friends. I took a moment alone in our bedroom, whose window faced the vacant cul-de-sac featuring beautiful French buildings across the way. The snow was falling softly. It was so peaceful and thought-provoking. Alex entered the room (in my dream) and said, “The building is not that beautiful”. I closed the shutters and woke up.
This dream probably reflects my desires to live in Europe, but also my uncertainties of living in a city much, much colder than Melbourne, and so far away from a warm beach. The best cities to live in Europe are also the coldest. I sometimes wonder if I’d be able to bear living in a city that snows. I wouldn’t mind trying.
In the meantime, I don’t plan on baking much this month, as it is Ramadan and everyone at my work is fasting. We are having a dinner party tomorrow and I’m planning to make something amazing, but am very worried about the delectable leftovers lurking in the fridge for the next week. I’ll just have to suffer I suppose. Alex did start a new job this week, but perhaps it’s too early for him to start bringing treats in.
I made these brownies a few weeks ago. I purchased Reese’s peanut butter chips, a peculiar novelty that I had been wanting to try for a while. I found this lovely, rich brownie recipe and decided that it was imperative that these be made and eaten ASAP. If you can’t find Reese’s chips, just use any chocolate chip you like. These are rather moist and my colleagues were very disappointed once they were all gone.
- 140g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup plain flour
- ¾ cup peanut butter chips
- Preheat oven to 160°C/325°F (fan-forced 140°C/280°F). Line a 20x20cm (8x8in) square baking pan with baking paper, leaving an overhang.
- Melt the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in the microwave in 30 second increments. Mix after each interval until butter is melted. The mixture will appear sandy. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- Stir in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and stir after each egg until batter appears smooth and shiny. Gradually add the sifted flour with a whisk until just combined. Gently stir in the peanut butter chips and pour into prepared tray.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Brownies are ready when a toothpick inserted in the centre come out with crumbs on it. Bake for an extra 3-5 minutes if brownies are still wet.
- Leave brownies to cool completely before slicing.