Sunday, 17 February 2008

Better than expected

Well the weeks adventures were better than expected - the lodge we stayed at for our team bonding was stunning, my room had a four-poster bed. The resident ghost kept some of the others awake but I seem to have slept through that one!

This picture is the view from my bedroom quite early in the morning - stunning.

I meet some knitters whilst I was there, they very kindly agreed to take me to some local knitting shops next time I am in the Finnish office.

We did some Nordic walking - I couldn't really see that it was that different to normal walking, apart from the poles that kept my upright on the ice!

As you can see there was very little snow, the ski resorts in the rest of Europe are doing okay but the Nordics are missing out this year.

A very beautiful dawn, it was about -7 degrees but very very windy!

I felt the urge to bake this weekend - cream cheese swirl brownies, I am taking them to work so I don't eat them all myself!

375g Unsalted butter
375g Good dark chocolate
550g Caster sugar
7 eggs
1 tbsp Vanilla extract
1tsp Salt
200g Cream cheese - Philly!
225g Plain flour + 2 tbsp
Tin that measures 33 x 23 x 5.5 cm

Preheat the oven to 180C or gas 4 - we have an Aga so it's pretty much guesswork for me!

Line the tin - brownies stick very firmly - I use tin foil

Melt the butter and sugar together in the microwave - if it gets to hot you should wait for it to cool down or you get scrambled choco eggs - yuck.

Mix 6 eggs and 500g sugar with the vanilla - stir to combine

Tip the egg/sugar/vanilla mix into the chocolate butter, stir carefully as the mix thickens slightly.

Add the flour (except the 2 tbsp) and salt. Mix gently to remove lumps, try not to incorporate too much air as you really want stodgy brownies (I think that is the point of them really!)

Pour the mixture into the tin. Now make the cream cheese bit - mix the cream cheese, egg and remaining flour together, if you squidge the cheese about first it is easier to get the lumps out. Plop blobs of cheese over the top of the brownie and swirl together prettily.

Pop them in the oven for around 40 minutes in my Aga but normal ovens can take as little as 25 - keep checking, you want the brownie squidgy but not liquid. They keep cooking after you take them out as well. Let them cool before trying to cut them, then apply to face.
Ahhh at last some knitting!

I confess I bought these in Helsinki - I was cold and they are beautiful. The lady in the shop was really lovely and helpful. They sold yarn too - of course I bought some, who am I kidding!
These are a Finnish pattern but made in Estonia because the labour is cheaper - 32 Euros for these gloves! I was surprised they are made from alpaca but it is a lot softer than the traditional rough wool, that was available as well and I don't think you notice itchiness when it is very cold but I wanted these really bright ones.

Some of my own knitting now - This is the Ene that I have been making - I have got no further and still have not decided what to do about the possibility of running out of yarn!
These pictures really aren't doing the colour justice, I find it hard to capture dark yarn on a light background but can't seem to find a better way to show the stitches.

1 comment:

Floderten said...

Oh I hope you finish the Ene scarf, it looks so pretty!!

And it's true, Scandinavia really hasn't gotten a lot of snow this winter. We haven't even had ankle-deep!! It's creeping me out, to be honest. While I don't particularly like cold weather, I prefer a good snow storm to get it over and done with. This ... is just no good.

I will have to try those brownies some time, they look delicious!!