6.50pm, Wednesday eve
We’re dealing with anger-management issues at the moment. Namely that Ollie needs to learn to ‘use his words’ rather than throwing things when angry.
For some reason we are discussing this as we park up his bike in the garage. It has something to do with him being cross with me for ‘hurting his bike’s (aka Stinger’s) feelings’, but I’m not sure what I’ve done.
The kids burst through the front door and dump down their bags and shoes and coats in the hall. I’m telling them about the bad, old days when I used to feel pushed to the limit with tantruming toddlers, and it was recommended to me (by a fellow sufferer) to scream into a pillow when things got REALLY bad.
Obviously the children want to try this out immediately and rush into the lounge to scream into cushions. I worry that the neighbours will think they are the screams of children being suffocated to death.
I repeatedly ask them, shouting over the screaming, to go upstairs and put on their pyjamas. Ollie gets as far as the hall and flops down onto the floor, refusing to move. My blood pressure’s going up. It’s been a long day and they JUST NEED TO GO TO BED!
I persuade, I plead, then I use the, ‘Right you’re making me really angry!’ line. (In truth, it’s taken me about 10 seconds to get to this point.)
Ollie sits up casually and says, “Why don’t you just go and scream into a pillow, mum? It’ll make you feel better.”
D’you know what? I think, I might just do that! But instead, I turn back to the kitchen and head straight for the brownies baked earlier this afternoon. I tear off the foil covering them and sit down, still in my coat. I take a bite of the chocolatey, chewy deliciousness and instantly feel a bit calmer. I’ll tackle bed-time in a minute, I think.
Except that Daisy is now screaming: Ollie has made it upstairs and is whipping her with his pyjamas….
Maybe it’s better if I just stay here and eat another slice, I decide.
- large eggs, 2, beaten
- baking powder, half tsp
- almond milk, 3 tbsp
- dark chocolate, 75g chopped
- Pure Sunflower Spread, 150g
- walnuts & peacans, 40g of each chopped
- soft light brown sugar, 240g
- vanilla extract, three quarters tsp
- gluten free self-raising flour, 150g
- salt, pinch of
20 x 30cm baking tray, greased and lined.
Preheat the oven at gas mark 3/170C / 325F.
Melt the chocolate and margarine in a heat-proof bowl above a pan of boiling water. Make sure the water is not touching the pan.
When they have melted, put the bowl aside to cool down a little.
Whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla essence together.
Pour the melted chocolate mixture into a large bowl. Add the chopped nuts . Then stir in the liquids (milk, egg etc). Finally fold in the flour and baking powder.
Pour the mixture into the tin and cook for approximately 30 minutes until the top is crisp, but the centre is still slightly gooey.
Leave in the tin until completely cool, then cut into squares.
This is my first attempt at dairy & gluten-free brownies and they taste amazing! Make sure you use dark chocolate with a high cocoa content; too much sugar in the chocolate will make the brownies too sweet.
And you may need to turn up the temperature slightly on your oven. Above is the temperature that worked for me, but other recipes state 180C or gas mark 4.
An adaptation of Pippa Kendrick’s Chocolate Nut Brownies from her amazing book, The Intolerant Gourmet.