My girlfriend called and said “come over for dinner tonight – we have fresh fish!” She and her partner are keen fisherman and had been out fishing off the coast of Kaiaua.
Kaiaua is a little seaside town about an hour 15 minutes from the North Shore of Auckland. About 102kms…it is known as the Seabird Coast, summer home to a Arctic wading bird of all things! It has a mineral hot springs – Miranda Hot Pools – just down the road – and is known for having a superb fish and chip store!
So anyway back to the dinner invitation which was accepted – with a “I’ll make a salad”…which then led to whipping up my favourite chocolate brownie recipe. Well my girlfriend had weathered the seas for dinner so I felt it only fair to bring desert too!
2 cups of chopped dates in a bowl with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 3/4 cup of boiling water stirred. Add 200g finely chopped/diced butter. Stir in the butter until melted and live to stand for about 20 minutes. (you want your dates mushy so just test them out – they may need longer to soak).
While the dates are soaking in the butter and water….take 4 eggs and whip them up in a small bowl with 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence/paste (vanilla paste is my preference but essence or extract is fine). Stir in 2 cups of caster sugar, then 1 cup of cocoa powder, 1 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. Stir in 250g chocolate – anyway you like it! ie., chocolate chips, or dark chocolate cut into small chunks.
After mashing the dates with a fork fold them into the rest of the mixture.
Pour into your prepared slice tin – approx 30cm by 24cm in size. Pop into a oven to 160°c and bake for abut 50 minutes. The brownie will start to come away from the sides of the tin….cool before cutting into squares.
I took the chocolate brownie over to dinner still warm from the oven, in the baking pan! We dusted it with icing sugar, and enjoyed a slice or two with a cup of tea after a wonder fun meal of fresh snapper and a green salad!
I have to tell you we were feeling quite virtuous after eating such a healthy meal…and reassured ourselves that because the brownie was made with dates – adding fibre,vitamins and antioxidants and other essential nutrients we had covered all the bases!
Give it a go – the kids won’t even notice the dates and it keeps nicely in a sealed container for a couple of weeks – if you have self-control that is! 🙂
Happy baking xx