Monday, 17 June 2013
Yesterday I got back from holiday. I went to the Lake District, which is in the North (having grown up in Devon, Oxford is north, but this is North, a nearly-Scotland sort of North).
While I was there, I went completely offline. I left my laptop in Oxford and turned my phone off. I found it hard - I hadn't realised that I fill every gap in my day fiddling on my phone and I felt naked without it - but I really needed a quiet break.
I went up to the Lakes because I was doing a weekend course with Ivan Day, who is a world expert on the history of British and European food. Ivan's a fascinating man - I could sit and listen to him talk and tell stories for days. His house is a treasure trove and the food was absolutely wonderful - some of the best I've had in ages.
As you might have guessed, I really recommend his courses. You can see them here - I'm hoping to go on the sugarwork one in the autumn. On the second day I gave in and took my phone (in airplane mode) so I could take a few photos to remember it by: this is the raised pie and the savoy cake we made and this is the glorious garden we were churning ice creams and water ices in.
Anyway - to the point. A few months ago I received an email from Zita of Zizi's Adventures, asking if I could write her a guest post while she looked after her newborn son. I met Zita a few years ago at Food Blogger Connect - she's from Hungary and writes about vegetarian food.
Back when I wrote the post I'd just started making Alice Medrich's famous cocoa brownies. For Zita I decided to try an extra virgin coconut oil version with brown sugar and a touch of toasted coconut on top. They have a thin crust and a soft, tender middle.
Edit 25/05/16 - I made these recently using the same weight of butter as coconut oil and showered a big handful of chopped hazelnuts on top. Different to my favourite super-rich brownies but definitely a nice change.
To read the little interview and see the recipe, click here.
Three of Zita's posts I like:
Milk Pie - Baking with my Grandmother
Roasted Apricots with Lemony Mascarpone