Bearhands quit smoking when I was four months pregnant with the Big Sister. He'd always promised he'd be finished with the fags by the time we had a family, but I'll admit when he chose a pricey laser treatment as his quit method, I was sceptical.
I was wrong (yes darling, wrong!) and he kicked butt. He smoked his last cigarette on the steps of the clinic and has been smoke-free for five and a half years.
There are a thousand things I love about him being off the durries, but two things stand out the most. I no longer have to fish cigarette butts out of the pockets of his shorts before I wash them and more importantly, Bearhands regained his sense of taste. Don't get me wrong, he still owns far too many striped golf shirts, but he has developed a taste for real beer. Christmas comes in October for Bearhands: all the big bottlos start selling fancy beers for Oktoberfest and he sets about sampling new brews from far-off lands.
350ml stout or dark beer
1 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
2 cups brown sugar
115g butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup white cooking chocolate, chopped
½ cup dark cooking chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 160°C.
Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with aluminium foil, allow the foil to extend 2 inches beyond each short side of pan – these will be the handle from which you can lift the brownies from the pan.
In large bowl, whisk the stout and cocoa until blended and smooth. One at a time, mix in the sugar, butter, vanilla extract and eggs. Blend well. Add flour and salt and whisk until batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour mixture in the prepared pan. Flatten the surface with a spatula. Bake until top is shiny and dry, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. You don’t want to overcook brownies, so start checking at around 40 minutes (mine took 45). Remove from oven and cool in pan.
Serve with dollop cream and more dark beer!
are you a beer drinker?
hit me with your favourite brew