Tuesday, 4 September 2012


In an ideal world, I would have been back in England this weekend, watching my friend B get hitched (in a tipi!) to her lovely man M.

But, sadly, another trip back just wasn't logistically or financially do-able. So instead, I've been eating, drinking, generally hanging out with LA peeps - and re-discovering my baking mojo.

I used to bake a lot. Pretty much every week, I'd head into the office with cupcakes, or biscuits, or cookies. I could whip up a mean Victoria sponge. And an excellent cointreau chocolate cake.

And then my beautiful stand mixer went into storage, I moved to a new city, in a new country, worked from home and realised that I didn't have enough people to actually consume all the stuff I was baking. And while I'm willing to go to heroic lengths, I can't actually eat an entire cake on my own...

But this weekend a few friends and I decided to go to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and watch Scarface. With a picnic.

I volunteered to make dessert.

I thought I'd ease myself back into this baking malarkey slowly (plus I still don't have most cake pans, a whisk, a sieve, or pretty much anything else needed for more complicated recipes) with chocolate brownies.

I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, and whipped up a batch with only minimal flour-spilling, kitchen destroying antics.

And they really are pretty good - a touch gooey, rich without being cloying, and just a little bit salty.

The picnic was a success. The film, less so.

The cemetery is always a super-cool place to see films. We had blankets and cushions, we had insane amounts of food. But, in retrospect, trying to watch a three-hour movie featuring a host of incomprehensible accents, whilst one's view is partially obscured by bushes, gravestones, and latecomers - not the greatest idea. By about half an hour in, we were all giggling like maniacs trying to work out what the hell anyone was saying to anyone else, who anyone was and why they were taking chainsaws to one another.

We made it to the two-hour mark, admitted defeat and headed home. The strange thing is, I think we had more fun than if we'd actually paid attention to exactly what Pacino was getting up to...


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