Saturday, 28 April 2012

A Surprise and Bacon Brownies

Before I left work, I asked my friends not to make a big fuss about it. So last Thursday, we decided to go to the cinema to watch The Avengers Assemble and then perhaps going someplace to eat afterwards.

On the evening, I was told that my friend Adam made a mess with the ticket booking for the cinema and we're now going to a different one that's further away from where I live. Alison and Cian picked me up and on the way we have to fetch Adam too.

When we got to Adam's place, he wasn't ready yet, so we went up to his flat. I was panicking a little bit because I know we're gonna be late for the film and I'm going to miss the trailers at the beginning! But oh well, never mind...

Adam's flat was dark, warm and smelled delicious. That was my comment when I got in. When I opened the door to his lounge, "Surprise!!!" shouted everyone. All my colleagues and friends were there. I was so shocked!!

I never had a surprise party. I've been involved in many, but this one was for me... The room was beautifully decorated with pictures of me and friends, balloons and the food... let's talk about food. The spread was truly amazing. Everybody contributed a dish or two. Some home-made and some store bought.

Alison cooked a delicious slow-cooked beef in hoisin sauce and Chinese 5 spice. Liam made canap├ęs or burritos and chilli con carne. Mark baked fairy cakes. Janet brought her gooey caramel slice. Michelle with the Chocolate cake. Somebody brought salad which was a nice thought but I believe it was untouched... Anyway, that's just some of the food. It was a feast!

Later in the evening, I was presented with a gift that appeared like a book. I opened the box and it was the new iPad! Oh my God! Second shock of the evening. I would be more than happy with a cookbook, but an iPad... I was out of words. I was so touched.

No, we didn't go to the cinema that evening. And that party was just truly amazing. Great food, lots of drinks and wonderful company of friends (and an iPad)... I count myself very lucky that I have such amazing friends. I will miss them very much...

The next day, on my last day at work, I baked Nigella's Bacon Brownies. If you haven't tried this before, I urge you to try it. It sounds strange combining chocolate and bacon, but believe me, it's delicious. All I and Mae West can say is too much of a good thing can be wonderful indeed.



Bacon Brownies
Recipe by Nigella Lawson

125 gr thin rashers of streaky bacon, cut into fine slices
2 tsp golden syrup
150 gr soft unsalted butter
250 gr soft light brown sugar
75 gr best cocoa powder
150 gr plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 large eggs, beaten
159 gr dark chocolate, chopped or use dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 190 C and get out a 25 cm square tin and line it, or do what I did by using disposable foil baking tray.

Heat a pan, preferably non stick and cook the bacon bits until beginning to crisp. Add the syrup, stir again and transfer to a plate.

Melt the butter over gentle heat in a medium sized saucepan and when it's melted add the brown sugar and stir with a wooden spoon.

Take the pan off the heat and add the cocoa, flour, bicarb and stir. The add the eggs and stir again.

The the chopped chocolate or chips and the bacon bits. Fold together then pour into the tin.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until it's still a little gooey inside. Let it cool a little and serve warm.

20 comments:

  1. AWW what lovely friends you have!! Good Luck with whatever your next step is!! I didn't really know how I felt about these brownies when I first came across them, but I definitely trust your opinion, so may just give them a go!! xx

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    1. Indeed. I have some lovely friends. Thank you Alex. You've got to try these brownies.

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  2. WOW!!! Happy birthday Michael! The party sounds like a real blast, good food, good drinks and good friends. What more can you want? And an ipad??? WOW!! I want your friends :)

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    1. It's not really my birthday Andrea. A surprise leaving party. It was just wonderful. I love my new ipad.

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  3. Michael, that's so lovely (and well-deserved, I bet). Have a wonderful holiday and I can't wait to hear about your Cordon Bleu adventures (pouts in jealousy). Bon voyage!

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    1. Thanks Lucy. Don't worry. You'll be hearing lots about it :)

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  4. Wow! That's great...a surprise party where you are actually surprised!! It sounded wonderful, so nice of all your friends. Lucky you!

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    1. Thanks Lyndsey. I had no idea at all. My friends are great liars too.

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  5. Isn't that the loveliest thing? You're so lucky to have had such wonderful work colleagues and they're just as lucky to have had you. Love the bacon brownies too!

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    1. I am the lucky one to have them in my life. Thank you Dom.

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  6. Oh, Michael.. what an incredible group of friends you have! You are so very lucky - few people get to experience that kind of love and support these days. You deserve it!!
    Oh yes, and the brownies sound delicious...but how could they not with bacon????

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    1. Thanks Jenn. Chocolate, butter and bacon... how bad can that be? :)

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  7. your friends are wonderful people! I've taken part in many birthday surprises, but never been the star of one myself. you're really luck to have such a beautiful circle of friends, and I;m glad you had a blast with them, with lots of food involved!

    ooh and bacon brownies sound like the greatest sinful delight there could be. good one!

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    1. Thank you Shu Han. It's kinda sinful, but it's sin I'd do again and again... :)

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  8. What a nice surprise party Michael...you are sure well liked :)
    Bacon in brownies...sound awesome!
    Have a wonderful week.

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    1. Thank you Juliana. It is awesome, yes! Have a wonderful week to you too.

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  9. How lovely! Aren't surprise parties the best?! I had my first one last week. Yours sounds amazing and an iPad is a wonderful gift! :o

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    1. Hi Lorraine. Thank you. They're the best indeed. :)

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  10. Your work friends must really love you. Did you cry?! :)
    Have a gorgeous Indonesia trip, and remember, you're always welcome to stay with me in Australia! as long as you don't mind sharing a room with our new cat, a 2 year old boy and my whole entire cookbook collection! (didn't think so)

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    1. Like a baby! I was so touched.
      Thank you. I am having a wonderful trip so far. I really want to visit Australia! I will let you know. I look forward to sleeping in your cookbook library. Sweet dreams!

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