Happy New Year to all of SurreyK’s readers. To be honest I always feel a bit of a fraud whenever I say that phrase to anyone because January isn’t the easiest of months is it? The Christmas and New Year cheer are in the distant past, your broke, the days are short and grey, it’s cold and dark and spring still seems so far away. And if you’re prone to seasonal affective disorder like I am, you will be struggling from the lack of light, which makes January a real challenge every year.
So how do I soothe myself you ask? By cooking. It’s the reason I started this blog in the first place. For me cooking is like meditation. My yoga teacher is always talking about feeling centred and growing strong roots and for me the kitchen is where I retreat to when life gets a little bumpy.
So here is a favourite recipe of mine to banish away the January Blues.
300g caster sugar
4 large eggs
70g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
410g can pear halves
A handful of fresh raspberries
100g plain dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
25g flaked almonds
- Heat oven to 190C/170Cfan/gas5. Grease a roughly 20x30cm shallow ovenproof dish.
- Add the butter to a saucepan and place over a low heat until just melted. Remove the butter from the heat and mix in the sugar and the eggs with a wooden spoon.
- Sift the flour and cocoa powder on top of the egg mixture, then beat until combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place pears into the chocolate batter. Scatter in the raspberries.
- Put the chocolate on a chopping board and cut into small pieces with a knife. Scatter the chocolate pieces over the batter and sprinkle with almonds.(You can freeze pudding at this stage to cook at a later date.)
- Bake in the oven for approx 30 minutes. Serve warm with cream, ice cream or custard.
When you’re feeling low, it’s really important to remind yourself that life is full of beauty and opportunities for enjoyment, if you look out for them. It may be as simple as enjoying a warming cup of tea on a cold day, the sound of your child laughing or having a chat with an old friend.
Happy New Year to all our readers! Emma, Ross and Alice xxx