Chocolate, Caramel & Salt.

I read a comment on Facebook where someone described depression as a maze. That, there is no map and it’s different to each person who encounters this maze. That, the maze rearranges itself and no matter how far forward through the maze one can get, at some point it will take a drastic turn, or create a lovely fork in the maze.

I’m glad I got to see this comment. It makes a lot of sense to me, and is a great way to describe something not everyone understands.

For me, my maze goes in loops with the occasional turn. It’s a cycle of good weeks and bad weeks and an urge to wonder off the looped path but then too scared of the uncertainty.

Having recently moved I was keen to try something fairly basic to suss out the different oven. My step-mother always told me fan ovens were the best for baking (I thought they were all the same and produced the same outcomes) until I used the gas oven in her and my dad’s flat. Out comes wonky cupcakes. Thankfully, my new oven is fan assisted. Woohoo.

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If I could spend loads of money on amazing ingredients, I would. But being a broke student nurse, baking ingredients aren’t really a priority!

Caramel.

Golden Caster Sugar 375g

Water 120mls

Double Cream 180g

Butter 37g

A good pinch of salt

I start off with the caramel so it has time to cool and harden a bit before dribbling over the brownies. In a pan bring the water to the boil. Once this is bubbling away pour in the sugar and give the pan a good swirl. Bring this mixture to the boil, until all the sugar has dissolved. Only swirl the pan to make sure all the sugar is dissolving. I definitely could of taken my caramel darker but it’s one of those things where, once it’s gone too dark, there’s no going back.

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Take off the heat and whisk in the cream, butter and salt. I then pour this into a baking tray and top with some more salt. Leave to cool.

Brownie

Butter 150g

Dark Chocolate (I used 74%) 300g

Eggs 6

Golden Caster Sugar 375g

Plain Flour 150g

Baking Powder 1 tsp

Preheat a fan assisted oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line a deep baking tray with a layer of butter and some greaseproof paper. This makes lifting the brownies out super easy.

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In a bowl over a pan of water melt the chocolate and butter. Make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl – it does not need to be boiling! As Merry Berry once said chocolate can melt in a child’s pocket. Therefore, it doesn’t need intense heat to melt! Just be patient and enjoy watching it turn into a glossy soup. Take off the heat too cool. In another bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.

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Mix together the chocolate and egg mixtures. Then beat in the dry ingredients. Pour into the prepared baking tray.

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Swirl in the salted caramel. There might be leftovers, this can keep in the fridge for up to two weeks and is a great addition to a hot chocolate. Bake the brownie for 35-40 minutes. Leave aside to cool.

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Marshmallow

White Caster Sugar 100g

Egg Whites 2

Lemon Juice 1tsp

Salt

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Whisk up the egg whites, lemon juice and a pinch of salt until light and fluffy. Add in the sugar gradually, approx a table spoon at a time, whisking each time. I would suggest using a metal or glass bowl for making meringue as plastic can get scratches which hold onto grease. Anything other then egg whites, lemon juice and salt in the bowl and your mixture won’t get to the desired consistency.

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Whisk until the mix is creating soft peaks and is glossy. Score the brownie to create 16 pieces. This helps when piping out the marshmallow.

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Pipe out the marshmallow and return to the oven for 10 minutes.

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I returned to counselling this week and I can’t express how glad I did (haven’t been since before Christmas). We discussed everything between then and now and it’s amazing how saying something out loud, and to someone who fully listens can make you realise how much you have achieved. I know counselling isn’t for everyone. It can be a long process, even just finding someone you connect with. But once that connection is achieved it can really help find that missing map to your maze.

 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Chocolate, Caramel & Salt.

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on the maze of depression and the value of counselling at its best. It sounds as if you and your counsellor have established a true relationship of trust. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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