Dear Sam,

It is very difficult to find the words to respond to some of the things which are happening in the world at the moment, isn’t it? All of us in the UK are still recovering from the incident in London last week; today everyone is talking about the result of yesterday’s election and what that may mean for the future.  I think you are absolutely right that in times like this we need to focus on goodness and kindness and to draw closer to each other not move further apart.

For today’s post I’d planned to share a recipe with you and recent events have made me realise that sometimes getting on with an absorbing, homely task like baking can be a good thing to do when you’re a bit overwhelmed by the news.  Adding some happy music in the background while you work helps, too, I find.

I’ve called the recipe Bake Sale Brownies as it’s my fail-safe option when I need to produce something to be sold at a charity fundraiser or event. I am definitely under the curse of recipes going horribly wrong when you need them to work for an important occasion, so I like to do something I know won’t let me down. Here’s all you need to know if you’d like to give them a try:

125g butter

6 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 eggs

6 tablespoons self-raising flour

1 x 100g bag of choc chips- milk, white or dark

250g sugar


4oz or 1 stick  butter

1/2 cup cocoa powder (not hot chocolate)

2 eggs

2 cups self-raising flour

1 x 3.5oz. bag of choc chips- milk, white or dark

1  1/4 cups sugar


Heat the oven to Gas 4/ 180C/350F.

Grease and line a 20 x 25cm /8in x 10in. baking dish.

Mix the eggs and sugar together.  Melt the butter in a saucepan with the sieved cocoa powder.  Allow to cool slightly, then add to the sugar and egg mixture and stir gently.

Sieve the  flour over the top of the mixture and fold in; do not overmix. Add the chocolate chips, combine well and pour the mixture into the baking dish.

Bake for 35 minutes.  When they come out of the oven, the brownies will be squishy in the centre but will firm up as they cool.  When cold enough, cut into even portions. Decorate, for example with icing (powdered) sugar as shown in picture, or with white chocolate piping in a pattern or wording relevant to the charity event.

You can sell the brownies individually or box them up in sixes for more profit! They freeze well, so you can bake batches ahead of time if you need to make a large quantity. Don’t forget to save a few to enjoy at home with a cup of tea.

Much love,