It was 4pm in work and I was flagging a bit. I needed a boost. So when, on one of the wards where I was reviewing a patient, a box of Thornton's chocolates was produced from a grateful patient, I thought: 'Yesssssss! Gettt in!!!' in the manner of a rugby player scoring a try.
I delved straight in, without thought or consideration as to which one I was selecting. A fatal error, an amateur's mistake. Because even though I pride myself on being able to tell exactly what almost every chocolate in every chocolate box is, sometimes I make mistakes. Big ones.
For in my rush for a sugar-hit I popped in my mouth the one chocolate I abhore. I can't bear.
I have never, ever understood how the White Witch tempted Edmund in the Lion, Witch and Wardrobe with an endless supply of Turkish Delight. I scoffed at the thought of such foolish temptation; heck, I'd be running in the opposite direction from this most fearful of tyrrants brandishing Turkish Delight.
Very disappointed that I'd eaten what is really perfumed soap, I headed home and baked up a proper sweet treat: white chocolate and cranberry brownie. Not a White Witch in sight.
White Chocolate and Cranberry Brownies
(adapted from Jill Dupleix in The Times)
200g white chocolate, chopped
½tsp pure vanilla extract
130g plain flour
75g dried cranberries, chopped
1. Lightly butter a 20cm square straight-sided baking pan or swiss roll tin. Line the bottom with parchment or baking paper and butter the top of the paper/parchment
2. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4
3. Combine the butter with 100g of the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over a pan containing boiling water, heat gently and stir until melted
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla
5. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat, cool for a minute, then whisk in the egg mixture
6. Sift in the flour and salt, the remaining chopped white chocolate and the cranberries
7. Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing the top
8. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown
- The brownies can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days
- The cranberries can be replaced by a nut of your choosing, pecan nuts work particularly well