If you are ever unsure of the whereabouts of family members, you can guarantee that the wafts of  warm chocolately baking emitting from an oven of brownies will unearth them from locations near and far.

As if by sorcery, individuals within close proximity, who 15 minutes previously, could not hear you when you called for assistance with dish washing, suddenly appear in the kitchen with an interest to assist. Even those, riding bikes, at remote parts of the property, are lured in by the heady aroma of baked chocolate. No one is disappointed.

Taking inspiration from Frugal Feeding, who ingeniously added blueberries to his latest batch, I was prompted to defrost my much-loved raspberries and turn out yet another version of this irresistible treat – raspberry brownies. To ‘rattle out’ your own tray, follow this recipe (which is basically a brownie that I have made many times, with the addition of 150g of raspberries). If you have your own trusty standby, use it and add the same quantity of berries.

200g dark chocolate
150g butter
3 eggs, lightly beaten
175g brown sugar
75g plain flour
150g raspberries (if using frozen, thaw them well)

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease and line a 20cm square pan with baking paper or you can use a rectangular pan of similar dimensions.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar and sifted flour. Mix well.
  4. Fold in the chocolate mixture and then stir through the raspberries.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 mins. Check earlier as all ovens cook at different speeds!
  6. Cool in the pan before cutting into approximately 12 squares. Delicious served just warm.

The more patient individuals in this household were able to enjoy their brownies for dessert, accompanied by vanilla ice-cream – in a bowl. Others gorged themselves straight from the cooling tray…

Postscript: I can’t help thinking, that Darby and Joan would have been much happier by their fireplace if they too could share in a piece of this brownie.



Soft drink really isn’t our cup of tea.

Correction – my cup of tea, as I’m sure if you canvassed the junior members of the household there may be a different response. Making fresh raspberry cordial is my way of meeting them half way and on a warm afternoon, served with chilled soda and a sprig of mint, there are no complaints.

Using those same raspberries that decorate my breakfast bowl, lemon juice and some sugar, you can whip up almost two bottles of luscious red syrup, which look particularly attractive in the door of the refrigerator. Experiment with other varieties of frozen berries –  the mixed berry packs make delicious cordial too.

5 cups water
2 cups sugar
juice of 1 lemon
500 grams frozen raspberries

Pour water into a large bowl, add sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Stir in lemon juice. Place berries in a separate bowl and add a cup of the sugar syrup. Using a stick blender, puree the berries completely. Pour the berry mix back into the main sugar syrup bowl and stir. Using a funnel, decant the mixture into bottle(s). Chill.

To make the drinks up, pour as much as you like (over ice is nice), throw in some fresh mint leaves and top with soda water or sparkling mineral water.

If you have an aversion to loads of disposable plastic bottles circulating through your home, as I do, I can recommend the bubbler we use below – one bottle, loads of tap water and a constant supply of sparkling liquid.

Postscript: I prefer mine stirred not shaken…