There is always hope (and cake)

As I sit and write, the sun is shining and the birds and the bees are flying around the garden.

Did we ever think we would get here? Possibly not. Yes, there were shared hopes and dreams, it’s what brings people together, it’s what makes friends. But actually being here now, in this moment? Do those hopes and dreams, without actually planning anything, shape your future? By seeing a ‘hope’ or a ‘dream’, an outcome to your life in the future, are you sub-consciously following a path you don’t know you are following? Is that destiny? Or have we programmed ourselves to seek that path that leads us inadvertently to where we want to be?

Clearly there are those that plan, that decide where they want to be and that defines them. But at what cost? There are those that can afford to get what they want (where’s the fun in that 😀?) and indeed do. Surely sub-consciously is more fun? Too many questions, too many barriers, ups and downs, too a hope/dream that is sub-consciously led. There are of course many studies into mindfulness, well-being and NLP that go into far more detail. To quote a Talking Heads song lyric (from the track ‘Once in a Lifetime’) – ‘How did I get here?’ I really don’t know. But does it really matter, I’m here now so what’s next!

Some cake,  from which came from somewhere…..

To be made in 2 stages… a brownie base and a hazelnut meringue.

Start either way around, I made the brownie first.

Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180c, 160c fan and line and grease a round 8”, deep cake tin.

300g milk chocolate (I use Callebaut)

180g butter

230g caster  sugar

3 large

1 teaspoon vanilla

100g gluten free plain flour

1 jar of hazelnut chocolate spread

Melt the chocolate, broken into small pieces, and the butter together in a glass bowl, over a saucepan of gently simmering hot water. Ensuring no water gets into the bowl. Once melted set aside to cool a little before adding the sugar and then beating in the eggs – one at a time. Beat in the vanilla and then fold in the flour. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 40 minutes. Leave to cool before popping in the fridge to set firm and then remove from the tin, but not before it has set firm. Trim any rough edges if required.

To make the hazelnut meringue – grease and line a 8” cake tin and preheat the oven to gas 4, 180c, 165c fan.

2 egg whites

130g caster  sugar

1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar

75g roasted ground almonds. If you can only get whole nuts – place them on a tray and put into the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and blend/blitz using a food processor.

Whisk the egg whites until light and fluffy and then whisk in the caster sugar  and tablespoon at a time. Ensuring you whisk well between each addition of the sugar. It will become a rich shiny white once all the sugar has been added. Whisk in the wine vinegar and then fold in the ground hazelnuts. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool, then carefully remove from the tin.

To assemble, place the brownie onto your cake stand, spread with chocolate hazelnut spread, you could leave some to drizzle over the finished cake if you wish and top with the hazelnut meringue.

Slice and serve with all your hopes and dreams.

Happy Fathers Day.

 

 

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