The other morning, Pink asked me if I was "On energy saving mode, Mummy?" To be fair to her, I had made a comment to the effect that I hadn't yet done something that morning (I forget what - it was undoubtedly inconsequential in the grand scheme of things), and she was relating this in the context of a discussion she had been having at school with a friend about how to counter an allegation of laziness. I thought it was quite inventive, and actually, I rather like the idea of being on energy saving mode, particularly now that the Indian Summer has come, rather abruptly, to a close, the mellow blue skies and hazy warmth of the last couple of weeks replaced by a rather fitful, sullen wind and rain that can't decide whether to spit, shower or torrential downpour (we've had all 3 today). That plus the fact that in the 2 days since Friday, all of a sudden, 6.30 a.m. when we are dragged from our slumber Monday to Friday, is now very dark. Yes, energy saving mode seems very attractive, as does curling up on the sofa in front of a fire and not doing much till Spring...
But life of course goes on, despite the onset of Autumn. There is work to be done, a dog to be walked (whatever the weather) and children to provide with packed lunches and to welcome home from school. These latter activities can of course be done without fancy kitchen activities when you have juggled enough and are 'in energy saving mode' (that's what shops are for, as I have come to appreciate). However, if you too feel like being in energy saving mode, yet also fancy a rather delicious home made bake every now and again, this is for you, particularly if you have a food mixer and can delegate the beating element. There's nothing innovative about the raspberry/chocolate combo, but let's face it, just as this is the time of year for apple and blackberry, plums and star anise, casserole and dumplings, why try to be adventurous? And let's face it, anything with a tin of condensed milk in it has got to be a good thing.
Raspberry & Chocolate Blondies
Adapted from the Nigella Lawson recipe in Kitchen, you could play about with the chocolate/fruit combo. White choc and blackberries might be quite good...
100g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb
150g unsalted butter (try and take this out of the fridge beforehand)
100g soft light brown sugar
1 tin of condensed milk
1 large egg
100g milk chocolate chips
Line a brownie tray with foil or greaseproof paper
Put the oats in a bowl and sift in the flour & bicarb.
Beat together the butter and sugar until very pale and creamy then pop the condensed milk and beat that in until well combined.
Reduce the speed, then tip in the oats & flour.
Beat in the egg, then mix in the chocolate, then lastly, and swiftly the raspberries. You could fold these in carefully but I quite like the raspberry ripple effect a quick beat gives the batter. And honestly, I couldn't be bothered to find a spoon...
Scrape the batter into your tin, smooth it down and bake for 35-40 minutes. Use your judgement - as with brownies, you want to take this out of the oven before it's solid. The surface needs to be cooked, but with some (but not too much) wobble underneath which will solidify as it cools in the tin.
Once cold, you can slice it up. Apparently it freezes very well, but why would you?