Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Cakes, Brownies and the Nature of Blogging

Whan I posted about my brownies last week I had a request from Virginia to share the recipe, which I am happy to do:

Double Chocolate Brownies
3oz butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups chocolate chips
2 eggs (beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

In a saucepan, melt together the water, butter and sugar, bringing to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly and beat in the eggs and vanilla. Sift flour and baking powder together and stir into the chocolate mixture. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips. Pour mixture into a greased and lined 9 inch (23 cm) square tin and bake for 30 - 35 mins at 170 deg C. Cool in tin, turn out and cut into 16 squares.

This is the recipe I discovered when living in the US, it always works and is one that I have used faithfully for the past 24 years. But every so often I like to be unfaithful... and then I turn to Nigella again and make a huge decadent pile of her brownies, laced with walnuts and white chocolate. After some extensive tasting this week, I have decided this is the recipe I prefer.

On a completely different note, after reading this post from Alice, I decided to investigate and as a result I heard yesterday that my blog has also been selected by the British Library to be included in its UK Web Archive. It will be available for the future to represent aspects of UK documentry heritage, available to researchers and anyone who might be interested. This is hugely exciting for me and for a while I was worried that perhaps my blog should assume a weightier tone, providing an intelligent, witty, erudite and insightful view of British life today... but then common sense prevailed and I realised I would probably just continue with frequent photographs of cakes.

It did prompt some thinking on the nature of blogging though. Although my initial reason to blog was to document my degree course it soon became apparent that was not the complete story. If that was all it was, then I could just as easily keep a private journal but blogging is a public endeavour which requires an audience. There is very little point without readers and commentors and as ever I am always grateful to everyone who takes the time to read and/or comment, whether regularly or occasionally. For that I thank you. One new commentor on my blog has written about this far more eloquently than me, and you can read his thoughts here. As for me... I think I'll stick to cake!


  1. Congratulations on being selected for the UK Web Archive!
    So glad success is not going to change you, I like your cakes!! Thanks for the recipe by the way!
    Vivienne x

  2. Nothing wrong with cake pictures. In fact they are so very right. And congratulations on being selected for the UK Archive. I'm not sure what that is, but it sounds really cool.

  3. Congratulations Gina on the web archive inclusion thats amazing and I think you should stay just the way you are - thats why they picked you and the brownies look very yummy xx

  4. As someone who has made countless jars of mincemeat since your post on it a few weeks ago and who loves following your degree, I think you should keep the format the same. CONGRATULATIONS!

  5. I am SO delighted for you - I was feeling a bit exposed there by myself and you will be the best of company. I think it would be wonderful if as many people as possible were selected so that there is a true representation of the richness and diversity of the blogging community.

  6. Congratulations, absolutely brilliant!! Personally I think writing a blog is much better than a private journal, I've never managed to keep one of those for more than a month. And a big plus for me is I get to enjoy all of your cakes, so keep blogging and baking and thanks Gina x

  7. Congratulations but you nustn't go all posh on us, you write a good blog which must be why they picked you. Bring on more cakes I say.

  8. I'm trying not to drool all over the keyboard! Congrats on being included in the UK Web Archive - the power of cake!! Don't change a thing, we love you just the way you are.

  9. I heartily agree with Heather!
    Off to try the brownie receipe.

  10. Thank you for the brownie recipe - my waistline may suffer though! The blog archive people are an astute bunch - your blog is a lovely mix, and the variety keeps it interesting. Although I was initially attracted by the embroidery and design side of it, I'm loving the other things you bring into it. Please keep just being yourself!

    Off to make some brownies

  11. Congratulations on your blog been stored for posterity.
    The brownies look lovely, I'm going to get Neil to print the recipe off!

  12. Gosh that sounds exciting -a sort of 'housewife 49' for the 21st century. keep up the good work

  13. Well done Gina, but don't change the tone of your blog, it's nice to get a rounded picture of someone's life.
    twiggy x

  14. What an honour, congratulations! Has to be good for all us embroiderers. Hope it doesn't inhibit you though.

  15. Congrats on the archive thing and thanks for that link to thoughts on blogging. I knew I was an artist deep down somewhere!!

  16. Oh you must be so proud - that is lovely - and the brownies look absolutely scrummie.

  17. Mmm! And congratulations on being included in the blogging archive. Perhaps now I should work on writing more witty and erudite comments!

    K x

  18. congratulations about being included in the blog archive = tha's such a great reinforcement of what you do :)

    Lovely looking brownies and hope things are better than they were (last comment.)

    I too have been thinking about the nature of blogging and why I do it. Sharing, connection and expression are all key elements.

    Have a great weekend.


  19. Congratulations Gina!! What a wonderful affirmation of your blogging efforts!! Bring on the brownies.

  20. a well deserved award. congratulations Gina.

  21. Wow -- that's really cool Gina -- congratulations! And thanks for the ficklecattle link -- an interesting read!


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