Monday, 28 May 2012

Cheer Us Up Brownies

I'm starting off by re-posting the few recipes I'd posted on my old blog.

I'm currently a baking and cake lover without access to an oven. To start with, this depressed me. Now, I'm learning that with a bread maker/rice cooker and a bit of creativity you can do a pretty good job of making cakes. I've been fairly successful at making lots of different types of cake in a rice cooker (biscuits are still beyond me, but I'm working on it!), but the most fool-proof I've found is my favourite recipe for Chocolate Brownies.

I think we got this recipe out of a Beaver (in England, they're young Scouts) annual, about 15 years ago, and my Mum and I have been making it frequently ever since. It's really chocolatey and gorgeously gooey, while still retaining a good cakey-ness. It's also so easy and, as I mentioned above, pretty foolproof. 

The name 'Cheer Us Up Brownies' was coined by a friend of mine. My Mum would always make them for us all when we were going off hiking, and they were the best thing to pull out at that moment when nobody felt they could take another step! After we all went off to University, my Mum made a lot of friends by posting them round to me and my friends when she knew we had exams!

If you want to make it into more of a dessert, serve them warm with cream or ice cream and some sort of berries (raspberries are best if you can get your hands on them). John and I just usually munch them as they are straight out of the rice cooker. Don't expect them to last long.


(If you're using an oven, I suggest doubling the amount below. If you're using a rice cooker/bread maker, this amount should be about right)

50g margarine or butter
50g dark chocolate (if you live in Japan, the ¥100 shop Daiso sell great stuff)
50g self raising flour OR 50g plain flour plus 1/2tsp baking powder
100g castor sugar
1 egg

Optional extras:
If you like your brownie really REALLY chocolately and gooey, add a tablespoon of cocoa powder and a splash of water.
If you want to be super indulgent, you can add 50g chocolate chips/chunks.
Some crazy people like walnuts in their brownie. Add 50g if you're so inclined.


Melt the chocolate and marg/butter together. Microwave fine, just use a low/medium heat and stir frequently.

Stir in all the other ingredients, plus any/all of the optional extras you fancy.

For those lucky enough to have an oven:
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4/350°F
Grease or line a baking tray, either about 7"x7" (15cm square) for the amount above or about 7"x11" (15cm x 22cm) if you followed my advice and doubled it. 
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife stuck into it comes out almost clean.

For those of us with rice cookers/bread makers:
Lightly grease the cooking tin. Pour the mixture in and cook until a knife stuck in comes out almost clean. On my machine, I set it going on rice cook, leave it through the cook and steam phase, then repeat. After 2 cycles it's perfect. I guess it'll vary with different machines though.

Eat and Enjoy!

My Tummy and My Kitchen

My name is Susie. I'm 23 years old and from Suffolk in England. I moved to Sendai, Japan in November last year with my boyfriend, John. If you want to hear more about our lives here, check out my other blog,

We both love eating cooking, and so I have decided to set up a second blog about our cooking and eating habits. I'm hoping to include recipes for all our old favourites, share cooking experiments, give links to some great online recipes and give alternatives for hard-to-find ingredients.

We tend to use recipes (usually from the internet) as a basis for our cooking, but we aren't too fussy about sticking to them closely.

What we cook:
We like trying to make new foods of all kinds. We generally prefer Asian food, but cook food from all over the place. I also love to make cakes. We're not vegetarians, but we generally prefer to use vegetables and beans over meat. We eat lots of healthy food, but we usually eat too much of it. I eat far too much chocolate and cake.

Where we cook:
We live in a tiny apartment. The kitchen looks like this...

...and that's it. 

2 hobs, a microwave, a sink. In the main room of our apartment, we have a small table that has to suffice for all surface space. We also have a combined bread maker and rice cooker, which fulfills our oven needs.

Our somewhat cramped cooking space doesn't limit what we cook, and is continuously making us more creative on how to make our favourite meals. 

So, without further ado, it's time for our Tummy Tales to begin!