Rain, floods and chocolate

We had some rather dramatic weather this week, with torrential rain causing land slips and travel disruptions.  117.4mm fell in Paraparaumu up the Kapiti coast, 96 mm in Lower Hutt and 48mm in the city itself.   Lots of commuters were stranded both in Wellington and up the coast, when trains stopped and roads were closed.  This unfortunately highlighted how quickly isolated Wellington can become.  Luckily, living where we do, we had no problems getting about.

On Monday evening, we went to see Noel Fielding (British comedian/performer, perhaps best known for ‘The Mighty Boosh’) as part of the Comedy Festival on just now.  He was performing in the recently refurbished Opera House, which, I just learned today, has a stage bigger than that of the Sydney Opera House.  The last time I was there it had the feel of ‘faded grandeur’ about it, with its marble staircase and  Victoriana.  Anyway, it is now on the way to returning to its former glory.

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The ceiling of the upstairs bar, Opera House Wellington

Although it is dry today, it has been a little gloomy, and such a contrast to last weekend’s lovely weather.  While the meat is cooking for another beef and ale pie, so appropriate for this autumnal season, I baked a batch of Chocolate Lace Crisps.  Not sure about the mix of the smells of warm chocolate baking and stew cooking though…anyway, here’s the recipe.

Melt 100g of chopped up dark cooking chocolate with 80g of butter in a small saucepan over a low heat.  Transfer this mixture to a mixing bowl.  Stir in 220g caster sugar, 1 beaten egg, 150g of sifted plain flour, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.  Cover, and refrigerate for about 15 minutes until the mixture is firm enough to handle.

Preheat the oven to 180C, grease oven trays and line with baking paper.  Roll desert spoons of mixture into balls, and roll each on in a little icing sugar.  Place on trays with a good space between them and bake for about 15 minutes.  Cool on the trays.

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Verdict: A really chocolatey, crispy biscuit which goes extremely well with coffee.  I guess you could add nuts?  Anyway, an excellent and very easy biscuit that anyone could make and impress their friends.

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Recipe from Australian Women’s Weekly “Cakes, Biscuits and Slices”

 

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