Chocolate Earth at 6am

The world at 6 o’clock in the morning is a very different world. The worn earth between a caravan and the main house is no longer familiar and the twigs, rocks and brambles are new again. The air is refreshed and recharged, a secret guarded by early-risers. Simplicity to savour before it is muddied by impressions of the coming day. To be awake in the hours before waking hours is like hopping a fence and finding a field of high grass and small flowers, with the occasional bee.

Yesterday I lay down and a small, black chicken sat on my chest. We had a little nap.

It rained for the first time in two months. We got soaked. Coming home, we stopped to buy ginger and dark chocolate. Once arrived, I took my hat and filled it with blackberries. Some fell straight off the branch.

The ‘Fuzzies that Stick on your Jumper and Won’t Come Off’ Cookie

Blackberries, ginger, dark chocolate and oats.

from dark wine and forgetting the time, rich earth and scratched shins, tangled tongues and looking each other in the eye. 

This cookie is the mud under your fingernails. The reason I used oat flour was because we found larvae hanging out in the rice flour. So apologies, this recipe is not as hyper-gluten-free as the others but is still one hundred per cent wheat and dairy free.

100g oat flour

100g buckwheat flour

half a packet/one table spoon of baking powder

2 eggs

80g olive oil

80g dark cane sugar

A bowl of blackberries (100g)

powdered ginger

150g 70 per cent dark chocolate (no milk)

water and cane sugar for the syrup.

I feel I am repeating myself at this point. You know what to do.

Everyone together: preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter an oven tray.

Flours and baking powder weighed and in one bowl. Eggs, sugar and oil in another bowl. Whisk wet mixture until well-combined. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and stir with wooden spoon, avoiding large lumps.

In a small saucepan, bring water and a handfull of sugar to boil. Add in a large helping of powdered ginger. Stir. Let simmer until combined. As I said before, DO NOT BURN (the syrup or yourself).

In another saucepan, add half the balckberries. Fill a third with water and boil until the blackberries start to turn to mush (technical term).

Add the ginger syrup to the mixture. Sieve the blackberries and add the resulting juice to the mixture. Chop 50g of chocolate and add. Stir. The chocolate will melt into the batter. [Aside – this is a very satisfying batter to stir. Sticky and dark]

Again, if too watery, add more flour.

When the mixture has cooled slightly, crush the remaining, cold blackberries with a fork and add to mixture. Add more ginger. Add the remaining chocolate, chopped into chunks. [Aside number 2 – if you want to be fancy like the cool fancy folk, place a piece of chocolate on each cookie after you have spooned out the mixture onto the tray. This is the first attempt at presentation ever made in this cookie saga. I think it is subconscious preparation for an iminant camera purchase  . . . ]

Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and, using a knife or spatula, place the cookies on a grill for cooling.

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These are very different beasts to previous creations. Dense from the oats, heavy from the chocolate, with chewy blackberry seeds and an after-kick of ginger, it is the autumn wind to my sunny fruit cookies. From this recipe I have learnt that dark chocolate is like the colour black of the cooking world. It will be the dominant flavour in any recipe (or food painting . . . ) especially if it is higher then 50° cocao.

To be eaten inside when it is raining outside or in a place that smells like smoked oak.

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