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Childhood memories are the one telling the story of the days spend with the grandparents in the country house on the summer school holiday. Yet this moments can be recreated even in the days when the childhood is a only but a dream gently caressing your forehead, like your grandma’s hand before you go to sleep. Then, when the summer holiday is the vacation you get from work, when for a week you go back to your childhood’s home, trying to help your grandparents, who although once used to move mountains, now they accept your help, which you give willingly and open hearted, grateful for everything they’ve given you and thought you all your life. And you’d wish you could move the mountains now to brighten them and you would do anything to sweeten their days.

In granny’s house you always found sweet goodies with which she spoiled when you were little but now you’re the one baking them. In dusty drawers you find the old recipe book, with old stained sheets, writings on the sides and lost notes between the pages. A carousel of emotions swirls through your mind as old scenes from the kitchen come back to you : the moments when you used to get (steal) the cream pan to clean and you winded up smeared with cream up to your ears, the smell of cake baking in the oven, the impatient waiting and “is it done yet?” constantly checking, and the satisfaction of the first rewarding portion, and of the second and of the third..and of the full belly like the one of a fat cat linking her whiskers in smitten pleasure.

At this time I’ve chosen the recipe for the cocoa and nuts brownie but this time I was the one baking it while my granny looked after the cream pan.

Cocoa Nuts Brownies

Recipe originally appeared in “Cartea dulciurilor” by Irina Dordea

– 10-12 servings-


500 gr sugar
250 gr butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
125 ml milk
4 eggs
100 gr grinded nuts
50 gr cocoa
200 gr flour
1 baking powder


Grease a baking tray with butter and dust it with flour.Set it aside.
The sugar, butter, milk and the two cocoa spoon melt on low heat until they boil.
From this composition, take away 15 tablespoons and put it aside.
Cool the rest of the composition, then add 4 egg yolks, mixing constantly. Beat the egg whites into stiff peaks then fold in the flour, baking powder and grinded nuts. Add the rest of the composition.
Pour the mix into the tray. Bake it on medium temperature until the edges come away from the sides.
Mix the 15 tablespoons of composition you kept with 50 grams of cocoa until they boil 2 or 3 times.
When the brownies are done take the tray out from the oven, immediately pour the cocoa cream over it, spread it with a knife and let it cool.

*Because I don’t like too sweet cake and I don’t think the sugar is healthy I only used half of the quantity and I added some extra cocoa. I’ve roasted the nuts for a deeper flavour and instead of grinding them, I’ve cut the nuts to small pieces for enriching the texture.

Like the sweet life (La dolce vita!), share it and enjoy it with the loved one. As what is made out of love must give back love.