Easter eggs and lamb

People on a listerv I belong to have been swapping thoughts on some (Polish?) Easter cake in the shape of a lamb, with a flag sticking out of its back. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to make a cake in the shape of a lamb, nor stick a flag in it.

I can, however, see a whole lot of sense in taking a couple of lamb shanks and braising them for a few hours in a tagine, sitting on a bed of onions, tomatoes, and olives, with a few sprigs of rosemary and a whole head of garlic thrown in for good measure.


Green salad and crusty bread and a glass of Shiraz is an obvious way to proceed. But if you need to make it stretch a bit further, take the time to shred that meat as it falls off the bone, add it back to the sauce along with all the sweet soft roasted garlic cloves (reduce a bit if necessary, though probably not). Now that, on some pasta suitably shaped for chunky stuff, is something else. (Italo-snobs say no cheese on fish, and possibly even lamb. I say embrace the pecorino, whenever).

It’s essential to follow any good meal with chocolate, and I’m happy to report that I found my beloved easter eggs the other day, sitting lonely on a post-Easter shelf at CNA. They were miniatures, so I had to eat two.

In other chocolate news, I made my second batch of 2009 brownies yesterday, this time relying on yet another “perfect brownie” recipe that promised the essential gooey fudginess by baking fast and hot, and then cooling rapidly on ice. Intrigued by this final step, I proceeded to tweak only by the addition of pecan nuts instead of half the chocolate the recipe instructs to scatter over the batter before baking:


And there they (though technically still “it”) sit, cooling on ice:


Verdict? Certainly fudgy. Though not chewy enough. (Tamasin Day Lewis’ hazelnut brownies had better chew). And like the last batch, not enough of a contrast between the crust and the interior.  But I did enjoy my dessert of a hot brownie (microwaved: sorry) with a dollop of cold creme fraiche.

Ho hum.

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