the clean-out-the-fridge brownie recipe

Hi! So there's a lot of rain going on over here, and by here, I mean south-east Australia.

Our wide brown land is less droughts and all about flooding rains today. Adam and I are part-way through selling a house in south Brisbane which we are very much hoping will not slide down the hill before settlement. (And, obviously, that the tenant and her children are safe.)

Friends all over Twitter and Facebook are talking about the chaos in the supermarkets and the composure of the Premier. You have to love a woman in charge in crisis. I always loved Anna Bligh. But then I was a heart-felt Queenslander for the three years I was there. It sticks with you, that place. 

So if you're reading this in the not-so Sunshine State, I hope your carpets are dry and your cats and dogs are indoors. 

Makes me feel petty, whinging about not being able to get my washing dry. 

In other news: we are officially on the home stretch in this Sydney adventure. As I drove around looking for a parking spot after a late-night grocery shop tonight, and parked a mile away up the street, lugging my bags in the gate I thought: won't miss this. 

We move on Monday next week. 

I should clarify – I'm not packing up the house. I've mentioned boxes in reference to all the sorting out and getting rid of we're doing. I'm not actually packing the whole place up. I thought I was, then Adam booked the packing service option with our removalists, and I didn't argue. (I may have high-fived him.) Three small children. No family in Sydney. It's money very very well spent, I think. 

It may also take a little while to get our internet up and running in our new place and so posting next week may be a tad haphazard. I'll be here till this Sunday though.

Anyway, I was all organised. I did an inventory of the pantry, the fridge and the freezer and managed to write a dinners-list which used stuff up. The last few moves have seen me madly dropping over to friends' houses with bags full of fridge and freezer stuff on the last day. I swore I was going to be better organised this time. 

So we were a few days into my menu plan when I came home and there's a big fruit and vegie delivery on my doorstep. 

I am an idiot.

Before Ivy was born, yep, that was June, I put my weekly delivery on hold until 31st December, and promptly forgot about it. I called up the service and thanked them, and permanently cancelled my order and she reminded me I had an uncancellable dairy order arriving the next morning. I am such an idiot. I was scared to ask how much milk was coming – back in June Tilly was still drinking milk like a young calf. She's slowed down now. 8 litres. 8 litres of milk on my doorstep.

So I abandoned my list and wrote another one. Which included yoghurt and custard.

What does this, sitting on the bench, inspire you to make?

Not pumpkin soup, there's already a butternut in the fridge earmarked for that. 

Baked pumpkin risotto? Roast pumpkin and haloumi salad? Nigella's pumpkin and goat's cheese lasagne?

This is my favourite game: here's your ingredients, whatcha gonna make?

(My crisper. The unexpected vegies.)

Ratatouille? Stir fry? 

Meanwhile, there's some cocoa and peanuts which really totally must be used up. Sometime this century. Why move them as raw ingredients? Much better to enjoy them as brownies, right?

No chocolate in the cupboard, so can't resort to my all-time favourite. This is a very good substitute though, I'm happy with this attempt. A bit of chew. A nice crumb. Nicely fudgey.


And if you don't like nuts, you can leave them out. 


Clean-out-the-fridge Brownie.


250g butter

1.5 cups sugar

1.5 cups cocoa

1 tsp salt

1 tsp instant coffee

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1.5 cups plain flour


Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat, then stir in the cocoa, the coffee and the sugar and stir until smooth (just a minute, don't let it get too hot). Take off heat. Beat in the eggs, then add the vanilla, the salt and the flour. Stir up well and add nuts if you like. 

Bake for 30 minutes on 180 degrees. (I use a square 20cm cake tin.)

Only one saucepan and the baking tin to wash up. Awesome. 

There's time to think up a use for the kilogram of cheese that was delivered too.


articles & Recipes