I’ve never been one for diets. In fact, I hate them.
Most of the time, diets don’t work, and only make you miserable. Psychology Today found that 95% of people who dieted off weight gained it back within one to five years. The only thing that does work, and it’s been proved countless times, is eating fresh food, balancing your meals, and eating in moderation. Yes, that includes treats, that includes looking forward to meals, and genuinely enjoying your food.
At this time of year, I always notice adverts for diet pills, supplements, and punishing gym regimes under the guise of ‘wellness’. These adverts and products do help some people, and if you’re using the new year as a motivation to get healthy then good for you, but for a lot of people this pressure can cause low self-esteem and cause people to unnecessarily punish themselves for enjoying delicious food.
This year I thought I’d push back with the opposite: The Anti-Diet. Christmas and New Year are times to be around your family and friends, to enjoy your food and relish the little belly that you’ve put on that shows you’ve really relaxed and eaten what you want. What I wanted today was oozy, chocolatey brownies with a swirl of rich peanut butter on the top, that leave melted bits on your fingers as you gobble them down.
At the moment food writer Ruby Tandoh is making lists on her Twitter page of her favourite food moments (such as ‘cold butter sliding across a hot pan’, ‘biting the heads off jelly babies’, and ‘when you cut a poached egg and it oozes gold’) to combat the January diet pressure, and I couldn’t agree with the sentiment more. When the diet industry, fitness bloggers and cook books are all screaming at you to lose every inch of the weight you happily gained over Christmas, what could feel better than giving them all the finger and taking a batch of hot, gooey brownies out of the oven to share with your friends?
So eat whatever it is that you’re craving, or try making these brownies! You deserve it, and you always will.
These brownies are adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe. She is the queen of comfort food, so these really are the best.
100g of peanut butter
375g of unsalted butter
375 of dark chocolate
One tablespoon of vanilla extract
500g of caster sugar
225g of plain flour
One teaspoon of salt
- Line a 33cm by 23cm tin with foil and preheat the oven to 180C.
- Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large pan. When the chocolate and butter has melted take off the heat and let cool a while.
- Meanwhile beat the eggs and sugar together with the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and salt.
- Once your chocolate mixture has cooled, pour it into the beaten eggs, sugar and vanilla extract mix. Beat again until well combined. Then, sift in the flour and beat until combined.
- Pour into the tin and swirl in the peanut butter, but don’t mix it in all the way (it helps to microwave the peanut butter for ten seconds or so). Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Bake for longer or less depending on desired gooeyness desired.
Serves about 30