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After an inexcusably long gap, the Lunchbox Files has resurrected itself (in a manner of speaking). The kitchens here at uni being somewhat limited (kettle, fridge, microwave ‘oven’), cooking has been curtailed…up til Thursday, when it seemed a good plan to make chocolate brownies using the convection oven setting on the microwave. This went swimmingly except that we didn’t have a tray so cooked the brownies in two batches in a pyrex bowl, so the top and bottom cooked (after a very long time) but the middle stayed liquid. However, by this point it was getting late, so we whipped them out and managed to eat half between 3 ½ people and fed the rest to some slightly nonplussed people in Q staircase. The recipe I got from the excellent student blog, yumyumformytum (whose student kitchen, it must be said, is a lot more extensive than mine), and I’ve given a normal recipe for those of you lucky enough to have properly equipped kitchens.

180g butter, diced

150g dark chocolate, chopped

4 eggs

250g caster sugar

1tsp vanilla essence

100g plain flour

25g cocoa powder

Optional: 50g finely chopped chocolate (milk, white or dark – your choice) or chocolate chips. Or chopped nuts, dried fruit, raspberries, anything really

Melt the butter and chopped chocolate over a bain marie. Or if using a microwave like us, melt the butter to the point that it’s liquid (but doesn’t explode through the microwave, necessitating a move to a different kitchen with a clean microwave), then stir the chocolate in and let the heat of the butter melt it.

Beat the eggs and sugar together with the vanilla.

Combine with the butter-chocolate mixture and then the flour and cocoa powder. Stir in whatever optional extras you may be using. Pour into an appropriate baking vessel (preferably greased and lined too). Bake at 180C for 20 mins (or a lot longer if you’re not using an oven). Cut into slices once cooled and feed to slightly surprised friends at midnight.

Yes, spoons were the optimum eating implement