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Day: October 6, 2011

Chocolate Brownies – A potential Great British Bake-Off dish?

Well folks. Last night I was presented with some chocolate brownies. It’s not often cooks for me (and the understatement of the year awards goes to…) and I had in all honesty forgotten that I was being cooked for but wrapped in tin foil were two lots of chocolate brownies. The person who baked them for me said that she may enter the Great British Bake-Off (not sure if she was being serious here or not) but either way she wanted a review of her product so I thought I’d do it very publicly.

Chocolate Brownies
Chocolate Brownies

Pulling back the tin foil I am hit with a favourable aroma as a waft of chocolate enters my nasal passage. I look at the brownies at the first thing that strikes me is the oeros broken up and placed on top. I find this disconcerting and the white stuff over the oeros takes me the best part of a minute to work out it was the inside of the oeros. Visually it looks a bit wrong but I’m not a man whose going to be put off by some weird white stuff over a brownie so I tuck it.

First thing I notice is the brownie is nice and moist. Just how a brownie should be. The teeth shouldn’t have to work and just a gentle ease down of the jaw should see the teeth sink slowly into the brownie. Then you get the sharpness of the oero which breaks up the smoothness of the base. You are unable to taste the inners of the oero so all they do is put you off visually.

Within moment I realise that all three in that parcel are gone and have gone down in a flash. The chocolate at the bottom of the brownies for me could be a tad more thick and sickly as personally if you are going chocolatey then I want it to be thick and gooey. The top half of the brownie was nigh on perfect and as for the oeros – a nice idea that possibly would play better within the brownie itself and not stuck on top at the end – although how this would play out in baking I do not know.

Overall I’d give these brownies a more than solid 8/10. Considering I didn’t pay for them I should be grateful anyway but if I’d paid money for these in a bakery I wouldn’t be disappointed and would go back for more the next time I fancied a chocolate brownie. The white stuff from the inners of the oero weren’t for me and having a crunch inside the brownie instead of on top would have been ideal but it was a fine example of the chocolate brownie and if I’m needed to test out any future recipes then my stomach is ready.

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Feminists rejoice – Sarah Palin decides not to run in 2012

So Sarah Palin has decided not to run in 2012 for the Republican nomination to run against President Obama for the White House. This wasn’t a surprise to most considering the likelihood or her winning was low but it was greeted with disappointment around the twittersphere last night – mostly from people like me who saw her running as spicing up the field and making it semi-interesting. The 2008 democratic race was fantastic with the ebbs and flows of the campaign from Hillary’s stunning third place in Iowa to her dazzling late comeback in New Hampshire to the Super Tuesday non-event and then Hillary’s big leads in Ohio and Pennsylvania slowing swindling. It was politics at its best.

Anyway this news also disappointed my friend Kelly over at Political Parry who posted a blog entitled Women and Western Politics this lunchtime which flirted with words about Yvette Cooper (which we agree on – fantastic MP who’d be so much better if Ed Balls had actually allowed her to run for Labour leader – she was the second best candidate behind David Miliband for me but hey) and words on Theresa May (which I disagree with as I think she’s a pretty poor MP) but what interested me were her words on Sarah Palin’s decision not to run.

‘In America, too, there has been a rise in female political figures. Today’s news revealed Sarah Palin will not be standing for presidency. What ever your political standpoint on Palin, and I’m not a huge fan, you have to admit she is as much a master of PR as Tony Blair. I’m actually saddened to here she won’t be standing for presidential election, as it indicates she may not be as ‘ballsy’ as she appears. Like Yvette Cooper, she is true to her (skewed) values, and that is admired in politics. It creates the sense of purpose and direction voters identify so strongly with, and is therefore very persuasive.’

I have written in comments:

Guessing Odone has never heard of Hillary Clinton then who might not just be the most impressive female politician around in western politics at the moment but the most impressive politician full stop. She’s doing an amazing job as Sec. of State and is surely lining up a bid for the democratic nomination in 2016 which in all likelihood she should win – and will win.

However are you really disappointed that Sarah Palin isn’t running? I mean really? Sit back and think about how it would play out (note I said would – not could, not should but would).

She would be a laughing stock in every state but the redneck states (and Alaska). She would lose big and would surely set back the female politicians in the States for years and her running might even have harmed Hillary in 2016.

If I was a woman desperate to see a woman in the top job stateside I’d not want Palin anywhere as all she can do is harm female politicians. Sure she’d get some support as a crackpot candidate but can you imagine the people of New York, Florida, California et al going into the voting booth and seriously voting for Sarah Palin?

No. No you can’t as they wouldn’t. Now they would and will vote for Hillary in 2016.

Be delighted Palin is not running and get aboard the Hillary for President in 2016 bandwagon. That is the train that feminists and anyone who wants to see a great politician (gender not withstanding) in the oval office.

It is no secret that I’m a huge Hillary fan. I think she is possibly the most impressive politician I have seen since her husband bizarrely enough. I always wonder how the world would have been different had 9/11 happened under Clinton’s reign. I really do think we’d be living in a very different world but that is just my hypothesis. To get back on subject…

If I were a feminist (apparently I am as I believe in equal rights for all but most feminists I read or speak to believe that the world is so anti-women it is insane – I do not agree with this – so I think whilst I am a by the book feminist I think most feminists aren’t by the book – therefore I can’t identify with them). Yep I think that has straightened that one out. No more abuse for Neil…*ducks*

Anyway yes. If I were a feminist I’d be delighted Sarah Palin is not running as all she can do it set back the cause of women. She can’t win. Not because she’s a woman but because she isn’t credible in the states were she would need to win. She can play well in the deep south and through certain parts of the mid-west but is Palin going to go into New York or California or Ohio or Pennsylvania or Florida and pull out the win against Obama in 2012 (and presumably Clinton in 2016)?

No. No she isn’t.

It is all well and good having a brand but it has to be the right brand at the right time and her brand will not play out where it matters for her as she has no track record on the economy. Her highest profile job was the governor of Alaska. That isn’t going to play out against whoever the democrats put up and more importantly it won’t play out against the likes of Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann who is actually a top and the Republican polling in Iowa at the moment which as we all know is the first state to have a caucus – and guess what – she’s a woman!

If feminists or people who just love women in politics want some joy in 2012 then rejoice that Palin isn’t going to be on a ballot and back Michele Bachmann. I’m not sure she can win but she’ll play out far better in the states she’d need to win in a Presidential run than Palin will and that is the most important thing. Whatever happens I fully expect and hope Hillary Clinton in the President by the time my 33rd birthday comes around but for 2012 she’ll be quiet. For the women out there it’s Michele Bachmann and not Sarah Palin and trust me folks – that is a very good thing indeed despite Bachmann’s Tea Party links. Palin’s brand won’t play out where it is needed and Bachmann whilst singing from the same hymn sheet isn’t dug into the minds of the voters as yet.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.