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We are all aware of a greater sense of community since we’ve been spending more time at home.

Martha Collison and Will Torrent love sharing food, whether it be with neighbours down their street, or across the world with families they have met through Tearfund.

With their trips with Tearfund in mind, Martha and Will have created special recipes that are meant to be shared. You could bake a batch of Martha’s delicious ‘Tea & Biscuit Brownies’ or Will’s luxurious ‘Triple Chocolate Cookies’ and give half away to a friend or neighbour!

Help tackle coronavirus

Tearfund are working in some of the poorest countries, where life is already difficult for many, to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and minimise the potential it has to destroy lives and livelihoods.

The Act of Kindness recipes have been donated by Martha and Will to encourage us all to connect with our communities.

Please consider donating towards vital Coronavirus prevention measures in vulnerable communities.

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Martha’s tea and biscuit brownies

Martha's tea and biscuit brownies

Martha's tea and biscuit brownies

Is there a more comforting combination than tea and biscuits? I’m hard pressed to find one, but a brew and a bourbon are always better shared, which can be a tricky thing to do in this current season!

‘That’s where my brownies come in; if you can’t get together for a catch up, why not bake these and drop them round, to show you care? They are pretty sturdy, so will survive a trip in the post if packed carefully, to those we love who don’t live close by.

‘A random act of kindness in bake form!’

Preparation time: 20-30 minutes

Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and line a 23 x 23cm square tin with baking parchment.

2. Put the sugars and butter into a large saucepan and heat on medium until the butter has melted. Simmer the mixture for five minutes to allow the sugar to begin to melt, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat.

3. Add the contents of the teabags (discard the paper bag) and the chopped dark chocolate to the warm sugar and butter mixture and stir it in until it is completely melted. Leave to cool to room temperature.

4. When the mixture is cool enough to touch comfortably, beat in the eggs. Add the flour and cocoa powder before stirring briefly to combine. You don’t want to overbeat the mixture or your brownies will become too ‘cakey’.

5. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and arrange the biscuits over the top. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until the top is shiny and slightly cracked. Allow to cool completely, then cut into squares. These brownies will keep for up to a week in an airtight container.

Will’s triple chocolate cookies

Makes about 30-35 cookies

Will Torrent's triple chocolate cookies. Photo by Matt Russell

Will Torrent's triple chocolate cookies. Photo by Matt Russell

Ingredients

You will also need 2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment.

Method

1. Cut the white chocolate into chunks and set aside.

2. Chop the dark chocolate and melt in a heat-proof bowl either set over a pan of barely simmering water or in the microwave in short bursts on a low setting. Stir until smooth and leave to cool slightly.

3. Cream the butter with the soft light brown sugar in a free-standing mixer until pale and light. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and gradually add the lightly beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix again to combine.

4. Add the melted chocolate and mix until combined. Sift the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt into the bowl and mix again until nearly smooth. Add the chopped white chocolate and fold in until the chunks are well distributed throughout the cookie dough.

5. Lay a sheet of baking parchment on the work surface and spoon half of the dough onto the paper and into a neat sausage shape. Roll the dough into a neat, tight 4-5 cm diameter log and wrap tightly in the paper. Repeat with another sheet of parchment and the remaining dough. Chill the logs in the fridge for a couple of hours or in the freezer for 45 minutes until firm.

6. Preheat the oven to 170ºC (325ºF) Gas 3 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

7. Unwrap the dough logs and slice into neat rounds each about 1 cm thick and arrange on the baking sheets, leaving a little space between each cookie to allow for them to spread during cooking. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 10-11 minutes until just firm. Leave the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack and leave until cold.

8. Melt the remaining white, milk or dark chocolate following the above instructions and using a teaspoon drizzle over the cookies in swirls, Leave until set before serving.

Recipe from Afternoon Tea at Home by Will Torrent (Ryland Peters & Small)

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