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A wonderful friend and generally graceful and lovely lady had an Open House at her Pilates studio. I am a huge proponent, making it to classes as often as I can – along with yoga, walking, weights and biking, she helps me stay a healthy weight through all my cooking, sampling and dining.
I really wanted to contribute something to the buffet table, and have had this superb sounding brownie recipe for a while. I look longingly at the ingredients, yearning to bake it every time I see it, and decided it was finally time to indulge and share the deliciousness.


100 grams of dried apricots
100 grams of butter
60 grams of cocoa powder, sifted
120 grams of sugar
90 grams of Manuka honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
finely grated zest of 1 orange
90 grams of flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
80 grams of milk chocolate, chopped
80 grams of white chocolate, chopped
100 grams of pecans, lightly toasted

Pour boiling water over the apricots and leave for 2 hours to plump up. Drain and cut into thick slices.
Heat oven to 180C. Line a 24 cm square cake tin with baking paper.
Melt butter in a small pan then mix in cocoa. Beat in sugar, honey, vanilla, eggs and orange zest together for a minute. Mix in the butter and cocoa.
Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda together and stir into egg mixture. Stir in chocolate, pecans and apricot slices.
Pour mixture into cake tin and bake for 14 minutes, or until it is set.
Take from the oven and leave to cool, then place in the refrigerator to firm completely before cutting.

Recipe adapted from new Zealand House and Garden