I know this all seems very decadent for a Tuesday night in January, when most of us are trying to either stay dry (you must be joking - I'm moving house in a few weeks), or shed the Christmas pounds (well, maybe), but I'd invited some friends round for dinner, and on reflection was not very pleased with the pudding I'd planned - stewed gooseberries (from the freezer) meringues and cream. The meringues had been a little overcooked - and I'd made them with vanilla sugar - so were on the 'caramelly' side, and I just wasn't sure about the gooseberries - despite plying them with elderflower cordial and sugar, they were still very tart. I like that, but others don't. So in true RJ style, I had a minor panic and decided to knock up an alternative using what I had.
Fortunately, what I had included chocolate and a pack of macadamia nuts, bought for another purpose which never materialised (as is often the way with me). I was rootling round for some rum, mindful of previous succesful brownie pairings, but I couldn't find any so Cointreau seemed like a good alternative.