Dark Side of the Moon

In his eleventh year, the boy's heart still belongs to the Beatles and he still wants to host a picnic in Strawberry Fields. But he has also discovered Pink Floyd (whose Dark Side of the Moon was recorded in Abbey Road Studios). 

So for his "Dark Side of the Moon" birthday, we adopted a space theme.  The boy suggested stenciling the string bags with the design from the back of Star Wars Storm Troopers. We stenciled a Tshirt too. And - in an affront to the environment - we heat sealed a sandwich and chips for each kid. We went with patriotic tooth picks, napkins and chocolates wrapped in foil American flags.  And to top it off - we rewrapped Hostess Ring Dings in foil (no time to bake),  relabeled water bottles (the only complaint at last year's mustache-themed party was "I'm thirsty"). 

For our family birthday at home, we baked our family's dark chocolate brownie recipe in a round spring form pan and dusted it with powdered sugar.  "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."


  • 3.5 ounces 85% dark chocolate bar (plain, mint, orange, ginger, or raspberry)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 farm fresh eggs
  • 2 cups organic sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a square baking pan with parchment paper (and butter the unlined sides).
  3. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler and allow to cool a few minutes.
  4. Beat eggs and sugar. Temper egg mix with a little bit of the cooled chocolate. Whisk in all the chocolate.
  5. Fold in the flour and pour into the pan
  6. Bake 25 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.
  7. Or top with fresh strawberries and hand out forks.
  8. Cool and lift out of the pan using the parchment paper.

La Mére de la Famille, my favorite sweet shop in Paris, recently published a cookbook that has an almost identical recipe - though it separates, beats and folds the egg whites in at the very end.  I vowed to try it but the boy protests! He does not protest when an occasional mint chocolate bar makes its way into this recipe.

jane beck

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