Gochugaru Girl and Mr Gochugaru have recently discovered the world of Korean Drama.
This does not refer to the current FIFA World Cup, where the South Korean national team is in a match against Algeria today.
Just before the mad summer rush we managed to catch You who came from the Stars (별에서온그대). On a studious note this invited comparisons between aspects of the Joseon Dynasty and the reign of King James 1. King Sejong the Great promulgated Hanguel – the Korean Script – and King James sponsored the translation of the Bible into English. On a less serious note, it provided the charm and sadness of a china rabbit’s thoughts – in a book read in the drama – as he is parted from his owner. This is all packaged in one of the best story lines and acting in the dramas we have watched so far.
Our drama days started innocently enough with a series called Lie to Me (내게거짓말을해봐). This was followed by the nail biting Incarnation of Money (돈의화신). More suspense in the dairy (not daily) drama Passionate Love (열애). Then a reminder of the responsibility that comes with privilege in The Heirs (왕관을쓰려는자, 그무게를견뎌라 – 상속자들).
It just gets better, so here are my top reasons to watch Korean Drama:
- The situations which mirror so much of what real life is about
- The problems which can be quite unexpected
- The solutions which can be quite enterprising
- The great Original Sound Tracks
- Attracting Mr Gochugaru’s attention by calling ‘여보!’ loudly whilst shopping at Waitrose
- Playing ‘Find the Location’ on our recent trip to South Korea
- Having a good reason to visit Mango Six
- Wondering whether the CEOs of big conglomerates really get up to these sorts of activities (chasing after girls, speeding on the motorway, getting drunk, incarcerating innocent people in mental institutions, taking day trips from Seoul to Jeju-do, murder – though not necessarily in that order) and still have time to eat dinner with their mother and father
- Knowing that it is not odd to have matching his and hers items of clothing.
In many of the drama scenes, someone is often saying, ‘Eotteoke? Eotteoke?’ (어떻게?, 어떻게?) which means something along the lines of ‘How?’ or ‘What do I do?’
Eotteoke Keikeu (which I call my What to Do Cake) is what I resort to when I am not sure what to make for an event, be it a coffee morning at home, a picnic in the countryside, a gift for a friend, a dessert after dinner, or indeed for this post, which has to be fitted in after church and taking the parents to lunch in Chinatown. In other words, it is the ever useful stand-by, the Chocolate Brownie.
For the Brownies:
250 g unsalted butter
250 g plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
4 large eggs
300 g unrefined caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
150 g plain flour, sifted
½ teaspoon salt
You will also need a 20 x 30 cm baking tin, lined with parchment paper.
How to Make:
Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F/ gas 4.
Place the butter and chocolate in a metal or glass bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Stir with a metal spoon until melted. Remove the bowl and leave mixture to cool slightly.
Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a free standing electric mixer. Using the balloon whisk attachment, whisk until the mixture has thickened and has the consistency of custard.
Pour in the melted chocolate and butter, followed by the vanilla, then mix altogether using a plastic spatula.
Fold in the flour and salt.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin, and bake for 30 minutes.
Brownies are notorious for drying out, so watch over yours carefully. As a rough guide, it should remain slightly moist in the middle when you remove it from the oven.
Cool for 10 minutes, then cut the Brownies into whatever sized squares you want. If you are thinking 어떻게?…then I suggest 24 squares of 5 x 5 cm each.