Our annual barbershop convention and national competition is over and I can get back to writing here and making videos for YouTube. Every year my a cappella chorus, Guildford Harmony, competes in the LABBS (that’s Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers) competition. We work hard with extra rehearsals, focussed practice at home on our own, sourcing costumes, having multiple dress rehearsals. Then there is the three-day weekend itself – travelling, watching competing ladies quartets, choruses, mixed quartets, shows, fringe events. It’s quite a busy time.
Not as glamorous as previous years when I’ve donned the purple sequins and sparkly earrings and shoes, but much more comfortable.
Now that the hard work is over for another year, we had a relaxed rehearsal before we gear up for our busy Christmas season. We sing at a lot of Christmas parties and carol concerts during November and December. This evening we had a ball warming up with some new things we learned at LABBS and dusting off the carols with some rolling quartets.
Barbershop ladies love cake
Cake isn’t on the menu every week – it’s usually just a biscuit with a cup of tea and fellowship in the kitchen after rehearsals. Tonight for fun we all brought along cake to share. Everyone else in the chorus is an omnivore so I made sure there was something for me to eat by bringing along vegan brownies. They went down a treat and there were none left to bring home. Oil-free, no-bake, dairy-free, gluten-free, … delicious!
Vegan chocolate brownies
In a blender, whizz up 125g cashews, 100g pecans, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 300g of pitted Medjoul dates. You will need to scrape it down a bit and blend until it’s a lovely gooey mess. I lined the tray with baking parchment to make it easy to remove. Smooth it down flat, cut into 16 pieces and top with a walnut half and sprinkle with dried coconut. Let it cool in the fridge for half an hour or so.
This recipe is tweaked from Lorraine Pascale’s video where she used ground almonds instead of cashews. I didn’t have ground almonds but cashews worked just fine. The beauty of this recipe is that you don’t need to be too precise like baking. Just throw in what you like and enjoy the results.
Are you a chocolate brownie lover? Is cake always served at your rehearsals? Let me know if you try this one.