Well, apparently there’s no English word for it, it gets translated to volunteer. But that’s not really correct. It means so much more. It’s something deeply rooted in the Norwegian soul and society.
According to Wiki: Dugnad is a Norwegian term for voluntary work done together with other people. It’s a very core phenomenon for Norwegians, and the word was voted as the Norwegian word of the year 2004. The Norwegian word “Dugnadsånd” is translatable to the spirit of will to work together for a better community. Many Norwegians will describe this as a typical Norwegian thing to have.
Whenever something needs doing, everybody gathers and does it. And every spring, all the cooperatives has a spring cleaning outside. We rake, pick weeds, paint, plant flowers, throw away all the trash and just make everything look pretty. Our dugnad was a few days ago.
The dugnad tradition dictates we bring cake. You must bring cake. And the most common cake to bring is a sheet chocolate cake. There were two for our dugnad. But I chose to bring brownies instead. It’s just as easy to make, and easy to bring. And boy, it tastes so much better!
The brownies were the first to go, there was still some chocolate cake left when we were finished. I even heard someone whisper “the best brownies I’ve ever tasted”. I swear. The recipe comes from Gary Mehigan, one of the chefs in Masterchef Australia.
So, what are you waiting for? Get baking! And save a piece for me. Two. No, just kidding. Not really.
- 200 grams melted butter
- 580 mls sugar
- 90 grams cocoa powder
- 250 mls flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 5 eggs
- 250 mls peanuts (can be omitted)
- 130 grams chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Set the oven to 165 degrees C. Use a square baking pan if you've got one. Mine is 24 cm. Line it with parchment paper so the brownie won't stick.
- Melt the butter, and add the butter and sugar to a bowl. Blend well.
- Add the cocoa powder and blend well until the batter is smooth.
- Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat well between each addition. Scrape down the bowl and over the bottom with a spatula.
- Add the flour and baking powder, remember to use a sieve. That will give you a smoother batter and make the cake less dense.
- Add the nuts if you're using them, and the chopped pieces of chocolate. Blend well, and scrape over the bottom again.
- Bake in the middle shelf in the oven for about 40 minutes. Once it's done, let it rest on the counter while still in the cake tin for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the cake tin, place on a cake stand and cut into squares. Perfect, non?