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The Blatherings Of A Blitherer

Baking Mishap

October12

I’ve been cooking and baking basically since I could reach the counter/table and remember cooking on the stove top while standing on a stool or chair because I wasn’t tall enough to stand and do it. Hell, I started “helping” my mom make bread when I was 3. What I’m trying to say is, I know my way around a kitchen fairly well.

I don’t make brownies very often, and when I do, I generally use a mix that I buy on sale or something. I came across a recipe that was allegedly one used by a woman and her family for years and years, brownies that she brought to other people when they were sick/busy/In Crisis/whatever and then they loved them and begged for the recipe, etc. Recipes like that, they’re usually pretty good. They aren’t just “Oh, I made this once and it turned out really good,” they’re “I make this all the time and this is exactly right.” I was eager to try this because I’ve gotten some cook books (and used recipes online) that… very obviously hadn’t been tested. Or else they had errors in the recipe that a novice cook wouldn’t know how to deal with but that I was able to figure out. That’s frustrating, you know? Especially in a printed cookbook one has paid money for.

I frowned a little as I read the recipe because it called for a lot of butter. “Hm,” I said to myself, “that is a lot of butter.” Let me clarify here. I have no qualms with butter. My pie crust recipe calls for five million pounds of butter. Butter is fantastic to bake with. So when I say “Oh wow that is a lot of butter,” I should listen to myself.

The brownies turned out kind of… over saturated with butter. Greasy. The finished square of brownie was kind of resting in a 1mm deep pool of butter. It was pretty disgusting.

One of the things I liked about this recipe is that it’s easy to make. You use cocoa powder and don’t mess about with melting chocolate (which I’ve done, it’s not terribly difficult, but when you have a very active and clingy 18 month old under foot, baking really needs to be as simple as possible). I’m honestly pretty disappointed that I’ve wasted butter, eggs, sugar, nuts, cocoa, etc on something so dense and greasy. The actual flavor is ok (under the excessive butter taste) but the texture is just… wow. Oily. Dense in a bad way. I might try this recipe again, scaling back on the butter.

In the mean time, share your favorite brownie recipes, please. I’d love to see what you’ve got. For the record, I prefer chewy brownies to cake-y brownies.

posted under advice, baking

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