In Which I Thought Brownies Were Supposed to Be Easy

Yesterday, I attempted brownies. I can make cookies without a recipe and totally wing it, so I thought making brownies from an actual recipe would be, well, a piece of cake.

WRONG! (Forkert! Falsch! Mauvais! Kακό! 間違っ!)

Perhaps I measured something wrong (but I don’t think so). Perhaps the site I copied the recipe from wrote it down wrong (again, I don’t think so). I think the most likely conclusion to be drawn here is that I should stick to cookies, because who messes up brownies, for Christ’s sake? (I do, I do.)

Here is the recipe I used, which looks just fine. I think my problem was user error! Ooh! And upon looking at the recipe again, it WAS user error! It called for 8 oz chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate and I used 8 oz of unsweetened baking chocolate. Well, duh. Um, okay. Then I’ll just say they are delightfully dark. Black as night, more like!

Here is what I started with:

Butter and chocolate-- the start of all good things. Unless you are me making brownies.

Then I got out my double-boiler. I know so many people melt chocolate in the microwave, but I always overcook it in there. I am much more comfortable with the old-fashioned methods, because I feel like I can control it more. The same goes for standing mixers. They seem like a good idea sometimes, like for whipping up eggs or cream, but the rest of the time, I think, “What’s wrong with a spoon?”

Now it seems obvious-- that much chocolate to that little butter?

It melted nicely, then I scraped it with a rubber spatula into a bowl, where my other ingredients were impatiently waiting.

Bake me.








I should point out that the gem-sized baking tin was from a baking set I’d bought my daughter a few years ago– the kind of thing that comes with a fake potholder and some teeny spoons. In retrospect, I wonder if this thing was even meant to go into the oven? I’m probably going to get cancer now. From brownies. Maybe the extreme antioxidants in the strong chocolate I used will overpower whatever carcinogenic properties that were in the baking tin? Here’s hoping.

So, I mixed a bit and then I put the batter-dough-conglomerate into the baking tin. My daughter took this picture, so you can tell how short tall she is.

Maybe she'll be a wedding photographer.










The first batch turned out not unlike the little poo pebbles Alice leaves us in the backyard. Also, they were a little too bitter to really enjoy, and I like dark chocolate.

Tell me that doesn't look like poop.

Luckily, the baking tin only holds a dozen little poops brownie bites, so I altered the recipe and added about a 1/4 c. milk and 1/4 c. white sugar. Right away, the batter looked more batter-like and turned a bit glossy. I should have tinkered with the recipe right away, as soon as the batter-dough had started to look grainy, but I was trying to follow the recipe for once! Little did I know I’d altered it without even meaning to. See, my grandmother was right. Greeks don’t follow recipes– and now I know why. Recipes are our anathema.

The next batch came out much better. Quite tasty, in fact.

Ah, that's more like it.

The only problem now is that both batches of brownies have mixed together on the plate, and it is like brownie roulette when you pick one up. Poop, or tasty brownie? You don’t know until it’s too late!

Eat at your own risk.

And because of course I am listening to music while doing all this:


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