I know it seems as though you’ve been widowed due to lack of posts, but I’m not dead. See? Now. Whether or not I’m a zombie is a completely different inquiry. What is the definition of “zombie”, anyway? According to this awesome site, a zombie is either a corpse revived by a curse (unless caffeine is some instrument of necromancy…which, now that I think about it, wouldn’t be too far beyond the realm of “eh-could-be”…I don’t think this particular definition pertains to me) or a mutilation that has recovered some vital functions, like movement. Well, law school exams could be construed as virus-like, with bleak prognoses and gruesome symptoms. Like brain cells bleeding from your ears, and some kind of noxious goo (that suspiciously resembles the material you were just studying) oozing from your pores. Additionally, hunched shoulders, sickly pale skin and purple bags under the eyes are all totally mutilative characteristics. So, yeah. I’m a zombie. Also, here are some brownies.
Fooding seems to analogize well with law. Much of it is trial. And error. And more trial. Okay, so if this were actually a lawyer, he’d be stripped of his license, tarred and feathered.
I’d like to claim that all I do is win. But no. No, friend, win I do not. At least the first time. But wouldn’t that be a little creepy if everything I made came out perfect the first time? No? Well, you’re irrevocably flawed and should go die in fire. I say that with the utmost respect for your opinon. Were that the case however, I wouldn’t be siphoning off neurons and dollars to get a degree that may or may not be paid off by the time my grandchildren are buzzing around on hover boards, gumming tapioca pudding ( which I’m convinced will survive the next holocaust).
Suffice it to say, it took a few tries to settle on the perfect brownie recipe. That and telling my pride to cover her eyes, because it would all be over soon. Sometimes you just have to concede that there are others out there better at this than you.
After nearly fruitlessly playing around with a recipe I drafted myself (I say ‘nearly’ because I maintiain there is still hope for this humble recipe to grow up and follow its dreams), I crumbled like my forlorn brownie and joined the Baked bandwagon. Not only was this recipe the most highly praised amongst my favorite foodies, but it came with a pedigree from Brooklyn-my squat spot during culinary school. And, oh man. Incentive to improve my own recipe wafted out the window like the way this brownie’s luscious aroma did from the oven. Like glitter and dreams. Happy glitter, people. Happy glitter.
These are perfection. Like, a narcissist would slit his wrists after eating one, perfect. Like if God decided the golden ratio should manifest itself in your oven, perfect. Yeah. That good. Are there better brownies out there? Maybe. But, like the elusive “soul mate” who some are just convinced are “out there”, everyone’s perfect brownie may never be realized. This? Unicorns appear and tickle my toes, and water turns to chocolate milkshakes whenever I take a bite. I’d say I’ve found mine.
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed
1½ cups sugar
½ cup brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350, spray a 9″ x 13″ glass pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper (I was lazy and cheap and used wax paper because it was already in the house…and I was relectant to remove myself from my jammies.)
2. Combine the flour, salt and cocoa, whisking to incorporate.
3. In a large microwaveable bowl/awesome Pyrex pitcher, melt the chocolate and butter at 1:00 intervals on high, checking every 30 seconds after the first minute (have you ever baked with burnt chocolate? I have. Everytime you do, a kitten dies.)
4. Add the sugars and mix to combine.
5. Add the first 3 eggs and whisk until homogenous; but don’t be too over-zealous in your mixing. The Brown-eyed Baker says you could turn it cakey. I’m not sure about the validity of this claim, because there’s no flour in the mix yet…but hey, why risk it?
6. Add the final 2 eggs and vanilla, and whisk to combine. The goal here, remember is NOT to incorporate air. So be gentle. Like daisies.
7. Add the flour mixture all at once and fold to combine. You definitely don’t want to overmix at this point.
8. Let that chocolatey ambrosia cascade into your prepared pan, evenly distribute the batter, and lovingly plop it in the oven (can you “lovingly plop” something?)
9. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating half-way through. Like a fine steak, err on the side of gooey. Worse comes to worse, you’ll have brownie plasm you can eat with a spoon-warm-with ice cream. Oh. Holy crap. That needs to happen. Next time, loyal followers, next time.