There are no emergency M&Ms inside my desk drawers, hidden Cadbury Bars in couch cushions or handfuls of Chipits snatched from the baking supplies. I'm not in love with heart shaped boxes, don't hop for bunnies and make only one trip to the store for Halloween mini-bars. I don't have fantasies of swimming hot fudge oceans or start shaking at the mention of dark, milk or white. I know plenty of people do; I am just not one of them. I am not a chocoholic.
While I'm rarely tempted by restaurant promises of 'Ecstasy' or 'Explosion' and completely unfazed by triple chunks and double dips, I do occasionally (say every 28 days or so) crave the fix. When the I-need-chocolate-and-I-need-it-now does suddenly hit, I am wise enough to know better than to attempt achieving satisfaction by any other means. Even those of us who aren't stricken by the addiction can understand the phenomena of eating everything within arms length before the inevitable midnight run to 7-11 for a piece of some chocolate action. Occasionally came for me yesterday; and so I decided to bake.
A member at Recipezaar, my favorite online cooking community, had posted a recipe for "Whatever Floats Your Boat" Brownies, promising the chewiest, moistest, fudgiest brownies ever and, with 908 glowing reviews, I had little reason to doubt. I had the required ingredients and the method was simple; it even allowed for the addition of nuts, fruit, candy, marshmallows, or, as advertised, whatever would float my boat. I felt that hard or chunky textures would only weigh me down so, at the suggestion of one reviewer, incorporated a cheesecake swirl to secure my buoyancy.
I doubled the recipe (why fool around?), carefully converting the cups and pounds to weight in grams. I was short on cocoa powder but made up the difference by grating a bit of a baking bar until it turned to dust. Resisting temptation to mix the batter to smooth chocolate oblivion, I backed away from the bowl and poured the batter.
Everyone knows that baking is science. With my lab void of measuring vessels and my oven a mind of its own, I've certainly experienced my share of burnt edges and pans full of cake batter goo. I placed the pan in the oven with semi-high hopes, yet fully prepared to eat that sucker with a spoon if necessary.
Thirty-two minutes later I whisked my pan of hot salvation from the oven but worried they were still too wet. "Another 5 minutes," I thought, ready to return them for another round of heat. Step #9 haunted me though: DO NOT OVER-BAKE -- your brownies will come out dry. I put my trust in a sticky toothpick and refrained. When eternity had expired and my brownies cooled completely, I nervously pulled a tiny test piece from the corner. Then I cut a bigger one. Then I poured a glass of milk. Then I got a plate.
|milk chocolate bliss|
|chewy fudgey chocolate brownie|
These brownies are the epitome of everything chocolate and the remedy for the symptoms of an addiction I don't have. Any further description would instantly cast a shadow over my initial proclamation. I am not a chocoholic - but these could be my gateway drug.
|tower of fudge|