I’ve never been much of a baker, but I’m starting to get more comfortable with failing, and so I’m baking more, and it’s turning out surprisingly well.

Today, I tackled real, homemade, from-scratch brownies for the first time. 

Here is the basic recipe I worked off of:

Now, if you’ve ever watched me cook, you know how it works: recipes are suggestions. Templates. 


So, first, I browned the butter a little before adding the chocolate. Second, I used 2/3 dark chocolate and 1/3 milk, plus a teaspoon of cocoa powder. Then, I forgot that I was doubling the recipe, only used half of the sugar necessary, and had a mad scramble and a few prayers. 

The biggest differences: I added the paste of 1/2 a vanilla bean to the extract, a tablespoon of instant coffee, a teaspoon of orange zest, a pinch of cardamom and a sprinkling of ginger. This gives it a rich, sparkling, deep level of flavor. I topped that all off with a blend of turbinado sugar, more cocoa powder, and a mix of smoked and red sea salt.

I doubled the recipe, but I’m really not sure if the convention will be getting any of these tomorrow. Two days after a nasty stomach bug, I tempted fate and licked the mixing bowl thoroughly clean. These are GOOD. 


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