Thursday, 19 November 2009

I'm at it again

Baking that is!!

You may recall me briefly alluding to a brownie incident in a previous post. Well I'm about the spill the beans.

When I first started working at my firm, in fact I had only been there a couple of months, we had an office cake bake. Whilst I am the first to admit that my cooking abilities lie much more in the savoury section than the sweets, I would have considered myself up until this time, a fairly competent all round cook. I set out to impress my colleagues with none other than Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Brownies. How hard could it be!

To ensure success, I bought the very best ingredients I could find (very best also equalling expensive). Having not attempted to cook brownies before, I also decided to add a packet mix of cookie dough to the trolley as a bit of a back up plan in case the brownies didn't work...

As I had gotten home from work late that day, I enlisted the help of my husband who was quickly set to work pounding the walnuts in the mortar & pestle. I was busily melting chocolate and making the batter (which looked divine I might add)! We added the nuts to the chocolate mix, and just as the last crumb was coming out, I noticed that Will (being the muscle man that he is...) had smashed the mortar & pestle with tiny flakes of stone speckled throughout the lovely gooey chocolate mix. OMG!!! I panicked. I couldn't strain the mix cause it was full of nuts, but I wasn't about to give up. In hindsight I am not sure why we made this decision, but we decided to press ahead with the brownies, stone and all.

Next comes the cooking part. We were at the time living in our old apartment where we were using a bench top (cheap) oven. Whilst it served a purpose, that purpose certainly wasn't cooking brownies (well at least that's my story and I am sticking to it)! The top cooked quicker than the bottom, and the whole thing went to pot! Basically they were burnt on the top and soft on the bottom (and not the gooey, oozy soft that brownies are supposed to be)! Attempt No 1 - failed!

I decided to turn my hand to the cookies, now who couldn't make these (so I thought)! I decided that I would make giant cookies (so as not to appear stingy to my colleagues) and set to work mixing the dough, rolling the balls etc. I don't know if it was the tiredness, the stress of the whole brownie experience, or just my crap luck - but I didn't leave enough space between the cookie balls, which resulted in me producing 1 tray sized rectangular cookie (all the dough had fused together and covered the entire bottom of the tray)! Attempt No 2 - failed!

I was by this time beside myself, at which point I think Will intervened and ushered me off to bed. I am sure I had tears in my eyes!

The annoying thing is, I couldn't accept defeat and turn up to the cake bake empty handed. I was on a diet at the time, and in an unusual act of self restraint, insisted that Will test the brownies to see if they were salvageable. Being the adorable husband that he is, he couldn't bring himself to tell me the honest truth - i.e. the brownies tasted like crap. Instead, he managed to convince me that despite there appearance, they were the tastiest brownies he had ever eaten! What did I do, I believed him, and took them to work!

All morning people commented on my brownies (we hadn't yet had the morning tea), with one colleague in particular remarking that she was going to spend all of her cake bake money (we were raising funds for charity) on my brownies because brownies were her favourite thing. You can imagine how I felt, knowing that my stone clad burnt brownies were never going to live up to her expectation... AND THEY SURE AS HELL DIDN'T!

Shortly after the cake bake, I was walking past the reception when I heard her telling another colleague "Oh my god, those were the WORST brownies I have ever tasted - they were disgusting and had really hard chunks in them"! Being the kinda gal that she was, she wasn't satisfied sharing it amongst a few, and before long, the whole office knew how crap my brownies were. My reputation was destroyed!

Needless to say I have NEVER attempted to make brownies again, and the brownie story has gone down in the firm history books (only to be re-told EVERY subsequent cake bake, to my complete horror).

Well, I am about to re-write the history books and impress my colleagues with perfect brownies at tomorrow's cake bake (don't worry there are some newbies who I will be able to convince to try them)! I told you that I have a new KitchenAid and a proper oven, so there really are no excuses...

Wish me luck!!!


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1 comment:

Kathy said...

Yummy! Wish you could send a slice my way... minus the shells of course... hee hee. Good luck, hope all went well;)