Thursday, March 7, 2013

the sweetest kind of failure

hideous brownie fail

I had a complete brownie fail yesterday.  For all the baking I do, brownies are never in the line-up.  I love the brownie mix at Trader Joe's so much I've never felt the need to make brownies from scratch.  This goes against almost all my baking/cooking principles!  That mix is just so darn good.  Plus I'd rather eat a cookie over a brownie any day of the week.
before the fail, snapping clever photos of the process

Anyway, a client of mine wanted brownies so I pulled a recipe off Smitten Kitchen (she has loads of awesome brownie recipes).  I happily mixed and snapped a few photos and popped them in the oven and then realized during baking that something was seriously wrong!  I had brownie soup even after 35 minutes in the oven.  Damn high altitude and all it's baking challenges!  So even the most confidant bakers have failures. The failed brownies came out and I raced around trying to figure out what I needed to do to adjust for the altitude.  I definitely baked them at too low of a temperature, another egg would help as well as some more flour and less sugar.  Panic!

Then I remembered my mother sent me Pie in the Sky cookbook for baking at high altitudes and until now, I had never used it.  I prided myself in not needing a recipe that's already been altitude adjusted.  I sucked up my pride.  I had no intentions of failing again at a simple brownie recipe so you better believe I turned right to the brownie recipe in that special cookbook and made it exactly as the recipe described!  They came out beautifully.
the success 
I get super mad when I make mistakes.  I hate to fail.  Especially when two sticks of butter, quality chocolate and super fine granulated sugar is involved.  The good news is that I baked the failures a bit longer and cooled them down and they tasted delicious.  Incredibly ugly, but delicious. My family was shocked to see a batch of something available for them to eat since I'm mostly bating their hands away.  My husband laughed when I explained that it was my failure batch but we all ate them anyway! 


hotpotdc said...

See, this is why we are blog friends. Because I will make anything and everything from scratch--cheese, pasta, ice cream, butterscotch, sourdough. You name it, I'll do it. Except and here's the big exception, brownies. I've tried half a dozen different recipes but only one has ever gotten close to being as good as "box brownies." And you know what? That recipe calls for cake flour which I either never have or need for cakes so, yea, box brownies it is. Though I would love to try the recipe that finally worked for you!

Sara said...

Dani-no you wouldn't because it's not nearly as good as the TJ's boxed brownies. I'm not kidding. Nothing will be better than those. And the ugly ones we kept we called butter brownies because they just weren't chocolaty enough! I wonder if we had a Parent trap kind of situation at birth?

k @ there is fun to be done said...

Seriously, they spike those box brownies with something because nothing else I have made hits the spot like they do!
And.... I hate hate high altitude baking! Ugh, mix that with my PMSy oven that likes the change temperatures randomly and I always have some sad looking (but still tasty!) cakes. Nothing more depressing that putting so much work into something for it to come out of the oven and look like a wild animal has already attacked it! Cheers!