Sometimes I like to put my apron on and make a mess of the kitchen, or as some people call it, “bake.” (Please note that I have not yet broken the oven in my second flat.) Today I would like to share with you a favorite recipe.
Here’s how to start. Plan to host a few friends for dinner. Find out a few hours before the event that one of these friends has his birthday and “you should really bake a cake.” Try not to panic. Luckily, of course you have a stock of the staples dark chocolate and raspberries, so decide to make raspberry brownies. Google “raspberry brownies” and go with the first hit, because time is running out. The recipe description is: “Squidgy and super moreish, these gorgeous foolproof fruity chocolate bakes will be snapped up in seconds.”
Try to get over the way the words “squidgy” and “moreish” make you think of squids and Othello, the Moor of Venice. In fact, try to get over that whole sentence with its bubbly British English.
(Also, foolproof? Just saying, have you ever met this fool?)
Follow the recipe. It’s pretty simple, really, except that simultaneously you should also be trying to use a rice maker for the first time ever and chopping veggies for the stir fry.
Check the brownies after the allotted 30 minutes. Discover that they’re still molten. Replace in oven. 10 minutes later, they are a bit more magma than lava. Take them out and let cool.
Now, “let cool” to you means “let cool for five minutes.” And you’re impatient to get those birthday candles affixed, so stick ’em in. Then realize they are melting into the brownies. Remove.
Once actually cooled, reinsert the candles and light. There are 26 candles; the friend is turning 27. 26 is still a lot of candles even if it is a lie. Use approximately 10 matches and nearly burn your hands trying to light them all. The candles are mere fluorescent stubs by the time you sing the birthday song and the wish is made. When extinguished, the candles make a lot of smoke. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about setting off smoke detectors, because you don’t have any. And the birthday candles will provide a colorful layer of frosting.
Now wait for all the wax to be picked out, leaving the surface of the brownies pockmarked. When it comes time to serve the brownies, they are, well, squidgy, which you now know means “floppy and pudding-like, refusing to maintain any shape.” One of the friends inquires politely, “Are these fully cooked?” They are. They’re simply mislabeled, because you billed them as “raspberry brownies” when in reality it’s chocolate pudding with paraffin enhancements.
Thank you for joining me for another baking lesson. There will be more to come as I pursue a truly “foolproof” (Layli-proof) brownie recipe.