Friday, October 24, 2008

I want brownies, not cake

Okay Ladies. So I made these the other night and was really excited about them. Martha Stewart claimed they were gooey, which I feel was false advertising. In which I can't help but to post a letter claiming my injustice.
Dear Martha,
I tried your Pumpkin Swirl Brownie recipe the other day and was gravely dissapointed. Seriously, I do love your food. Albeit, you make things way harder than they need to be, but I love your recipes/crafts nonetheless. Here's my problem; out of all people, you should know the difference between cake and brownies. Since apparently you don't, I will re-cap for you.
Cake: a food that is usually sweet and baked. When eaten, it makes you feel like you've eaten nothing but air. Most people are deceived into believing that this is not only an appropriate form of dessert, but delicious as well, since it has become the center of many celebratory events (i.e. weddings, birthdays, etc.), but trust me, this is only a ruse.
Brownies: a flat, baked square or bar, which is a denser, richer form of a cake. When eaten you are left feeling satisfied and happy that the calories you have consumed were well worth it.
Do you see my dilemma? When you told me that your Pumpkin Swirl Brownies were A) brownies, and B) gooey, I feel as though you have tricked me.
If I were to form a lawsuit, based on the claim of false advertising, the damages would be based on the following:
1. I spent 1.5 hours prepping, stirring, and baking the so-called “brownies.”
2. I waited for 1 hour in intense anticipation for the “gooiness” I was promised, only to be disappointed.
3. I wasted way too many calories eating air, instead of the rich denseness I kept thinking was coming with the next bite.
4. All those products have now been wasted, in which I have been forced to return to the store to replenish them.
5. Last, but not least, the God-like image I had categorized you in has been shattered. It really is a great and tragic loss.

So, I would prefer that from this point forward, you have learned a valuable lesson. First, that cake and brownies are significantly different, and second, I will never be able to look at you the same.

Sincerely, your former long time follower,


P.S. A free subscription to your magazine might make me feel better.
I only post this recipe, not to advertise it, but in hopes that someone can help make it what it claims to be. I’m open to all suggestions. Is it the amount of eggs/flour? The size of the pan? What?
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
Ingredients - Makes 16
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used semi-sweet)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 1/8 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or other nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter lining.
Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture.
Divide batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chocolate layer and one more pumpkin layer.
Work quickly so batters don't set. With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with nuts.
Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.
Photo courtesy of


Kellie said...

In the picture they look like brownies not cake. Did yours look like that? They look SO yummy, but I won't make them since you were so disappointed!!! Good seeing you last night!

Lauren said...

Okay, so I finally got around to making these tonight, and I used about 1/4 cup less flour and only mixed the batter for about 30 seconds instead of the 3-5 mins. I wish I could taste yours so we could compare, because I'm not sure what to say about them. We couldn't decide if it was more cake-like or brownie-like. As Jon put it, it's kind of in no man's land. Ours were taller than the picture -- they were at the top of my 9" pan. It was very moist and rich, but not necessarily dense. Though denser than cake. I should take a picture and email it to you. I'd say write off the recipe and look for something better, except that the flavor was good. Weird. I wouldn't call them brownies, but it's not a cake either.... not sure any of this helped....