Monday, 6 January 2014

The Last Brownie

We cheerfully call it the Last Brownie Syndrome. Taken from that charming scene in the movie, Notting Hill.

It's the scene where each guest attempts to get the last brownie by sharing a sob story from his life. The one with the saddest story gets the brownie.

My friends and I often refer to the last brownie in jest, especially when we're having shitty moments:

"Aw, sad. Oh sige sa iyo na ang imaginary last brownie for today!"


Since New Year's Eve, I've been sick with a terrible case of colds and coughs aggravating my chronic sinusitis  and allergic rhinitis.  I blame the pollution caused by paputoks for the severe flare up of my rhinitis!   I haven't gone out the past few days, in the hope of healing myself with mugs of warm tea, water, vitamin C and a bottle  of expectorant. Sometimes, I  am agitated. thinking that I should be meeting friends, taking that swimming lesson I was so excited about instead of being sick at home. But then, I realize, there's a good side to being sick these days. For one, I am not alone. I have my mom, my brother, and my cousin to take care of me. I wake up and my tea mug is ready, a hearty breakfast is prepared. That, plus I can spend my sick days doing things with the family at home. None of the terrible silence one has to endure when one is sick and all alone.

Yes, I know I don't deserve the last brownie and I try to avoid feeling that I deserve the last brownie in anything.  Because truth is, sometimes, we're just being overly dramatic about our bad days and situations, that we feel we deserve some reward, some pat in the back for hanging on. 

So, despite the inconvenience of illness, I am thankful that it isn't anything life-threatening. Plus because I'm sick, I get to have the first say in a lot of things --- I request them to get me my books, go on errands for me, get me a warm glass of water, look for the notebooks I might have lost, surrender the remote control, and cook my favorite ulams.  Life is sweet! 

Anyway, I don't need to wait for that any brownie  because I  baked a scrumptious batch today ! It's my cousin Brad's birthday and his friends are coming for merienda, and this is my contribution. :)

These brownies are moist and fudgy with a crackly top . According to David Lebovitz, this is the recipe for the amazing brownies made by the great Katherine Hepburn. 

Kate and David's Amazing Brownie recipe from David Lebovitz's The Great Book of Chocolate

1 stick unsalted butter

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs ( I used 3 medium eggs)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract!
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2cup chopped nuts ( I used a combination of walnuts, almonds and pecans. Toasted them before chopping)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup diced preserved cherries ( not really needed, but I saw them in the pantry so off they went into my brownie mix)

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC.) Line an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan with a large rectangle of foil, leaving the overhang over the rim of the pan. Butter or spray the inside of the foil lining the pan with nonstick spray.
2. In a medium saucepan set over very low heat, melt the butter and the chocolate, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar, then mix in the eggs and the vanilla extract.
3. Stir in the nuts, chocolate chips and cherries, then the flour and salt. Scrape the mixture in the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until the brownies feel just-set in the center. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, lift the brownies out of the pan by grasping the foil overhang, the cut the brownies into squares
I know that a square of rich, chocolatey brownie might not change the world nor solve our individual worries but I hope that biting into these chewy, chocolate squares  will at least  make someone's day a little brighter. :)

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