Finding joy in books and fudgey chocolate

If there’s one recipe that I have bookmarked since the beginning of time and took about a million years to get to, this would be it.

There’s actually a very fun story behind how I came to make these brownies. I had no idea that they were supposedly Oprah’s favourites (not that I care an awful lot), only that a lot of people are buzzing about them. This recipe is actually found in a number of blogs, and so I did not intend on buying its cookbook. However it must have been fate when I stepped into a second-hand bookstore and the bright orange spine of Baked: New Frontiers in Baking caught my attention.

It was the only thing that I pulled out of the shelf. I started looking through it, and even though I am a bit terrified by the presence of shortening in a lot of the recipes in here (but let’s save that for another time), I have to admit I was once again struck-dumb by how cute the layout was, with all the lovely typographies and nice photographs. And so I caved. You just do not argue with fate!

And the best part? It sold for about a quarter of the list price, (or half the price sold in Amazon, which is pretty cheap already!), and did I mention they were in mint condition?! This was the first time I ever discovered the rush of buying bargain cookbooks, and it was spectacular!

I’m certain I’m not the only food blogger here who is obsessed with cookbooks. Buying cookbooks is like a disease. Even though you already have more than enough to tide you over; even though you’ve got about a million earmarked pages or recipes on your to-do list; you just keep wanting to have another cookbook.

I don’t feel so bad whenever I buy new cookbooks, because I guess I find some comfort in the way that I carefully select and evaluate the cookbooks that I eventually purchase. I’m not terribly impulsive when it comes to these things because it really burns a hole through my wallet! I carefully read comments of other people who have bought and tried recipes from cookbooks I’m considering, then I try to find digital previews or browse actual copies of them just to see if I like the look and feel of the book. Once the cookbook-in-question passes all my criteria is when the cookbook actually gets into my wishlist. But sometimes when I find a better alternative for it, it gets deleted off the list. It’s a long and arduous process, but one that has ensured that I get only the cookbooks I really really want, and do without the cookbooks that are only a product of hype.

Now these brownies were hyped like crazy, by people from Oprah, America’s Test Kitchen, and countless other blogs. And it was because of this hype that my skepticism began to take a hold of me (previous bad experiences with the hype train, sorry!). But after finally making this recipe, I would have to concede that there are some things that actually deserve all the publicity they are being given.

Continue reading for the recipe

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