My dear, most darling readers.
It’s been a busy time for Ye Olde Insomnibaker. Things are blissfully chugging away at Ye Olde Brand New Job, which is going quite well. I have already broken my baking cherry there, by bringing in a tray of Browned Butter Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting for Valentine’s Day. It was one of those recipes that sounds much more difficult than it is. Browned Butter is just absolutely magical.
Speaking of Ye Olde Dreaded Holiday, your Insomnibaker has once more attempted to dip her dainty toes into the muddied pool that is Online Dating. The theory being that since The Ex’s Death, it would probably be a good idea to go on at least a few “practice dates” so that if by chance I happen to meet someone out in Ye Olde Real World, I won’t be a complete psychopath.
The good news is, I’m not a complete dud at a dinner table. The bad news is, I’ve now been out with a couple ripe ones.
I shan’t get into the gritty details, but needless to say there have quite a few first dates, with nary a second in site.
The Ex is still missed though. Whatever the many, many, many pitfalls of our tumultuous relationship, he got more than a few things right. He opened doors, he always gave me his umbrella if it was raining, and he always made sure my seltzer glass was full. Cheers to him.
Once, while we were in our 8 year non-speaking period, I happened to be dining in a restaurant where he happened to be the manager. We didn’t exchange many words, but apparently when I excused myself to the restroom he zipped over to our table and folded my napkin with an intensity that unnerved the rest of my dinner guests. He placed it lightly on my plate, and strode off without saying a word. I returned to find the table all staring numbly at the perfectly folded fabric, not sure what to say. When I questioned him about it years later, he said, “I wanted to be sure everything was perfect. I even stayed in the kitchen when your food came out to be sure they hadn’t missed anything.” An odd duck with a big heart, that one.
Moving on. Tomorrow night is Oscar Night. Ye Olde Brother In Law will be liveblogging from Television Without Pity, and I, Good Samaritan that I am, offered to bring a treat. I have yet to see The Artist, but I thought something in a black-and-white theme, with a touch of the old school, would work out best. Thank goodness then, for this exquisite recipe I found for Brownies with Goat Cheese Swirls.
- I pre-het an oven to 350 degrees, and sprayed a 9×9 pan with cooking spray.
- In a smallish bowl, I mixed together 6 ounces of chèvre, one tablespoon of powdered sugar, one large egg, and one tablespoon of flour.
- In a medium-ish bowl, I mixed together 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar, some hefty grinds of sea salt, 1 cup flour, 2/3 cup cocoa, and 1 cup chocolate chips.
- You’re supposed to add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, but I forgot.
- I’ve been watching Grimm on Hulu. It’s so . . . so . . remarkably bad. And . . . I can’t stop.
- Why can’t I stop? There are literally no characters I care about, or even casually like.
- But I keep watching . . . and watching. This episode wasn’t even about fairy tale characters, it was about gladiators. SERIOUSLY?!??!
- Into the dry ingredients, I mixed in three large eggs, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1 sizable dollop of vanilla paste.
- It was black as tar, but chocolatey good. Not that I sampled.
- I spread 2/3rd’s of the tarry chocolate goodness into the pre-sprayed pan, then glopped the chèvre mix on top, then glopped the rest of the brownie mix on top.
- I slid a knife through the batter to create some lovely lil’ swirls.
- I made myself a single cupcake.
- You know, to taste.
- I baked the delicious mess for about 35 minutes.
VERDICT: Just lovely. There is a nice balance between the chocolate and the creaminess of the goat cheese. It’s almost like a cheesecake brownie, but with a gorgeous tangy aftertaste. It probably helps if you’re ga-ga for goat cheese already, which your Insomnibaker most certainly is. It’s not overpowering (honestly, I would pump up the goat cheese a little bit if baking again), but is overall just a lovely solid brownie. Hurrah for the Oscars, and late-night baking.