Just the other day I was in Barnes and Noble. I had been kicked out of my house because there was a showing. The store smelled wonderful because they were making brownies. It was the most delicious chocolaty smell. It made me desire brownies. The thing is, I can’t eat wheat. So I cannot go up to the cafe at Barnes and Noble and be like, “Give me ALL your brownies!” I would get sick, and I would have to pay a lot of money for all of the brownies.
At one point, I texted a friend and I was like, “The brownies here smell delicious, but I can’t have them. I should leave,” or something pretty close to that.
I did leave. I bought cookies, which are not nearly as satisfying as brownies.
So fast-forward nearly a week. I’m snowed in. I want chocolate. Like, give me some chocolate now. I remembered that I had a box of gluten-free brownie mix in the pantry. Hooray! Yes? Right? Hooray?!
The only downside to this whole thing is that I don’t have eggs. No big deal. There are plenty of things a person can use as egg substitutes. I chose the applesauce and flaxseed route.
To use applesauce, you’re supposedly supposed to use a quarter cup of applesauce in place of an egg. To use flaxseed meal, you’re supposed to use 1 TBSP flaxseed with three tablespoons water and mix until it’s all frothy and thick.
Besides the brownie mix itself, I needed a stick of butter, 2 TBSPS water, and two eggs, or the equivalent thereof.
I mixed all of this together. It looked great. It looked like luscious brownie batter. I was anticipating having brownies. Mmmmmmmmmm…..
Brownies, brownies, brownies!!!
I put this all in the oven, like I was supposed to. I put it in there for forty minutes, like I was supposed to.
When the time came, something awful happened. Something horribly, horribly bad happened. Something so dastardly and abominable happened that I had no choice but to be sad about it.
My brownies were not brownies. My brownies were sludge. The batter had separated. There was a layer of goop at the bottom of the pan and then a layer of oil, which had been the butter, floating on top of that. In fact, it was boiling. There was a crust of hardened muck on the sides of the pan. When I tilted the pan from one direction to the other, everything moved.
Let me tell you something– brownies that have just baked in the oven for forty minutes aren’t supposed to move around in the pan. They stay put. They’re fudgy and freaking delicious.
No, this was like the brownie gremlins from confectionery Hell came and sabotaged my brownies, my only box of brownie mix.
So, alas, it was to be no brownies for me.
I am a good cook. In fact, I am an amazing cook. I come from a family that could cook and bake with their eyes closed. I generally don’t have gigantic cooking and baking failures. I cook and wonderful stuff appears. This was not wonderful.
I have decided that either my mix was bad, which very well could have been, or the mix could not take substitutions, maybe I really needed eggs. Usually one can get away with substitutions of this sort since things are going to be amalgamated together. If this were meringue or another similar egg dish relying on egg for structure, I could not get away with it.
Ultimately, the confectionery gremlins did awful things to my brownies.
The picture at the beginning of this post is the brownie pan. Notice that there is still a lot of goop in it. This is after I scraped the sludge, what I could of it, out of the pan. I don’t know what I made, but it wasn’t brownies. Maybe I could have built a house out of it or something or used it as rocket fuel, but it wasn’t for satisfying brownie cravings.
I did survive though, even though I didn’t eat brownies. I ended up venturing out in the melting snow to get double chocolate gelato, which is decidedly not brownies, but once a person has seen The Great Brownie Disaster of 2016, one doesn’t really feel in the mood for brownies.