baker, baker rant, baking, brownies

Classified Brownies (and Yes Nuts Are Acceptable)

February 17, 2016

First Rule: Do NOT Frost Brownies!

A few years ago when I was a pastry chef at a small bistro in Philadelphia, my chef requested that I come up with a signature brownie. Now I can debate for awhile in what makes a good brownie, but in my opinion, it’s fudgy, but not too much, kind of cakey, and definitely not dry.

I would prefer pecans or walnuts, but I know some people would take that as a sacrilege. A brownie recipe may not sound like a big deal, but next to cookies it’s my favorite American dessert. I wanted to give my customers who desired a sweet end their meal with something that rocked their taste buds.
At that time, my test subjects were the dishwashers and servers. The servers knew how much my desserts meant to me and always came back to tell me if a guest said something lovely specifically about my dessert turnout. I cooked to make the customers happy and not for reviews (which I did get phenomenal feedback there as well).
I knew I made the best brownie when a server tried it and said:
“It’s like having an orgasm in my mouth!”
:: Drop Mic ::
The kitchen dropped deadly silent and then we all erupted in laughter. She was beet red, but I left the line to hug her (it was before opening).

Now my chef was a real douche. I don’t mind hard work or long hours, but this guy would wait until I came in and completed my prep to say, “I checked the books. We don’t need you tonight.” If he was honest and said that he didn’t need me on the line (note: I also prepped for the hot side and worked the salad line if it wasn’t busy on dessert), I would have been fine with it. He didn’t think desserts were needed or those pastry chefs particularly were talented.

No, Chef Dingleberry waited until I was done so he can get the already overworked dishwashers to do the pastry line without paying them additional money.
After several weeks of this going on, Chef D started hinting that maybe I should leave my recipes at work. This is a brownie, but I don’t like it when people start getting sly and think that I’m a fool. I’m many things, but I’m not stupid.
So I left a copy of my recipes — with the ingredients changed.
After I left that job, I went on to a bread baking position and never had an opportunity to make brownies until several years later. It’s a fairly simple recipe, but with one change makes it a world of difference.
Sitting back eating a brownie with coffee makes me smile. I viewed their menu soon after I left. The brownies were no longer on the menu.
Story by The Pastry Prophet

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