Last week my husband and I were on our staycation. We could not go away anywhere (sigh) so instead we stayed home and escaped through food. I relied heavily on tried-and-true recipes that we have been indulging in for a long time. This helped us time travel back to happier days.
When I lived on Vancouver Island I made my version of Anna Olson’s Walnut Chocolate Brownies for a trip out past the Sooke area. We drove out there with our friends Mike and Jen and had dinner at a restaurant, I think the place was called Breakers? We had the best burgers in the world, the first time I had had bison meat. The restaurant stared out into the ocean on a warm and sunny day as we ate and laughed together. One our way home I got out my container of brownies. Moisty, dense, chewy with a hint of orange, they were the perfect way to end the perfect day.
So I tried making them again, exactly like I did on the island. I omitted the walnuts and after combining the melted butter into the cocoa, I added orange zest and extract. Then I stirred in the sugar, eggs and vanilla. In another bowl I put together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Then I combined the two very quickly and put it in a baking dish:
The measurements for the pan were strange, 8″ x 11″. I really thought I had put them in a square tin but figured I should follow the directions just in case. Mistake! They were kind of dry and even crunchy! Who ever heard of crunchy brownies???!!!
What is the remedy to something dry? A sauce! I created a hot chocolate ganache sauce by heating up some whipping cream and before it gets too hot, adding in the same amount of chocolate chips.
Crazy-decadent but quite an ingenious save if I do say to myself! Still, even with the chocolate sauce, it still was not right. As much as I want food to take me back to better days, sometimes you can not capture the same magic in a different kitchen, on a different coast. I think it is time to focus on new recipes and find new foodie treasures.
As much as I love the food from the past, is it the food I have not yet made that intrigues me. I have no idea what I will bake next, what could be more exciting?