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Transformed: Failure to Victory!

On New Year’s Eve, I made Habibi Brownies. I expected to take them to an event that night. That did not happen, because the brownies flopped.

You see, the previous time I had made brownies, I measured ingredients for two batches. One cup of rice flour in the mixing bowl, then one cup in a large zipper plastic bag, and so forth. I do this from time to time, and it makes the second batch of brownies easy.

browniesbombedThe first clue I had that something was wrong, was when I added oil and water to the dry ingredients. I stirred. That is, I tried to stir. It was dry and paste-like. It was time for “plan B.”

My first theory was that I had perhaps measured an extra cup of flour into the baggie. I added more water, a lot more water. Now it acted like batter, but it still did not have the normal texture I expected.

I baked them the normal amount of time, at the normal temperature. They came out of the oven looking like the bottom of the dead sea. Brownies normally have a few cracks, but these were beyond the norm in a real way.

Then came the taste test. My mistake? I had not added sugar. None. They were rather inedible.

Mind you, my ingredients are more expensive than most, and I just hate throwing food away. Tossing out  from-scratch baked goods is just against my grain. But what could I do?

breadpuddingunbakedAt this point I had nothing to lose. I contemplated how one might add sweetness (and the resulting moisture) to these brownies. Could I put a sauce/frosting on them? That seemed inadequate.

Then out of the depths of my mind came an idea: Bread Pudding! It’s not like what we typically call pudding in the USA, but my Grandma Illa used to make it on the farm. Grandma’s was made with dry bread, milk, egg, butter, sugar and cinnamon.

Could I make a non-cinnamon version of bread pudding with brownies instead of standard bread? It seemed worth a try.

As an aside, some of you know I just put out a recipe book which contains no egg and no dairy. For five years I had to eat that way, but I again can tolerate milk, and occasional eggs which are cooked all the way through. Bread Pudding would require serious experimentation if I wanted to make it without standard dairy/egg contents. I did not worry about it, for our own consumption.

breadpuddingbackedThe Internet was a fine source to read a few recipes, for reference. I took a stab at a combination of ingredients that just might work.

In the oven it went! The mixture puffed up like it might expand beyond the size of my baking pan (think souffle). Somehow I avoided a Dr. Seuss-like disaster, for which I am grateful.

Figuring out whether it was baked all the way was a guessing game, but somehow it worked well. After it cooled off, the pudding shrunk back into the pan, to un-scary proportions.

In the end? Success! We went from nasty, dry, un-sweetened brownies, to a lovely dessert. Score!

breadpuddingservedSome bread puddings are served with a thin, sweet glaze/sauce. This one did not need a thing. It was “just right,” as Goldilocks would say.

The poet in me has a sincere wish. I hope that transforming the final (failed) baked item of 2010 into the first (triumphant) baked good of 2011, is a metaphor. May we all have a similar transformation in our lives.

(It’s a better metaphor than lemonade, don’t you think? May you have a “Brownie Bread Pudding” sort of year!)

3 Responses to “Transformed: Failure to Victory!”

  1. Trish Says:

    You are so resourceful, Lynn! Glad you saved the brownies! HaPpY NeW YeAr!

  2. Diana Troldahl Says:

    I made pumpkin bread last month…. and totally forgot to add the can of pumpkin!

  3. kathy b Says:

    I can taste them from here and they are delish

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