Friday Fuck Ups: Attack of the Batter


I have no idea why, but my sister always brings out the baking in me. I guess it’s because it’s a lot harder to ship fettuccine alfredo than a chocolate goodie. (SAG – don’t be mad, but you were in Italy over your birthday so I’m pretty sure anything I sent you would have been poop comparatively.) We all know by now that it isn’t my strong point. I feel like that old relative that tells the SAME STORY every time you see her. Yes, Gansie endeavored to bake and then it got fucked up. Well, if you want to hear that same ole song again, listen up, deary.

Sherry loves white chocolate, so for her 22nd birthday I wanted to send her a homemade something featuring white chocolate. I thought about cookies again but then stumbled upon a Nigella Lawson recipe from How to be a Domestic Goddess: White Chocolate and Macadamia Brownies. Fuck nuts in brownies. I don’t want multi-textural elements in my dessert – I want smooth, fudgy goodness. So instead of nuts I subbed in regular chocolate chips. Besides that SLIGHT change, I followed the recipe PERFECTLY. I read it over many, many times before even starting. I even remembered to let the butter rise to room temperature.

Okay, so I melted a stick of butter and 9 oz of white chocolate chips over a double boiler. In another bowl I beat 4 eggs with salt, than added in 1 1/4 cups sugar and vanilla. Then I beat the slightly cooled chocolate into the mixture. I then folded in 2 cups AP flour. (PS – there’s all this other weird baking wording like “whoosh up in volume” that I have left out of my quickie instructions, which I hope isn’t the culprit of this Fuck Up.)

Before I poured the batter in the buttered dish I threw in a few handfuls of chocolate chips. Like I said before–the only variation. I baked the brownies at 325 for 35 minutes, as directed. I checked and the batter was still LIQUID under a scant hard layer on the surface. I checked again 15 minutes later and when I slightly tilted the dish I could see the batter moving underneath the thin crust.

At FIFTY-EIGHT minutes, I stuck a toothpick in and just decided to yanked it. After all, Nigella told me it should be “set on the top and gooey in the middle.”


I then watched that crappy LOST recap episode ( I had to write the Fuck Up this week so my sister wouldn’t know about the troubled brownies before she received them last Saturday), and then I got into the kitchen to package the brownies for shipping. And HOLY SHIT. I tried to remove it from the pan and LIQUID. Batter came POURING out. I baked it for an hour, for almost 30 more minutes than required. But, the outer half inch was perfectly moist and perfectly cooked, so what to do?

I called/texted/emailed my baking friends and finally got ahold of belmontmedina and she suggested I cut out the edges and stick the middle back in the oven. Time check – half past midnight and I’m cranky. I do not want to be baking at bedtime. I never want to be baking ever again.

I seriously thought about sending it just like that and telling my sister to bake it on arrival, but I wasn’t sure if it would even ship correctly. So I listened to belmont and cut the margins off and patched the extra batter from my spatula around the sides so it wouldn’t dry out and then stuck it in a 350 oven, AGAIN, covered in foil for 17 minutes.

It didn’t change. I ripped the foil off. I was tired and full of batter (I snacked on batter at multiple points through this process–what else is baking good for?) I wanted to dream of a package ready to be sent, not an unfinished nightmare in the oven. WHATEVER.

I reread the recipe. And then I reread the recipe again. This motherfucking white chocolate brownie. Nigella, what does gooey in the center actually mean? I can’t follow directions. I write a blog. The antithesis of following directions.

I took it out at the 35 minute mark. Time check – really fucking late. I started cooking at about 9:30 that night. Because I couldn’t wrap it up while it was still oven-hot, I left it in the baking dish simply covered with foil. And went to bed. Pisted.


But happy birthday, Sherry! Hope you and your friends didn’t get sick from all of that uncooked, traveling egg. Oh, and happy early graduation, see you this weekend!

(And to make me feel worse – here’s someone who succeeded in this recipe – see third one down. But I swear, it’s my oven. 80P and I will be conducting an experiement to check the accuracy of the oven. Details to come.)

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  • BS May 1, 2009  

    I think it’s pretty clear you didn’t whoosh up in volume enough.

  • belmontmedina May 1, 2009  

    Yeah, this is why I avoid baking (except cookies in the toaster oven). I feel like there’s some convoluted chemical explanation for this.

  • Maids May 1, 2009  

    I’m confused. After an hour of baking, this should have been a rock. That picture is priceless. What a gooey mess. So, Sherry…. how did it taste?

  • Summer May 1, 2009  

    I’d blame the oven, too. I had a very similar disaster once when trying to bake something in my mom’s gas oven — come to think of it, the disaster in question was some sort of white chocolate brownie/blondie thing. I was baking the brownies there with the intention of walking them down the street to a friend’s house, and I wound up walking down the block, wearing oven mitts, carrying the pan full of brownie ooze, and I had to finish baking them in my friend’s fully functional oven.

    So it’s either the oven, or God’s wrath because you (and I) put heathen white chocolate in brownies, which all righteous people know are supposed to be BROWN and full of REAL CHOCOLATE, amen.

  • mariah carey May 7, 2009  

    You are a WONDERFUL sister, none the less!

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  • Bianca September 22, 2011  

    I’m going to suggest that it may be the pan. Most of what I put in my oven comes out baked except, strangely enough, when I try and cook in glass. From your pictures it seems like that’s a glass baking dish. I once followed a recipe TO THE LETTER for a no-stir, oven baked risotto. Combine ingredients, chuck in oven for 45 minutes it said. Easy, done. 45 minutes later I had some slightly warm stock and raw rice. Gah. I had toast for dinner and now refuse to bake in glass, whether it be Pyrex or any other brand. I cook a multitude of other baked goods, in ceramic or metal dishes and all come out fine. F@#k you glass pans!

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