Hubby and I were enjoying our leisurely cup of morning coffee and half listening to CBC radio. The man on the air was interviewing the brew-master of one of the local micro-breweries. The expert brew-master was talking about the many species of trees used in flavoring and storing beer. He especially mentioned the many micro-breweries he had researched up and down Vancouver Island, sampling the many different flavors of beers using oak, spruce, birch and other species of local trees. After the interview was over, Hubby looked over at me and suggested, “If he can do an interview talking about beer and trees, you can do one too.”
“But,” I replied. “What would I talk about? I don’t drink beer.”
“You can talk about brownies,” he said with a grin. “Think about all the research you can do. After all, the best research is the sampling part.”
I had to laugh, but then again, that tantalizing thought streaked across my brain cells. I had already done my terrific research on mini-doughnuts, locally crafted chocolates and outstanding Ploughman lunches at Victoria’s pubs. I discovered that 21st century pub lunches definitely included all the food groups and were deliciously healthy to boot!. Why not a search and snack of Victoria’s brownies? I would have to do extra elliptical work and a lot more walking up hills and. . . .heck yes, I was off and running to my first brownie.
My first stop was “2% Jazz,” my newest favourite coffee bar. We needed a new supply of coffee and what better place to choose a brownie to go. There was only one kind of brownie in their showcase. It was vegan, was a decent size, looked moist and deliciously dark chocolate with a light layer of chocolate frosting. Driving home, I couldn’t resist and pinched off a small piece. My mouth was disappointed as it was a tad dry, had a crumbly texture and though it looked good, disappointed my taste buds.
A few days later, I stopped at “Bubby Rose,” a bakery with the most tantalizing smells wafting into the street. The smell of butter, chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon buns enticed innocent strollers off the sidewalk and into the bakery. I spied the perfect brownie. It was a generous size, sharable, had a crinkly chocolate top instead of any icing, was dark chocolate, moist, made with butter and decadently mouth-watering delicious. It was my favourite brownie so far. Although they weren’t brownies, I also purchased 2 mounds of dark chocolate macaroons–dense, moist and very chocolatey. The macaroons had the mouth and tummy calling for more as this was enjoyable gluttony, not part of the great brownie search, but merely the lure of dark chocolate and fine coconut.
Lunch the following week at “Moxie’s on Yates,” left hardly any room for dessert, but I managed with my choice of a “Bite of White Chocolate Brownie,” served warm and surrounded with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a smaller scoop of genuine whipped cream. Despite it being a “white” brownie with chocolate bits embedded in it, it was still tasty. And, because it was listed as a “brownie,” it was included in my research data.
A few nights later, we had a spectacular Italian dinner at “Il Covo Trattoria,” and what self-respecting brownie researcher would dare miss her chocolate fix. Again, it wasn’t a chocolate brownie, but it was the best darn chocolate dessert ever–“Torta Al Cioccolato” which is described in the menu as “layers of chocolate cake and caramel reduction.” It came as a sinfully rich and moist, dark chocolate cake, with an artistic rendering of caramel reduction on the plate. This was generously shared with my two best “foodie” buddies, who love chocolate as much as I do.
I haven’t stopped my research yet, but I thought I’d post my preliminary findings . After all, dark chocolate brownies takes time to find and needs time to savour. At the moment, the elliptical machine, walking and line-dancing works off some of the calories, allowing the hunt for a perfect dark chocolate brownie to continue. Sigh–what we must do for “research.”