Chuao Abuela Brownie Mix

Yeah, none of my grandmothers ever baked. And for that matter, none of them were abuelas to me. I'm as white as an albino Archie Bunker and I burn under high wattage lamps. But I figured I'd be able to bake these brownies- with style! After all, they don't call me Tits McGee for nothing. (I baked them without a bra.) These brownies, by chocolatier Chuao, from the lovely Vivian and her Siamese, Ginger, feature dark chocolate and a stencil for making a pretty design on top of your brownies. And son, I am all about fucking stencils. Screw a D+ in arts and crafts. I NEVER LIKED GIRL SCOUT CAMP ANYWAY.They're easy and require merely eggs and butter. It defeats the purpose of buying a baking mix for convenience if you have to break out your Pyrex and food scale. I was surprised to see a whole stick of butter going into this and was originally a little worried these would come out greasy. But the batter was delicious- rich, gooey and chocolatey with little chunks of chocolate inside. They seemed to be good-sized but not too large that they broke up the texture of the batter. A good sign.After baking for a half hour, they came out looking very tender. Even after cooling for over an hour, they still oozed chocolate when I cut into them, but the butter helped them slide out of the pan with nary a crumb left over. We ate one brownie warm and thought it really had the texture of a well-made chocolate lava cake, with a very slight, crisped crust and a molten, rich interior. They were very gooey and evenly dispersed with visible chocolate chunks. When they cooled down, they fused into a chocolatey bar with no effort needed to bite chunks off. Even cold, the chocolate was soft and melted inside. Medium rare brownies. Texture is a go.

However, there were some minor problems with the sugar in these. Eating brownies is even more fun when you've got something to top them with or eat alongside. Unfortunately, these are too sweet to allow any additional desserts on the side, which is why I typically like my brownies to have a more toned down, bitter chocolate flavor. The topping of a powdered sugar stencil was a nice idea, but ultimately added an overly sweetened flavor to the pastry.

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