It seems that whenever one (and I speak as an estrogen-infused one) is in the bowels of depression, chocolate is the only effective antidote.
I know you’ve heard it all before. The cravings. The female thing. The bitchiness. The dark chocolate. It is all a mysteriuos whirlpool of hormones, self-fulfilling prophecy and a bland recollection of scientific data we willfully and eagerly accept and promote. It is, in a way, a mantra to hum over and over to ourselves, in blind hopes that it will ease all the discomforts, and there are many, of our day to day living, especially on the bleak and rainy days. Hmmm…Chocolate cures all….Hmmm
And for one moment, one creamy, rich, sinful moment, it does. It eases anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, and especially, that unsatiable desire for sweet and bitter, dark and white, and lately, for me, salt and sugar. I’ve become obsessed with sea salt dark chocolate, and find myself so enchanted by it that I am required to sit on the couch, place a piece in my mouth, and close my eyes to fully experience it. I don’t tell myself to eat the chocolate this way, I just do and can’t seem to enjoy it any other way.
My daughter has discovered the word ‘glum.’ She tries interjecting it in most sentences. She seems to like the way it sounds, so, it was no surprise when she asked me tonight at bedtime if today was a glum day for me. I got nervous for a second there. Was it that apparent? Did I not hide the look of despair well enough? Was she this intuitive or was I that bad? Of course, it really boils down to her love of the word I soon realized after she followed her question with her commentary about Goldie’s glum day swimming around in the tank with so much mold on it. Yes, Goldie is glum and a goldfish. But I quietly thought about her question and I suppose it had been a glum day for me too. It was rainy, I was home alone, and I was cooking, so, really, it should have been cause for celebration, but something was off and I was glum. I’ll blame it on the hormones and another important bit, I was out of my salty chocolate.
So, in honor of the ancient culinary companion that is chocolate, I offer a truly decandent and sinfully tasty treat. No need to have glum days or be a bitchy female to enjoy this one either. Just keep the couch nearby. You may have to sit and close your eyes to enjoy.
From The New Basics Cookbook
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan and set aside.
Melt chocolate in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Add the syrup and stir well.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter. Beat until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla and the eggs and mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, sift the sugar, salt and flour. Add this to the chocolate mixture and blend.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30 minutes.
Allow brownies to cool completely in the pan. Cut into 1-inch squares
Makes 64 baby brownies