Friday, September 29, 2017

Recipe for Infidelity?

In place of the usual Friday Funnies, here's an equally amusing, but true story, and a recipe too which asks the question . . .

Could the brownie recipe of a famous actress lead to infidelity?

That was the claim left 2 years in a recipe comment when The New York Times published Katharine Hepburn's Brownie Recipe. The comments had the usual tales of recipe success, failure, and tweaks, but only one went viral at the time, and then was forgotten, but not by The Times

A few weeks ago, the paper did an article noting that of over 16 million comments ever reviewed, the so-called "brownie infidelity comment" was an all-time favorite.

In case you missed it, here's that original comment as written . . . 
“This has been my go-to brownie recipe for 30 years. In the ’80s, an acquaintance in Germany to whom I brought some of the brownies, and who considered herself a great cook, asked for the recipe but was never able to get it to work. She kept asking me what she was doing wrong and I was never able to solve her problem. Eventually, she moved to the U.S. and stole my husband!”
Names have been omitted, but the story was on NPR and network stations this week. According to the stories, the woman and her husband became friends with another couple when in Europe. The wife was given the brownie recipe, but despite trying couldn't "get it right" and reportedly accused the recipe giver of leaving out ingredients.

Later, that woman, whose own marriage had ended, visited the "recipe giver" in the U.S. She began an affair with the recipe giver's husband. The recipe giver later divorced her husband, relocated and remarried. 

And, that's why this brownie recipe, which was said to be the late Ms. Hepburn's personal favorite, has become as notorious as she was rumored to be.

Coincidentally, it too has a well-known connection to marital infidelity. Hepburn and actor Spencer Tracy carried on a 25-year relationship and he was married throughout it, until his 1967 death. Hepburn died in 2003.

After reading about the "brownie infidelity" story this week, I decided to try the recipe. That said, I'm not sharing it with married friends. Hopefully, none will read this blog post. You might consider doing the same — just to be on the safe side (just saying).

Katherine Hepburn Brownie Recipe

Set oven to 325° F. Butter the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking pan or line it with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

  • 1/2 C cocoa or 2 squares (2 oz.) unsweetened baker's chocolate
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 C chopped walnuts or pecans
  1. Melt butter with the cocoa or chocolate together in a heavy saucepan over medium
    low, whisking constantly till blended. 
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Cool before you whisk in the eggs and vanilla, so as not to cook the eggs. 
  3. Stir in flour, salt and walnuts. Mix well. 
  4. Pour into well-buttered square baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 40 minutes till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  5. Cool completely and cut into squares. (The brownies may be difficult to slice cleanly; use a sharp knife and a spatula to help loosen from the baking dish.)
NOTE: The 1/4 cup of flour is not a typo. Reportedly, Ms. Hepburn, after tasting brownies made by a friend's father, was said to have commented: "Too much flour; and don’t over- bake them. They should be moist, not cakey.”  She then gave her own recipe.

Enjoy your weekend, Everyone.
(Yes, we did enjoy the brownies.)


Coastal Ripples said...

Lovely post. It made me smile! Might have to give those brownies a try. Have a great weekend. B x

Emma Springfield said...

I will give this recipe a try. I don't like most brownies because they are so dry. Perhaps too much flour is the reason.

Sandra said...

you will not have to worry about me.. I don't bake, don't do recipes, though I do eat what others do and if I did I sure do not want another husband. HE HE HE

Denise inVA said...

That's an interesting story. And I will give that recipe a try some time.

mamasmercantile said...

Well that made me smile. I must give the recipe a try.

William Kendall said...

I'm fairly sure I can't bake, lest the house burn down!

Pecans are actually the only nut I dislike.

Anonymous said...

I think I will stick with Betty Crocker's brownie mix.

Kay G. said...

She is right, a brownie should be moist, not cakey!

One thing, I have made brownies for years. Even if you make them from a mix, underbake them by 5 minutes and let them cool. Cut then in squares and serve them in cupcake papers. People will rave over them!

This was a great story of brownies by the way!

diane b said...

Thats a funny story but probably not for the recipe giver.

Lynn said...

That's so interesting - who knew that kind of thing happened? Those are good looking brownies!

I make brownies from a mix and just make sure I get the same kind each time - Duncan Hines Decadent Triple Chocolate. I'm renowned in my workplace for my brownies. I just give a mysterious smile when asked about the recipe. :)

baili said...

Very interesting post!

Never tried as they never stay moist and i don't like dried one .

A Quiet Corner said...

They sound delicious and although married, I will make them because while the Pres doesn't eat them, I know several who do!...:)JP

Ginnie said...

I don't do much baking but may have to give this a try ... I know some pretty neat husbands who might give me a 2nd look if I arrived with these in hand ... hmmmmmm?

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