Tuesday, 10 June 2008

The perfect brownie...

After a bit of a rubbish day yesterday, my better half came and met me after work to take me for a cup of tea and a cuddle.

We headed to Westbourne Grove and stumbled upon Ottolenghi

J will tell you how long I can take on deciding where to have a bite to eat – but I was immediately taken by the stacks and stacks of cakes in the window and made an instant decision that I wanted to try every one of them.

I ummed and aaahed for an age about which cake to try. J very generously gave in and said I could buy two cakes. It still didn’t help the decision but in the end I settled on a chocolate brownie and coffee and walnut cake. J selected a large chunk of pear tart and we perched outside in the sunshine to enjoy our treats.

I have long been on the look out for my ideal brownie. The one from the Tate Modern came close, but that didn’t have nuts and was very rich. Others I’ve tried have been over cooked or just simply boring.

But this brownie was the most amazing brownie I have ever eaten. I mused that it must have just been shown the oven and put on the stand – it was so gooey and fudgey. It wasn’t cloying and it definitely wasn’t sickly – I could have eaten two or three.

The pear tart was a little dry on the outside for me, but full of flavour and the coffee cake, which I devoured after supper, was beautifully moist and had the perfect balance of cake to icing.

So while my hunt for my perfect brownie is now over, I still have a multitude of sinful treats to try at Ottolenghi.


  1. But they do still sell the most expensive hot cross buns on record - £2.50 i think it was. however, i'm not doubting the quality... but still....

  2. Well our three cakey bits and two drinks came to £13.00.

    Which is a lot for a quick snack, but I'd say definitely worth it.

  3. Well, after a rather hot trip around the shops in Brighton, my friend treated me to lunch at Bill's at the Old Bus Depo. I have never been before as it always looked very busy and maybe a bit too hectic, when trying to escape the crowds. I have to say I'm a complete convert, the menu is extremely reasonably priced, the salads are crisp, colourful and delicious... but the highlight is their fabulous selection of cakes and desserts. I did not have the chocolate brownie, but I would imagine that it would be 'The Perfect Brownie'. Instead I opted for the the chocolate Delice, decorated with Mango,Roses and Rosemary, as they say, you eat with your eyes first, this is definately the case at Bill's. I have never seem such a beautifully decorated plate, absolute taste & visual heaven

  4. mmmmm - now I'm hungry for brownies! My search still continues for the perfect brownie, but I would say that those you can buy at Borough Market may come close and Baker and Spice do a tasty option filled with white chocolate and blueberry jam. But if you are looking for THE traditional brownie I have it on good authority that the Hummingbird Bakery is the place to taste.

  5. Shouldn't the question of what is or what makes "The Perfect Brownie" be classed as one of those deep, dreamy, philosophical questions to be pondered for years as of extreme importance and yet never really gotten an answer to?
    After all, though we may make highly self righteous statements claiming "This is the perfect Brownie because it is just nutty enough", how are we to know whether this "Perfect Brownie" contains any nuts at all.
    In saying all this, i believe i have come very very close to the ultimate in brownie chocolatey goodliness in one i purchased from Flourpowercity Bakery.