This is lockdown. This is crazy time. This is living moment by moment…

As the clock crept toward 4 p.m. I craved chocolate. Not just chocolate. A brownie. I wanted, badly wanted, a brownie.

There are bonafide bakeries in Ubud that deliver. I could have ordered my sweet treat from professionals. But where’s the adventure in that? Where’s the fun? The suspense?

I remembered buying something called cacao nibs. I burrowed through the basket that holds miscellaneous such things looking for them. In the process I found a far more promising candidate.

The Bali version of Hershey’s syrup: Chocolate Topping Jam. Notice the expiration date. March 26, 2021. I’m checking more carefully now.

I would never buy chocolate topping jam. I inherited it from Ketut who used to squirt it on his delicious banana fritters. But there are no guests for the fritters now so it found its way to my stash of mishmash (along with the likes of decades old curry powder).

Next step: I Googled chocolate syrup brownies. Hundreds of recipes popped up – who knew? I chose Domino Sugar Chocolate Syrup Brownies, not because I had Domino sugar – far from it. Mine was a lump of the old, solidified, palm variety.

And of course I still don’t have an oven, or a 9 x 13 baking pan, so I halved the recipe to fit in my trusty non-stick skillet.

The ingredients called for four eggs – half would be two – but Bali chickens lay large eggs so I used one.

Pili nuts have a buttery flavor. They’d be a perfect complement. I dumped in a healthy portion.

In case you don’t know pili nuts, they’re a high fat (22g/ounce), low carb (1.1g/ounce) superfood. They also weigh in at 200 calories per ounce so they’re perfect for brownies that are already off the calorie charts. I mean – if you’re gonna do it – go whole hog!

I spread them in the pan, flopped the cover on, and turned up the flame. The recipe said bake for twenty-five to thirty minutes. I set the timer for twenty and started cleaning up. Three minutes into the bake cycle – burn smell. I whipped the skillet off the heat and flipped the contents up-side-down into a different pan. Salvaged. That was close.

Another three minutes and – done. I turned them out onto a plate.

I know – they don’t look normal. In case you hadn’t noticed, nothing right now is normal. The important thing was, they smelled right.

I washed dishes while they cooled,

Then sat down to test the results.

Oh! My! Oh, dear. These are so much better than any brownies I’ve ever tasted. No! I’m not kidding! They’re moist…chocolaty…sweet-but-not-too-sweet. The palm sugar adds a caramel flavor. Ohhhh yes!

See what I mean? Experimentation. Adventure. Suspense. I learned that a recipe that calls for twenty-five to thirty minutes in the oven takes a quick three minutes per side in the skillet. Never had to flip brownies before but, listen, whatever it takes, right? This is lockdown. This is crazy time. This is living moment-by-moment and making it work.

Try them! I dare you….

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. stevecastley
    Apr 25, 2020 @ 20:23:52

    When this is all over, don’t you dare sing! As I often say, ‘It’s not over until the …” I don’t want it to be over. (Work this out.)



  2. Marile
    Apr 26, 2020 @ 05:40:27

    Fun. I am going to try this recipe. I do have Hershey’s and an oven but no puli nuts. Thank u. I’ll improvise.



    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Apr 28, 2020 @ 12:18:57

      Marile – let me know how yours turn out. Nuts or no nuts – it really shouldn’t matter. I just used pili nuts because I had them. But I can’t praise these moist, almost fudge-like confections enough. I would ALMOST buy Chocolate Jam so I could make them again. ALMOST.



  3. Diane Struble
    Apr 26, 2020 @ 14:16:02

    Culinary victories are particularly sweet. I could almost taste yours.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. writingforselfdiscovery
    Apr 26, 2020 @ 19:57:42

    Culinary victories. I like that. Yes, this one was exceedingly sweet, and there’s half left for tomorrow!



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