“I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody.”
Katharine Hepburn’s brownies have me thinking of that classic scene in On the Waterfront. Just look at these brownies. Terry Malloy would have eaten them by the fistful — they’re rugged, gnarled, scrappy. But they’ll never get a title shot. No, they get a one-way ticket to Palookaville. Because I already discovered the Perfect Brownie.
I’m sure Katharine Hepburn would be appalled to know that her lovely creation is being made to speak in the voice of Marlon Brando, a man who she admired as an actor, but despised as a human being. How fascinating it would have been to watch Hepburn and Brando work together on a film. She was such a perfect match with so many male leads: Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart. Is there a movie that could have cast Hepburn and Brando together, successfully, in the lead roles? I can’t imagine transporting her into the lead role in any of his films, nor can I imagine casting him as the male lead in any of hers. Surely some film could have handled these two titans. But I can’t think of a one.
Maybe, just maybe, Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night? It’s fun to think about….
Let’s get back to the brownies. Think of these as espresso brownies. Actually, in my case, they’d be “Coffee By Design‘s ‘Alonzo’s Double Dark’ decaf” brownies, but that title is a bit unwieldy. The coffee flavor is intense, in the best possible way.
I also invented, by happy accident and a bit of laziness, a new technique that may just become permanent. The recipe included several ounces of chopped chocolate. I assumed the chocolate would be melted along with the butter, so I didn’t bother chopping it finely. Well, it was added at the very end, and therefore didn’t have a chance to melt. So it left me with these long shards of chocolate that, when the brownies were eaten warm, offered several veins of gooey chocolate stretching throughout the brownie. At room temperature, these shards of chocolate firmed up and gave the brownie a candy bar-like quality. The brownies are thin, but not precious or delicate, more like the worn hands of an ex-prize fighter: strong, intense, packing a punch.