April 25, 2011

Where Humor Meets Delicious: Dulce de Leche Brownies

I just finished reading The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz.

I’ve decided I love this guy. I wish I could be him. He used to live in San Francisco (my new favorite US city). And now he lives in Paris (my favorite city, period).

He eats. He cooks. He bakes. He writes about it. He lives in Paris, the greatest city in the world.

And he’s funny, to boot.

I chuckled out loud numerous times on the recent flights that I’ve read his book on—and that’s saying something since I generally spend my time on a plane thinking about all of the things that might cause it to crash. (What’s that vibrating noise? Is that normal? Have you had turbulence this bad before? Do you think that person has been in the bathroom too long? Do you think they’re up to something?)

Just one of many funny excerpts:

“I don’t wear sneakers much, but as hard as I try, I’m unable to squeeze my feet into the stiff leather shoes that Parisian men favor. It’s beyond me how Parisian gents are able to wear these shoes on the city’s hard and treacherously slippery pavement. Consequently, my black, lug-soled Trippen shoes from Germany make me an outcast and invariably draw stares. Maybe it’s because the smooth soles are easier to wipe clean than my deep-grooved soles if you step in the minefield of sidewalk dog droppings. The downside is when racing through the market in the springtime, I have to stop and take a stick to flick out the cherry pits that get stuck in the bottoms or else people look up, expecting to see a seasoned hoofer tap-dancing his way toward them as I click around the city.”

That’s funny! To me, anyway.

He loves Parisians as much as he loves making fun of them. I think it hits a little too close to home for my mom—she hasn’t finished the book yet and started it a while ago. I usually fiercely protect the French among those who are unlucky enough to make fun of them in front of me (they only do it once). But, because I sense his true admiration of them, I let it slide. And laugh along.

So, because I’m feeling awfully inspired by him tonight—and because Zach is in need of some comfort after getting a flat tire on the same day that he woke up at 3:30 am, I’m making the Dulce de Leche Brownies from his book.

Homemade brownies with swirls of dulce de leche. Lebovitz says they’ve opened doors for him in Paris. I believe him.

Dulce de Leche Brownies—Adapted slightly from The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz

8 tbsp unsalted butter
6 oz semisweet chocolate
¼ c cocoa
3 large eggs
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c flour
1 c canned dulce de leche

Heat oven to 350.

Grease an 8-inch square pan. Line bottom and 2 sides with wax paper or parchment paper.

Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add in chocolate, and stir until completely melted.

Off heat, whisk in cocoa until blended.

Add eggs, one at a time. Mix in sugar, vanilla, and flour.

Pour half of the batter into the pan. Then dollop 1/3 of the dulce de leche by teaspoon-sized mounds, evenly spaced apart. Use a knife to lightly swirl the dulce de leche into the brownie mixture.

Pour remaining brownie batter over the top, and dollop remainder of the dulce de leche, very lightly swirling.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until knife comes out clean.

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