I hardly feel that Mary Berry needs any introductions. Some of us know her as one of the judges from The Great British Bake Off, a competition baking show set in a tent. While a tent may seem a weird place to be baking, Mary Berry embraces it. Her grandmotherly affection and boozy tastes fill bakers' and viewers' hearts with joy.
It was this joy that I recently tried to capture and recreate with my own attempts at baking. More recently, I tried my hand at mini salted caramel brownie muffins. It sounds good doesn't it? Well, not for me. I don't like caramel (cue the gasps). I know, right? I only hope Mary Berry isn't ashamed of my amateur taste buds.
The salted caramel brownie muffins were for my parents. I figured I would try something simple before making Mary Berry's Classic Victorian Christmas Cake, a recipe that demands five hours of my time and baking skills I may not have.
After taking an inventory of all the ingredients I would need, feelings of excitement and anticipation started to fill me up. Christmas music was playing and I didn't even need to go to the store to purchase any ingredients. A happy atmosphere to hone my craft. What could possibly go wrong?
It was almost as if the universe decided to challenge me by answering my rhetorical question. My Christmas ode to Mary Berry swiftly turned into a horror movie. As I opened the oven, I realized the brownie batter was spilling over the sides. The brownie muffins themselves were raw and burnt. How does that even happen? I began to panic, hoping that the caramel flavor would salvage them. But as I tasted the brownie, I realized there was no caramel flavor in them! "Quick!" I thought, "Add some more caramel sauce on top!" But as I reached for the jar of caramel, the cocoa powder spilled, enveloping me in a cloud of brown haze.
Irritated, covered in cocoa powder, and all Christmas spirit gone I tried to think of what Mary Berry would do. Surely someone who has edited Housewife magazine and judged a beloved baking show has been able to recover from worse baking mishaps?
Channeling Mary Berry's zen nature, I pulled myself together and scraped the burnt tops off the brownie muffins. I then rolled them into balls and finished baking them in the microwave. After drizzling more caramel on top, I stuck them in the freezer to cool.
Exhausted, I collapsed on the sofa with some chocolate to soothe my pride. My parents, unbeknownst to my baking struggles, thought the salted caramel brownie bites were great. But what would Mary Berry have said? Would she have appreciated my 4 hour struggle to make homemade brownies and caramel? Or would she have denounced my lack of experience? Or worse, think the salted caramel brownie bites were awful? I'd like to hope that as long as I don't have a soggy bottom, I'm doing ok.