Now I know that there is a huge debate raging here about copyright and Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious book and Missy Lapine's Sneaky Chef book and whilst its interesting, I'm more interested in the recipes than the controversy. Not that I'm not interested in Hollywood or literary gossip mind you, I am of course being an avid "trash mag" connoisseur, but my stomach beckons a little more.
After seeing Jessica on Oprah, I was intrigued by the recipes. I've noticed that whenever Oprah does a food show, she tries the food but doesn't really go for it preferring to sample little bits rather than indulge. In this case, perhaps because the recipes are low fat and healthy, she was literally wolfing the food down throughout the whole show accompanying her degustation with amorous groans of pleasure. Her audience's reaction too was similar in nature with a lot of head nodding so I knew I had to try these things for myself.
The odd thing about brownies is that they have a lot of eggs, butter and chocolate to help keep them moist. In this recipe, there's hardly any, just 2 large egg whites and 2 tablespoons of butter so my skepticism was high. It became even higher when pureeing the spinach. I love spinach and cheese but plain spinach is not appealing at all. Plain spinach in a brownie is even less so. I remained skeptical until I tasted the final raw batter before it was about to be put into the oven. It was rather chocolately and no matter how hard I tried, had no spinach taste at all.
After baking, I found that they didn't rise a great deal at all and whilst my baking pan was almost exactly 8inches (20cms) by 8inches (20cms) as specified, the brownies were a little flat. That was a bit disappointing. And if you're expecting a typical luscious brownie with crispy top and moist chewy centre, you may be disappointed. I found that, as she said, with my first bite of a warm one, there was the slightest hint of "something" although it thankfully didn't scream "spinach!!" to me. After letting it cool as suggested I started on a new brownie. Phew, no spinach taste. By the third or fourth bite, when I realised I was eating an extremely healthy version of a brownie but it was rich and chocolately I find they aren't so bad after all. In fact, they were rather good. And by the end of my first cool brownie, I'm reaching for another...