Blackbird Bakery: Salted In The Dead Of Night

Brownie Basics

Blackbird Bakery: another establishment that lies somewhere between “independent” and “chain”, as it started as a single shop and has now grown to have seven or eight different locations. In other words, it’s an independent bakery that’s proven successful! I went in there earlier today for a coffee and a brownie.

I still find it interesting that my phone’s camera somehow makes it always look like brownies are floating above white surfaces like this plate. A fun little optical illusion.

Brownie Backstory

No food market for me today – I am working from home, as a precursor to going on a stag weekend later today, which incidentally is something I’m a little grumpy about as it seems like it’ll be more stress and less fun than last weekend’s hen do… but this isn’t really relevant to the story of the brownie.

I was originally going to find a café for lunch as well as coffee, but in the end timings with work didn’t quite come off that way, so I popped out for a short coffee break with a brownie. Blackbird, like Gail’s, is somewhere that I’ve been to a few times but not to this particular branch before. It looked like they did have a range of delicious ‘actual’ food, as well as lots of different cakes, and of course (pretty decent) coffee. There were two brownies, a standard chocolate one and a salted caramel one, so even though I’m not the biggest fan of salted caramel I went for the latter because it seemed a little more exciting. There was also the fact that the brownies look a little dry – dry enough that I wasn’t going to get one at first, but my blogger instincts took over – and a salted caramel ingredient seemed like the best chance to counteract that!

I enjoyed sitting in Blackbird and drinking my coffee. I’ve been reading a lot of Questionable Content lately, and a large part of that is set in a coffee shop where at least some of the main cast are employees. Sitting at my table with my standard black coffee, I was entertained by the chatting and the friendly banter between the baristas/bakers about all sorts of random crap (“If I were Queen, I’d make it illegal to have to get up before 7am for work” for example) and it did feel a little bit like I could have wondered into a British version of the comic strip. Sadly, I had to return to reality eventually, but in the meantime let’s review the brownie.

Brownie Points

Taste: Sadly disappointing. There wasn’t really any evidence of salted caramel actually, and not much sweetness or chocolate-ness. 4/10

Texture: Dry and crumbly. With this and the taste together, I wonder if this is what happens if you bake a brownie with just cocoa rather than actual chocolate? Or would it be better if it had not been left out on the counter all day? 2/10

Presentation: It looks pretty mediocre, but it was served on nice china by a friendly barista I guess. 2/5

Value: At £3.25 (less if I had taken it away) I don’t think this was really worth it for a disappointing brownie. For the size of brownie, it’s not objectively terrible, but it’s not good for the cost. 3/10

Fudge Factor: Ugghhhhh. Look, if a brownie is supposed to have salted caramel in, but then doesn’t… that’s a bad look. -1/5

Total Points: 10

Should I Buy And Eat This Brownie?

I think you can guess that I’m going to say “no”. If you’re in Blackbird, buy something else. If you want a brownie, go elsewhere.

Closing Thought

I’m so excited to spend my weekend in a field with no drinking water and no hot water.


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