Bad Brownie: purveyors of delicious brownies across markets throughout London, and selling mail-order brownies across the UK. Just today I discovered that they have a stall very close to my office. I bought a peanut butter brownie to fuel a late evening at work.
Bad Brownie have a cute origin story on their website and I’d encourage you to go read it. I’m a particular fan of the idea that their brownies go through ‘brownie bootcamp’ and that the ‘bad brownie’ moniker is unrelated to brownie quality but is instead all about how these are ‘brownies with attitude’. Well then.
I have a fun fact of my own about Bad Brownie: I’ve only eaten their brownies once, and that was when my ex-girlfriend sent a box to my house to say “sorry I cheated on you”. They were delicious! The association is not great! She and I are still not on speaking terms! I wouldn’t exactly say I’ve put Bad Brownie off on this blog as a result, because… well, I haven’t, I just got round to it when it made sense. But nonetheless. Maybe it’s not all that fun in retrospect, but it is unquestionably a fact.
Aside from that, and aside from providing a plausible fall-back option in case I’m ever totally unable to leave the house to buy brownie for weeks on end and have to resort to online brownie orders, what else is there to say about Bad Brownie? Well, I’m impressed at their commitment to exciting flavours and ingredients, and to doing something about unusual in several of those cases, but rather than launch into a six-paragraph explanation of that now I’m going to focus on the peanut butter one that I did, after all, decide to buy this evening. Notably, although the top is convincingly covered with peanut butter, the bulk of this ingredient appears to actually be the solid peanut pieces that are both scattered on top and are also present throughout the base. This is interesting! I’ve been wondering if crunchy peanut butter would work in desserts in the way that smooth peanut butter is normally used. For some possibly arbitrary reason I tend to associate the crunchier variant with a more savoury dish, so it’s interesting to see a strong refutation from Bad Brownie.
Let’s find out if it’s worked!
Taste: I was expecting it to be sweeter, but am not complaining that it’s not: maybe this is to better balance with the peanuts, but it works as a whole. I’d say for taste it gets 8/10
Texture: Similarly, although the base is soft, I was expecting something more gooey. (Gooeier?) Again, I suspect this is to make the texture work nicely with the crunchy peanuts, and I’m happy to say it totally does so. It reminds me a lot of the Gail’s pecan brownie in this respect, actually. 9/10
Presentation: I mean, it looks great, with a regular square cut, a perfectly sheer cross-section, dark chocolate sauce drizzled over…. mmmm. 5/5
Value: This is my only note of caution. This is £4, for a delicious brownie, but that’s also pretty expensive when compared to the likes of Konditor or Galeta. I think Bad Brownie probably rely on selling in bulk, which is how they do it online, and so I suspect their individual brownie prices are slightly inflated. I don’t want to say it’s straight up bad value, because I don’t think it is (it is very nice) but neither is it very good value, so… 6/10
Fudge Factor: Been craving a peanut butter brownie for a little while, and this fully satisfied that craving. Now I have a positive memory to associate with Bad Brownie! 4/5
Brownie Score: 32
Should I Buy And Eat This Brownie?
Look, the price is my only negative note here, and it’s not at the level where I’m going to be like “take your brownie custom elsewhere”. Maybe one downside of this blog is getting to know exactly what brownie options are available and so I find it hard not to always be comparing between different possibilities. Maybe I need to recapture the innocence. Yet even back in my halcyon days I would have noted the £4 price tag as being a little bit high, so perhaps I’m overthinking this? But I wouldn’t say £4 was too much. It’s high enough that I’d be merciless if the brownie was particularly bad (excuse the pun) but not so high that I’d actually advise against buying it. This was a delicious brownie! It’s going near the top of my leaderboard as things stand! And Bad Brownie have lots of other flavours, some of which are probably much more unique. Just take a look at their website offerings, or if not, the stall appeared to be selling some sort of bacon brownie which simultaneously sounds absolutely disgusting and also really intrigues me. Anyway, in some hypothetical world where peanut butter brownies were as unheard of as bacon brownies and still scored 30+ brownie points, I’d totally tell you to go buy them. So it seems clear that I think you should (assuming time, money, inclination, ability, etc) go to Bad Brownie and buy and eat a brownie. But when their range is this large, am I really going to tell you precisely which of their brownies you should bother to buy and eat? I mean, sure, if in a year’s time I try their ginger brownie or something and discover it’s awful, then I’ll tell you not to bother with that one, but for now I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume the peanut butter brownie isn’t some massive outlier of quality in a sea of bad brownies from Bad Brownie. In fact, I know for a fact that this is not the case, since thanks to the aforementioned ex-girlfriend I have eaten four flavours of Bad Brownie brownies already (if memory serves: triple chocolate; salted caramel; Ferroro Rocher; and…er…memory isn’t serving for the fourth one) and they were all also good. They were better than good, they were great! I know I’m sort of supposed to pretend with this blog that I’ve simultaneously eaten every brownie in the world (so that I know enough about brownies to have all my #opinions) and also haven’t actually eaten any specific brownie until I blog about it, but screw that for once, and here’s a peek behind the curtain: when/if I get around to reviewing all of Bad Brownie’s flavours, those other four are likely to have a similar score to this one. So who am I trying to kid here? £4 is more than £3 or £2.50, but there are limits to how penny-pinching you should be in this life. What if you’re at a Bad Brownie market (which is to say, a market at which Bad Brownie has a presence) and there’s no other option? Are we to pretend you’ll be unhappy with having to buy and eat a Bad Brownie? No, if you’re a brownie fan, which I have to assume you are based on the fact you’re still reading this, then you will enjoy eating a tasty tasty brownie. Money isn’t no object per se, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of life. Are brownies? Well, maybe, maybe not, but it’s probably a better guess than money, and a better thing to spend your money on than lots of things you could exchange your money for.
tl;dr: Yes, you should buy and eat this brownie.
Did you know Lana Del Rey’s real name is Lizzy Grant? And apparently she did try to have a pop career under that name originally and it completely failed! Isn’t it crazy how much difference the name apparently makes?