Maybe Sweet Tooth Factory brownies would have been more spread out if a) they were more reliably present at the Southbank food market, and b) other stalls made similar numbers of brownies. Galeta still only has three. Tea, Bread and Brownie appear to only have two, although recently I think I saw a third cake that might count as a brownie. Sweet Tooth Factory… well, this is the fourth, not counting the one I ate and couldn’t properly blog, and there’s still a bunch I’ve not yet got around to trying. But this is the cookie dough brownie, which last week was labelled as a blondie, causing me much confusion. It’s not. It’s a cookie dough brownie!
I’m not sure if I entirely ‘get’ cookie dough. So obviously it’s raw cookie mixture. It contains huge amounts of butter, sugar, chocolate and other delicious things and so it continues to be tasty, even though cookies are ‘designed’ to be cooked and cookie dough isn’t. (On a related and only-half-joking note: who called it ‘cookie dough’ and not ‘undercookie’?)
There seems to be some element of the appeal of ‘licking the cake spoon’ that you get when you bake. It’s something I particularly remember from baking as a child; possibly it means much less as an adult, when you’re sort of expecting to be eating all the things you’re baking anyway, and eating all the cake batter off the spoon or out of the (emptied) mixing bowl or whatever is less of a big deal. I still get the appeal, though, but it’s not quite the same as how cookie dough is consumed nowadays, which is to say: on its own in huge quantities, or added as its own ingredient to all sorts of other dishes. Creams (who suck at brownies) have an entire section of their menu which is different flavours and varieties of warm cookie dough. There’s at least three Ben & Jerry’s flavours with cookie dough pieces in them. It seems like it’s here to stay as a concept, even if it’s sort of puzzling and paradoxical to me.
Anyway, I’ve already eaten one cookie dough brownie for the blog, and it almost couldn’t be more different. That brownie was a fully cooked brownie base, with raw cookie dough on top of it. This one, as far as I can work out, has had cookie dough put on top at some point during the actual cooking process, so you’ve got a much cleaner and complete connection between the two, but also the cookie dough has ended up somewhat cooked, so that it’s…basically a (misshapen) cookie on top of the brownie?
Maybe it’s because I personally very much want my cookies to stay on the under-done side: cookies should be soft, chewy and almost gooey (much like brownies…. hmmm…) and I’m really not keen on cookies that end up too well-cooked, crispy, dark in colour, etc. This means there’s not a huge amount of time or effort separating my ideal cookies from the dough from whence they came. Concepts like ‘baked cookie dough’ are therefore bizarre to me. Baking cookie dough gives you cookies. That’s the definition.
Maybe this brownie is calling itself a ‘cookie dough brownie’ because even if that’s not the most accurate description (if you’re going to bake the cookie dough in question) the alternative is to describe this as a ‘cookie brownie’ and I admit I wouldn’t be entirely sure what that would be. Brownies baked in the vague shape of a cookie? A brownie with crumbled cookies in the batter? An attempt at making a cookie with brownie batter, or vice versa? At least I think I can predict what a ‘cookie dough brownie’ should look like, and that is what has been delivered here, even if I have questions about the cooking of the cookie dough.
Maybe I’m spending too much time musing with no real point and should just eat and review the brownie?
Taste: I was shocked and thrilled by how so very great this brownie tastes. I mean, as you might be able to tell, I can’t even really put it into words. It’s like the entire thing is suffused with the platonic ideal of the milk chocolate taste. I’ve got to give it the full 10/10
Texture: Now the brownie part is also, as far as I’m concerned, perfect brownie texture. It’s exactly the right balance along the gooey-fudgey-chewy-soft axes. I can imagine that the cookie dough on top absorbed a sufficient amount of the baking (if that’s a concept that makes physical sense) and enabled all the brownie underneath to stay perfect. Essentially, the cookie dough has taken the place of the ‘crust’ on the top of the brownie. Now, the question is – does this ruin the cookie dough texture on top at all? And that cookie dough would indeed be too well done for an actual cookie, but I really like it in this combination, where it adds a bit of texture variety to the whole thing, and makes the crusting feel much more acceptable. There’s also chocolate chips threaded through both elements. Overall, what I’m getting round to saying is: this texture is also 10/10
Presentation: It’s sort of messy – it’s not a clear demarcation of two layers, one cookie dough, one brownie. It’s much more like some cookie dough was haphazardly spread over a half-baked brownie, and then the whole was baked some more. But I like it. It looks bold, it looks fun with this mix, it looks tasty and exciting with these really strong colour differences, so despite being somewhat messy, it’s still 4/5
Value: It was £3, like (I think) all the brownies so far from Sweet Tooth Factory, and a pretty good size as well. And given just how delicious this brownie also was, that’s-a great value brownie. 8/10
Fudge Factor: I tend to give a pretty high score to brownies which absolutely floor me. I was expecting this to be good (this is a good bakery that does good brownies after all) but I wasn’t expecting to eat the best brownie I’ve ever blogged about. 5/5
Dat Score Dough: 37
Should I Buy And Eat This Brownie?
I sure do miss Vine.