Eat Dessert First

Where to start cookies, brownies, cakes, pies, ice cream you name it and I can prepare it and will most definitely eat it!  I can’t even bake much at home because I know myself and I will just eat all of it myself, maybe not in one sitting but pretty close.  We even have a tradition in my family….ok myself, my mom and my sister, all follow.  The day after your birthday you have to eat some of your birthday cake for breakfast.  But really a muffin is just a naked cupcake and as my mom would say “there’s eggs in it, that counts.”  I could give up sweets if I had to but I simply don’t want to regardless of all the sugar hate out there right now. 


I went to pastry school in Boston on a whim after I got bored decorating cakes.  I was 20 and ready for the next phase of my life.  After receiving my certificate, I ran my own business through my parents’ grocery store making pastries, specialty cakes and wedding cakes for about seven years. 


What did I learn in seven years? I hate wedding cakes.  Sorry brides out here but you are the hardest customers I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with.  Now my response when people ask me to make their wedding cake is “well it depends on how much I like you.”  All other desserts, completely different story.  Assorted pastries, pies anything other than cake tell me where and when.  We didn’t even have cake at our own wedding, pies, brownies and cookies and even a pumpkin pie eating contest. 


During wedding season, I used to work twelve hour days and then go run 3-5 miles, every day!!!!  That’s how much stress they gave me.  I am sure that time of year I scared people around me.  I remember having a bad baking day and walking out of the wash room caring a rather large mixer paddle saying out loud “I swear I am going to beat somebody today.”


Some of my favorite questions from people were “Do you have anything low-fat, sugar-free or know the calorie count?”  Um, I am sorry I make good desserts, ones worth eating.  When I am eating a delicious rich double chocolate brownie topped with chocolate ganache, vanilla buttercream and caramel sauce the last thing I want to know is how many calories I just ate.  A customer once ordered a sugar-free banana cake (first and last time I ever took an order like that) and called me the next day to say it wasn’t sweet enough.  So as for the healthier sweets, which sounds like an oxymoron to me, that was never an area I even wanted to touch.


I am making two cakes this weekend for our son’s school.  It’s our big fundraiser for the year so I had to donate something.  I waited until the last possible moment to decide on what to make, which all my friends know I am notorious for, and ended with two cakes.  It’s not so much that I hate cake…..I’m honestly not sure what it is, brides have probably ruined cake for me, let’s just blame them.  Now bread I could never get bored with, that’s a whole other story. 


I went to a local restaurant once and asked for the best-selling dessert. Our waitress recommended the house made brownies, she said they were to die for, I will love it, best brownie she’s ever had…..oh poor thing she clearly had never had a real brownie.  Make yourself a pan and find out what a real brownie should taste like.


Rich Chocolate Brownies

10 oz unsalted butter

24 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

7 (yes 7) whole eggs

9 oz sugar

1 Tablespoon REAL vanilla (always use real vanilla. Otherwise you might as well add water)

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup all-purpose flour


Melt butter and chocolate in microwaveable bowl for two minutes, mix together.  In a separate bowl mix together eggs, sugar and salt.  Combine the two mixtures and mix only until combined.  Fold in flour. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 325 until done.  Sorry I don’t use baking times, never have never will.  It’s done when it’s done lol. 


After reading this to my husband he said “You sound like a food snob.”


My response “Yes, we I will discuss that next week.”


So my vote is to eat dessert first, unless it’s low-fat, fat-free, sugar-free it’s probably not worth it.

Natalie Kohlhagen