I was buying a few books at my local chain bookstore and saw this single-issue glossy magazine at the checkout line. The cover photo called out to me. "Hey-ay!," it beckoned. "Come try me for your next reeeeally special dinner party!"
The dessert looked like an English Trifle, only with entire Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and what seemed to be enormous chunks of brownies tucked into the yummy, custardy mass:
So like a greedy fool, I bought the magazine (and it wasn't cheap!) and whisked it home.
Bad move, that.
When I leafed through the publication, I was dismayed. Many of the recipes relied heavily on packaged foods, like frozen whipped topping, artificially flavored cream cheese, and packaged cake mixes. The food was relentlessly artery-clogging and not very innovative.
And the cover recipe? It calls for brownies made from a mix. Worse yet, what I mistook for a Crême Anglaise was actually vanilla Jell-O pudding.
If I'm going to ingest some serious calories on dessert, I want to be eating homemade brownies and a sauce that starts with eggs, heavy cream, sugar, and real vanilla extract.
I might some day try to re-create this recipe, but with all elements made from scratch. If I do, however, the Reese's cups get a pass.
No sense trying to mess with perfection.