The Best Brownie in London

Paul A. Young Brownie

If you skip over the fact that I made three trips in the past thirty days, and have two more coming up in the next two weeks, I don’t really travel all that much. (And it’s funny because some people like to try to point out inconsistencies about things I write about, which is amusing because I take even greater pains to point them out myself.) Before I moved to Europe, I was always quite surprised when I thought Europeans spent all their free time and weekends heading to other countries, visiting new cities, and immersing themselves in foreign cultures, when quite a few of them stay at home in lieu of hitting the road.

Then I moved to France and stayed at home almost all the time. (In my defense, the mind-numbing amount of paperwork one has to do contributes somewhat to the inability to leave one’s house.) The other thing that keeps me from traveling is the difficulty I have is navigating unfamiliar cities. I know my way around Paris like the back of mon main, but plop me in the center of Berlin, Lisbon, or Lausanne, and for the first day or two I spend a considerable amount of time getting hopelessly lost.

brownie from Paul A. Young

Some people like that. I often read travel stories where the writers “claim” to enjoy serendipitously “just taking off in any direction, and seeing where it leads.” I, on the other hand, need a specific destination (invariably food-related), and confirming, then re-confirming – twice, that I have in my messenger bag a notebook, a pen, chapstick (actually two, in case one runs out, because that would be a crisis), a camera, a Sharpie, a map, a reusable nylon shopping tote, sunglasses, eyeglasses, facial tissues, and my iPhone, which I once forgot and had a full-on anxiety attack when I discovered that a few hours later.

The day I went to London, I had another kind of anxiety attack (this one, kind of justified). I checked my ticket the night before and saw the departure time of 9:36 am. Since the métro is nice and speedy, I woke up at 7 am and figured that’d give me time to have breakfast, then leisurely head for the Gare du Nord where the Eurostar takes off from.

After setting a pot of coffee on the stove, dropping a couple of slices of bread in le toaster, and padding around in my pajamas in my usual early morning daze, I thought that maybe I should double-check my ticket just to make sure of the departure and arrival time. So imagine my surprise (which is putting it mildly…) when I pulled out the ticket and realized that 9:36 am was the arrival time, not the departure time, which was 8:14 am. Which was about 43 minutes from now.

Eurostar ticket

I swear, I haven’t eaten that fast since I worked in the restaurant business, when if I actually took two minutes to eat something, invariably the moment I put something in my mouth, a waiter would come racing over to me with an urgent need for some sort of cake or dessert for a guest. Once I was using the restroom, making a pit stop for less than one minute and two waiters were banging on the door, anxious for me to hurry up and get out so I could get them their desserts. And people wonder why I’m such a nervous wreck all the time – even in the loo.

Anyhow I made my train, although I got a few funny looks balancing a square piece of hastily buttered toast in my mouth running down the métro stairs with my little suitcase, and ended up in London, bright and (a little too) early. Although I was there doing some events my publisher set up for me, I had a few free hours one afternoon and went for a little walk, in spite of the fact that I neglected to grab my messenger bag and had to jam all those aforementioned things into my four pockets.

For some reason, no matter where I seem to go, there’s always somewhere better that I’ve missed. I don’t know how I continue to miss all these great places that are better than the ones that I’ve been to, when folks write “Oh, you should have gone to…” It never fails to happen – and I’m beginning to suspect it may be a way to try to make me feel guilty for lying in my hotel bed in my fluffy, terry-cloth bathrobe watching back-to-back reruns of Scrubs and snacking on mini After Eight mints that are sold in a roll which I found at the John Lewis supermarket and am now kind of addicted to. But when I passed the window of Paul A. Young chocolate shop on my walk, there was a pyramid of brownie squares with a big sign just above, proclaiming them as “The Best Brownies in London.” And I realized if I didn’t go in and buy one – after rifling through the pile to get the one with exactly the right ratio of crust to brownie, of course – I’d be in big trouble.

chocolate brownie

I’m usually wary of anything that calls itself “The Best”, since “best” is pretty subjective, and I didn’t want to send them my own message that began with, “Oh, you should have called them…” I ended up bringing it back to Paris with me because I was pretty stuffed from lunch. And I figured even the best brownie should survive one extra day of shelf life. Although there’s a cooking magazine that labels a good number of its recipes as “The best” of their genre, I’ve only had the gumption to call only one of my recipes in one of my books “The best”. I think if you’re going to ascribe that term to something edible, it darn well better be the-most-amazing-thing-you’ve-ever-put-in-your-mouth.

So, was it the best? And is anyone going to say, “Oh, you should have…1) eaten it the same day, 2) bought it only on the third Friday in May, only during even-numbered years, or 2) purchased it only at their store that is miles away from anywhere and takes three tube transfers to get there, where all the sales clerks are sacred virgins whose divine purpose on earth is to only wrap and sell Paul A. Young chocolate brownies”? If you like fudgy, very gooey brownies, similar to baked ganache – with a texture similar to my Chocolate Idiot Cake – these are the ones to beat.

Paul A. Young Brownie

(And if anyone is going to say, “Oh, but you should have tried the ones with the nuts in them”, they offer three different kinds at the shop and you’re welcome to head in there and do your own write-up of them. But be sure to add at least half-dozen paragraphs of completely unrelated stories before it.)

I know that I should have gone to all the bakeries in London to see if it really is The Best Brownie in London, but since I only had one brownie while I was there, it was indeed, the best brownie I ever had in London. And if I had to stack it against a pyramid of others, my guess it that it could certainly hold its own. But I probably shouldn’t jump to conclusions because I’m sure that next time, there are other places that I should visit – just so I don’t feel guilty about it.

Paul A. Young Fine Chocolates
143 Wardour Street, Soho
London, England

Related Recipes

Cheesecake Brownies

Baked Brownies with Altoids

Dulce de Leche Brownies

Gluten-Free Brownies

Black Bean Brownies (101 Cookbooks)

Sweet Potato Brownie Recipe (The Guardian)

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Brownie Recipes (The Guardian)

How to Make Perfect Brownies (The Guardian)

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  • UKCajun
    September 10, 2011 12:10pm

    Living in the burrough of Islington in London I have been several times into the Paul A. Young shop here. Yes, it is a damn good brownie! I’ve had some of the others from a few of the chains, thinking they’d measure up, but they don’t. Summer time they offer up some of the best ice cream around with some amazing toppings. Winter they switch over to hot chocolate and again with some tasty toppings. I’m thrilled you got to sample one of the brownies. Next trip try the other 2!

  • September 10, 2011 12:48pm

    It may or may not be the best but it seems the mission is being accomplished – attracting customers and increasing publicity. Now I know about it and if I ever see it I will certainly buy:)

    That bit about being rushed out of the restroom by two waiters is strange. People generally don’t spend longer in a restroom than necessary – its not a place to hang out unless its in a bar/club in the early hours of the morning. I guess one can speed up the process by avoid things like washing hands – the waiters know its not them eating desserts:)

  • September 10, 2011 1:03pm

    May I accept in your stead the quest of finding out, which is the best brownie in London?
    It’s a hard job, I know, but someone has to do it!

  • Angel Commins
    September 10, 2011 1:07pm

    David, I happen to think that your dulce de leche brownies are “the best,” and they are in fact, the only brownies that I make now. Ps, it’s early Sat. morning where I live, I’ve had a bit of a rough week, but reading your blog, always makes me laugh. Thank you.

  • Candela
    September 10, 2011 1:16pm

    Talking about brownies, this week I made your “Robert’s ABSOLUTE Best Brownies”… and Yes, they are the ABSOLUTE … .Thank Youuuuu! :)

  • September 10, 2011 1:35pm

    This is also the best brownie I ever had in London…. (and it’s also the only one).

    And they are absolutely delicious!

  • September 10, 2011 1:47pm

    I won’t forget my first ride with the Eurostar and the departure trouble. Been on one of the first planes allowed to be in London after the ash cloud (lucky), but with the need to get over to Germany asap and still no news if that would happen that day – we decided to check the trains. Lucky we got the first Eurostar in the morning and a TGV from Paris (the last), but we didn’t count that it would take ages on the tube and that you need to be at the train station ages before.

    Just made it…and for the best brownie, since I love Brownies & London I will check them out next time I’m in.
    I do love the brownies from Whole Foods.

  • September 10, 2011 2:11pm

    Oooh, I must investigerate next time I’m in that part of London! We only have horrid cupcakes down here – the kind with far too much icing that looks like a dog’s mess on the top. Just as well you didn’t investigate them!

  • September 10, 2011 2:12pm

    PS. Mind you, to be fair, my part of London (Brixton) is rapidly developing a reputation as a foodie heaven, so next time you’re over, you might want to come down.

  • September 10, 2011 2:15pm

    Hmm. Will have to try this out next weekend when I am in London with Eric. Thanks!

  • Miranda
    September 10, 2011 2:30pm

    That looks divine. Perfect looking, really. I have to wipe the drool off since I won’t be having one any time soon!!!!

  • September 10, 2011 2:52pm

    Wow! This brownie looks really PARFAIT. It would’nt last long if I had one:)

  • September 10, 2011 3:11pm

    Wow – now I know why we had to do the same run for the Eurostar in London the first time. Glad you made it!

    • September 10, 2011 5:13pm
      David Lebovitz

      I think I remember once you folks had tickets with the wrong birthdate on them, and they wouldn’t take them at the gare in Paris? All those tickets and things can be complicated, can’t they?

  • kelsey
    September 10, 2011 3:18pm

    That brownie looks truly incredible. I want it right now, even though I just ate breakfast. Whenever I come to your site I risk finding the urge to create the deepest, darkest, most chocolatey creation known to (wo)man. Seriously, I may just make a brownie creation today that will be known as “The Best Brownie in Kelsey’s House”. Gee thanks Dave.

  • kelsey
    September 10, 2011 3:23pm

    …And damnit Dave I’m training for a marathon! Well okay it’s only a HALF marathon so it should be fine.

  • September 10, 2011 3:29pm

    Do you take the Canon in all of those fine dine places too? I have started to do more food photography and a bit of writing also, and just curious if you get any stink eyes when you do it. Thanks for all the inspiration and great work. Sorry is this is the wrong place to ask this question.


    • September 10, 2011 5:12pm
      David Lebovitz

      I used my Canon G12 for these shots because I was traveling and didn’t want to carry a big camera around with me. (Although I always regret not having it when I don’t bring it.) And when I take snaps, I try to be unobtrusive and not get in the way of anyone else, although since there were press people at the meal, they were – of course – understanding.

  • September 10, 2011 3:41pm

    This post is feisty! – it must be all the paperwork. When I lived in France, I once laid out all the paperwork I received from my bank – the necessary paperwork for one checking account. I’m telling you, the hoops and the fire, and the hoops! I think my square of unintelligible papers was at least 8 x 8, maybe 9 x 9.

    And when it came time to close the account – – I do believe they took personal offense. Yes, I had decided to return to the States because I didn’t like my banking experience. That’s exactly right:)

    • September 10, 2011 5:21pm
      David Lebovitz

      I’m always flummoxed by all the paperwork, but especially the insistence everywhere that you present a utility bill. I mean, why do I have to prove I have electricity to my bank? I give the French beaucoup de credit for being able to organize and handle it all.

      Your story reminds me of when some friends went to cancel their cable tv account because they were moving back to Australia for good, and closing all their accounts. Of course, they got those forms from Paris city hall that said they were, indeed, moving. But they had some forms in English and the cable company insisted they have them translated, in writing. My friend said, “You don’t understand. We’re leaving – we’re not doing that.” And they left.

      (I need to change banks myself. Last time I changed my account within the bank, it was a 2 hour meeting and I signed an enormous stack of paperwork – and of course, them trying to sell me all sorts of services and insurances, which I declined over and over – just to change the type of savings account I had…)

  • September 10, 2011 3:47pm

    Love the travel story…I’ve developed a need to triple check everything too!

    Two summers ago I was studying in London and I lived right across the street from St. Pancras. I walked over not very long before my train to Paris was supposed to leave, only to discover that unlike in America, you cannot retrieve your ticket using your name or credit card, even with a help of a professional. The website I had booked through gave me two confirmation numbers and I chose to bring the wrong one, but the station had no way of knowing I had ever bought a ticket for the train! I had to buy another ticket at the last minute…

    and thanks for the review of what may or may not be the best brownie in London. If I’m ever back in the city, I may or may not feel the need to go track it down ;)

    • September 10, 2011 5:10pm
      David Lebovitz

      That happened to a friend in Paris recently at a train station and he couldn’t retrieve his ticket from the machine with a US credit card (just like American machines don’t accept European credit cards), nor could the guy at the ticket counter pull his ticket up in time so he missed his train. It’s best to print everything out at home when you’re ‘sane’ if you can. But in this case, the blame is all mine..especially since the ticket was in English.

  • September 10, 2011 5:04pm

    Lovely brownies! And btw, you can afford to write whatever you want, inconsistency or not! We love you the way you are!

  • September 10, 2011 5:11pm

    “I know that I should have gone to all the bakeries in London…” That’s exactly how I feel about the patisseries in Paris. Some people have “climb Mt Everest” or “cure cancer” on their bucket lists, I just want to visit all the patisseries in Paris.

  • martha
    September 10, 2011 5:12pm

    Is it just me or did anybody else start hearing “Everytime You Go Away” after reading the name of the brownie store? I guess ya’ll are either too young or too sophisticated to mention it. Sorry but I teach children so their is no way I am sophisticated
    That is my unrelated story about brownies. They look yummy and wish I could travel to London. I may have to try some of david’s recipes though. Such great reviews.

  • September 10, 2011 5:17pm

    I managed just fine when I had to look at brownie pic number one and two. The third photo? Cruel. Did ya have to make it so life-like?

  • A Knight
    September 10, 2011 5:23pm

    I truly enjoy your blogs. Thank you!

  • September 10, 2011 5:24pm

    I’ve never been to London, so I can’t tell… I like most American brownies recipes! but I found one of my best in one of your books! In not like is the best thing ever, but is the best in its simple kind of food: the sponge cake, in Room for Dessert, with the w….. (secret ingredient!) it is perfect!

  • Andrea
    September 10, 2011 5:30pm

    I fully endorse the contents of your messenger bag–I’d just add a small bottle of hand lotion! The one thing I can’t account for, though, is the Sharpie. What do you need that for? I have also figured out that I can use the Notes feature on the iPhone just in case I forget the pen and paper. I’m coming to Paris in early October (and am beside myself with excitement), and I’m trying to go a little lighter since I’ll have my good, somewhat heavy, camera. Luckily, I’ve discovered a free iPhone app (Triposo) that works offline so I don’t have to carry around a tour book. I’ve been studying your restaurant recommendations and tips for dining–thanks a bunch!

  • September 10, 2011 5:35pm

    I love your post on London but I have to comment on the brownie. Which I haven’t tried and it may be amazing. The reality is that there just aren’t that many brownies in London. For sale, or at home. You can make mediocre brownies in London and they will be a hit: your audience here just isn’t taste educated in brownies. I know, I do it all the time (don’t tell).

    • September 10, 2011 5:53pm
      David Lebovitz

      It’s funny because that’s true of Paris as well. A lot of bakeries make brownies but they’re invariably dry and not very chocolatey. Am not sure why, since they may all those other pastries well – it’s just brownies elude them for some reason. I used to bring brownies to one of my favorite bakeries for the staff (why not?) and they asked for the recipe, so I gave it to them. But when I went in to try them, whatever they did, they didn’t quite get it right. But yes, I give brownies away a lot here and people really love them. Perhaps it’s the lack of competition? ; )

  • September 10, 2011 5:40pm

    David, thanks for the terrific post on Nopi, also the best brownie in London – after all the years of abuse it’s good to feel proud of British food!
    Next time I’ll be there to be your guide, not stuck at Heathrow as this visit.

  • September 10, 2011 5:49pm

    Brownie aside, as it looks divine and you already did the ‘best’ job on it, I am using your list for future day pack preparation as I inevitably forget at least one thing every time. Now if you had only posted it before my trip instead of when I got home. Looks like I just need to plan another, thanks. And I need to make brownies.

  • Isabel
    September 10, 2011 5:59pm

    I think Paul A. Young’s brownie is the best there is in London.
    Having said that, for me, the best brownies ever were made in Toronto, Canada, at one of their airport terminals, about 20 years ago. I could be wrong, but I think it was an independent bakery/chocolaterie, so by now they are probably driven out by some chain shop but I remember every year, in the summer, when we’d pass through Torornto, I’d insist on going there and getting two of those marvellously rich chocolate brownies.

  • September 10, 2011 6:05pm

    I used to live in Islington, only for a short while, but quickly came to discover that Camden Passage is one of London’s best kept little gems. It is a tiny lane of gloriously-jam-packed restaurants, all sorts of shops (including this best brownie), open market on the weekend, and people. The people watching alone is worth the meander there.

    I’m totally gutted, embarrassed {and drooling} that for the amount of time I’ve spent in Angel…I’ve never tried one of these. I guess I’ll have to head back to London sooner than later, now that I know I should have tried one. :)

    If there is one dessert that encompasses ‘happiness’ to you, what is it?


  • Geena
    September 10, 2011 6:10pm

    I think Mr Christians near Portobello actually have the best brownies in London. Try those and see what you think, they look very similar to the one in your picture.

  • Gillian Hanna
    September 10, 2011 6:24pm

    SO sorry to disagree, but the best brownies, cheesecake, cupcakes .. all things bakery .. are to be found at Bea’s of Bloomsbury in Theobalds Road, Holborn ..

  • E
    September 10, 2011 6:32pm

    Aw, gee, and they’re right down the road from my favorite yarn shop in London, too! Let’s see, do I justify a trip to the yarn store by saying I need to test the brownies, or a trip to the bakery by saying I need to get knitting yarn? Dilemmas, dilemmas…

  • September 10, 2011 6:41pm

    I have to admit that these are the best brownies in London. Despite having tried a technically good brownie, there is more than technical appeal to a brownie.

    These brownies are made with top notch chocolate by people passionate about chocolate and pioneered by someone who really knows his chocolate.

    Sp pleased you got to try these brownies – but you should have also bought a sea salt caramel dome chocolate. I love them so much I even wrote a guide on how to eat them


  • Steph T
    September 10, 2011 6:48pm

    You make me laugh out loud! I started reading your blog in the US and now I live in Fontainebleau – your blog is even funnier now that I live here. Keep it up!

  • Lynn
    September 10, 2011 7:15pm

    Love your comment: “For some reason, no matter where I seem to go, there’s always somewhere better that I’ve missed.” It could be applied to so many things :)

  • Sally
    September 10, 2011 8:32pm

    Hi David, I have to admit, I’m seriously addicted to your blog. I used to read it from home, back in Australia and drool all over my keyboard. Now I’m based in London, and have actually been able to visit some of the places you’ve reccommended. Any chance you could add London to your categories? Cheers

  • Debra
    September 10, 2011 8:54pm

    The best brownies in the world are made by the Crazy Baker in West Virginia.

  • September 10, 2011 9:04pm

    Aware that this post is (mostly) about a brownie in London, and obviously the brownie itself looks scrumptious… But that photo of your Eurostar itinerary there, departing Paris Nord and arriving in London St Pancras, just brought back a flood of memories. A tiny piece of paper that carries so much weight – now wishing I had kept my little ticket.

    Anyway, thanks for that little Saturday afternoon pick-me-up. Off to dream about my next trip back to Europe :)

  • Cinzia
    September 10, 2011 10:00pm

    David, maybe you could use a trick I’ve learned as a military spouse. No matter how much I volunteer, people are always saying, “You should do this, you should do that.” My answer: Stop “should-ing” on me!

    • September 11, 2011 2:17pm
      David Lebovitz


  • September 10, 2011 10:56pm

    Excellent post.

    Might I ask how much the brownie cost? Just curious…………..

    • September 11, 2011 2:16pm
      David Lebovitz

      It was £3.75 – and it took me two tries to get through all of it, it was so rich ~!

  • September 10, 2011 11:02pm

    I agree with the other reader your Dulce de Leche Brownies are the best I’ve ever had/made – just made them last night, for the first time, for my son’s birthday cake. Had to eat them warmish – so looking forward to the leftovers today when you say they’re even better.

    A few years ago when visiting London, stupidly took a cab (so we wouldn’t have to carry our luggage) who went the longest route possible and ended up 10 mins to departure in gridlock on Westminster bridge. With two young boys we ran with our bags and just made it – worse thing was not being able to pick up any almond croissants at Paul’s and had to make do with train food – not good.

  • September 11, 2011 12:16am

    je fais un essai de commentaire avec ma nouvelle machine, en espérant que ça ne fasse pas planter mon browser cette fois :D.

    About the utility bills that are required everywhere, actually that’s a bit of paranoïa from the banks and all : the point is to have the proof that you are tied to the place you pretend to live in. you cannot have two electricity contracts in the same place (or it needs to have two electricity net and counters), so if the electricity bill is at your name, odds are good that you are the owner/that you rent the place.
    electricity or water bills also prove that the place is inhabited, because nobody would live somewhere without those utilities. so it is a proof that the place you are living in is a “real place”, not a shelter, an office with multiple postal boxes and all.

    So every time your bank asks for this kind of bill it is trying to see if you’re *still* a “real person” with “a real ID”, who lives in a “real place”, not about to move anywhere else (and that you did not move in the last two months either !)

    • September 11, 2011 2:15pm
      David Lebovitz

      I still don’t understand because in order to open a bank account, or get a visa, you have to present a utility bill. So if you have a bank account or visa, you have already presented a utility bill. And if you have a French tax bill or statement from the sécurité sociale office, I would imagine that means that you actually live at that address. But even if you don’t, it’s the address where you conduct all your most important business from…!

  • September 11, 2011 12:30am

    You are so right. Paul A Young’s chocolates are pretty interesting too. I’ve had a bit more time than you to get acquainted so take a look at this link to see what you missed this time round
    Next time I read you’re coming to London I’ll send you a few suggestions. Wish I could have made it to one of your gigs last week.

  • September 11, 2011 3:08am

    Though that brownie looks amazing, I do have to say that the best brownies in London are from Flour Power City Bakery at Borough Market. They have a HUGE tower of them every weekend and are gone in a matter of a few hours. Found a pic.

  • September 11, 2011 4:08am

    Pointing out inconsistencies? Really?! That’s awesome. I love that even food bloggers have Trekkies pointing out that in episode #5, Captain Kirk made “the best” brownies and said he rarely travels, but then his tricorder made an even better brownie, plus revealed that he travels to other planets daily. Where would our world be, if not for those dedicated citizens monitoring the minutiae?

    • September 11, 2011 2:12pm
      David Lebovitz

      I actually think it’s funny (and interesting) because at least that means folks are reading..and remembering! But things evolve and I remember when I was a kid growing up in New England, I refused to eat lobster because there was something off-putting about it. Now? I keep kicking myself for not gorging on lobster when it was plentiful and inexpensive. Thank goodness my sister who still lives there doesn’t hold me to my previous statements about lobster, and let’s me eat it in peace ; )

  • September 11, 2011 11:30am

    I think it probably is the best brownie in London, with the price of real estate in Soho these days, it had better be!

  • September 11, 2011 4:48pm

    I’ll have to head down and try this brownie, considering that it is so close to my work place.
    By the way, do comments for previous posts get locked down when a new post goes up? I was trying to leave a comment for a post in Feb but couldn’t for the life of me find the ‘submit comment’ section at all.

    Hi Kay: Comments get turned off for posts over 30 days old, for a couple of reasons but mostly because due to my work, it’s hard for me to keep on top of all the comments if all the few thousand posts I’ve amassed here are open for comments. -dl

  • naomi
    September 11, 2011 6:24pm

    In regards to the comment about lobster, thought you’d find it amusing that early settlers considered lobster food only for the poorest, and eating them was a shameful sign. Here’s a link to an article if you’re interested – As I doubt I’ll get to England soon, I’m going to try the brownie recipe you had a while back that’s gluten free. The brownie recipe in “Ready for Dessert” is great, but I have a friend visiting who will appreciate eating one without side effects.

  • Doukissa
    September 11, 2011 7:18pm

    Now, that’s my kind of brownie! Yummy~

  • Bori
    September 11, 2011 7:56pm

    This post seems fateful: I’m going to London on Tuesday and I thought I’d check your site and type ‘London’ in the search bos to see whether you had any tips for places/shops to visit, and the newest post on your site was about London, and not only that but about a place on Wardour St where I’m going. I’ll definetely try those brownies and I won’t even mind if they are not the best I’ve ever had. Thanks for this piece of telepathy. ;)

  • September 12, 2011 12:52am

    Totally hilarious. The should’s drive me crazy. Can’t stand em’. Feel like saying would you (insert italics on the you) like to do it for me to the annoying people should’ing me. And for heavens sake, what is life without inconsistencies. Bravo.

  • September 12, 2011 2:14am

    Oh those look yummy! I like my brownies crispy on top and fudgie inside. I just made a batch for tomorrow night’s football game (I’m a New England Patriots fan). Anyhow..if you’re ever in NYC and in the mood for brownies, check out Fat Witch at the Chelsea Market. Those brownies are pretty amazing and they have a pretty wide variety.

  • Vidya
    September 12, 2011 3:20am

    I’ve got a question. When in Paris, ordering a brownie, how are you supposed to pronounce brownie? When speaking French it seems a bit ridiculous to stop and use the correct Anglophone pronunciation, and you get funny looks. It also feels a bit ridiculous to mangle the word in a Frenchie accent while already knowing how to correctly pronounce it. A friend of mine had the same problem ordering a “club sandwich”. While brownies are not that great in Paris, I once had a pretty spectacular one at a cafe in the 6th. It was actually fudgy and gooey and tasted potently of chocolate, packed with crisp walnuts. Amazing. But for the most part, when in Paris I’d rather just get a viennoise au chocolat.

    • September 12, 2011 6:02am
      David Lebovitz

      Perhaps a French reader can chime in, because I’ve heard them (or it) pronounced as le broonie or just as we say in English, le brownie. I wouldn’t feel funny about using anglophone terms in France because many of them have become acceptable, and are in the French lexicon, such as le weekend, le must (something you should have…btw!), and le hot dog.

  • September 12, 2011 4:22am

    is there a link to whatever that was (at least the name, David?) that you *did* label The Best of whatever it was? I realize I perhaps should buy all your cookbooks, but being somewhat unemployed at the moment, I choose to support you through clicks.

    Which means I’ll be checking back to see if you answer. Thanks! LOVE your blog!

  • September 12, 2011 8:16am

    I once arrived at the Eurostar station in Paris 5 minutes before the train was due to leave and they wouldn’t let me board as the doors were already closed. I was so upset. Then, taking the next train out, I ended up at some station called Ebbsfleet not Ashford as I wanted. Moral of the story, get there at least 15 minutes before. At least you don’t have those long security lines-just short ones.

  • Jens Madsen
    September 12, 2011 9:30am

    David, have you seen Paul A. Youngs trifle? It’s a monster of a dessert and the amount of various chocolates will make you a poor but happy man.

    For all you brownie RESEARCHERS out there. The Baked brownie is probably the best brownie I ever had. As you can see from googling the baked brownie, it is extremely popular among bloggers. I have my eyes on a variation of the brownie which features salt and caramel:

    The secret to a good brownie is of course two things: quality chocolate and to never let the oven out of sight.

  • September 12, 2011 10:01am

    Bravo for finding Paul A. Young, if you make it back one day (and you haven’t collapsed from some sort of chocolate-induced attack of the vapours) do sample some of their chocolates – I’d love to know what you think.

  • September 12, 2011 10:15am

    Having eaten my way through most of London’s bakeries in the last 9 years I would say that these are probably the best (the only other one I’m partial to is Kooky Bakes Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownie)!

    My office is just a skip away from his store in The City. I really want one now!

  • September 12, 2011 10:54am

    I was at the Harvest at Jimmy’s Farm Festival over the weekend and was lucky enough to get to see Paul A Young give a demonstration and bake these brownies. He added caramelized apples and Wensleydale cheese. Not a combination I would think to put with brownies. I threw myself to the front of the stage to taste some, scrambling over a few hundred other people. It was worth it – the best brownie I’ve ever tasted – ever.

  • September 12, 2011 12:16pm

    Perfect timing! I have a meeting in London next week and Paul A Young’s is just around the corner. Must make sure I book train tickets with enough time to pick up a brownie for the journey home.

  • September 12, 2011 12:49pm

    Haha! Have managed to get tickets allowing me enough time to pick up dinner at Ottolenghi too! Who ever said that travelling for business was no fun?

  • Geraldine in Spain
    September 12, 2011 1:59pm

    Hi David,
    As ;you know I live in CADIZ Spain, I sell my FAMOUS brownies at ONE EURO and everyone SCREAMS about how expensive they are…..My brownies are also famous and the same quality ingredients are used as Valhrona etc.

    I was astonished by the price of the brownies and the coffee, do you have any idea the size of the brownie or the weight? I may have to alternatives, one, STOP MAKING BROWNIES or raise the price…heh, heh.

    Thanks for any comments you may have.

    xo G.

  • Katie
    September 12, 2011 5:22pm

    Hi David,

    I live just 40 miles outside London and usually when I read your blog I am nowhere near the places you are writing about, but thanks to your last two posts I can now try Nopi and Paul A. Young brownies when I’m next in London. Many thanks for sharing.

  • September 12, 2011 6:24pm

    That brownie looks to die for…seriously.

  • JimmyJay
    September 12, 2011 7:26pm

    Well, I usually enjoy this blog & dreaming of visiting the places & eating all the great food, but now have lost my job due to those famous budget cuts that were supposed to save our country. Even w my science degree & experience I can’t find a new one. So reading the blog reminds me that traveling & eating at restaurants is a luxury.

  • September 12, 2011 8:03pm

    Hard to say, which cookie is “best”, and on the other hand, not at all. Isn’t it like that, that it is always a subjective opinion based on personal preferences? Well, I feel, what contributes to something being “best of” is that you are overwhelmed by its characteristics and it makes you especially happy, giving you some exciting and extraordinary moments. Thanks for sharing your experience of such a particular moment, and when reading your post, I have a feeling of tasting the best brownie, too, as I intuitively think of all best brownies I had.

  • Lauren (long-time reader, first-time commenter)
    September 13, 2011 2:13am

    A little off topic but… I just realised you’re coming to Aus! Unfortunately i’ll not make your show, but i hope it runs smoothly :) Try to visit Bourke St bakery while your here – i won’t claim them to be the ‘best’, but they make some cracker tarts and pastries, and for something different Adriano Zumbo. If your at a loss of where to go for dinner (though i highly doubt that) try Porteno; i can’t get enough of it!

  • Lauren (long-time reader, first-time commenter)
    September 13, 2011 2:14am

    **you’re (i really should proof read)

  • September 13, 2011 2:20am

    these look just just wonderful. ha! sorry about your rush!

  • Lorna Lynn
    September 13, 2011 2:33am

    I care about brownies. Really. I have researched the topic for years. Conclusion: the BEST brownie is the one closest to hand.

  • September 13, 2011 9:38am

    Hilarious post! And I, too, am dying of curiosity as to which recipe you labeled “the best.”

  • September 13, 2011 9:44am
    David Lebovitz

    Marti and Alanna: It’s a recipe in my book Ready for Dessert. I think it really is the best, but taste is always subjective : )

    Geraldine: I don’t have the wrapper but perhaps the brownie weight may be on their website.

    Lauren: They are both on my list. I have limited time, but the bakery is a must-see!

  • September 13, 2011 11:45am

    Thanks for the price. About what I thought it would probably be, knowing London prices. Were you tempted to try the Marmite Truffle? Someone on I follow on Twitter commented that they were going to buy it but they didn’t report back on the taste. I think I’ll pop into the shop next time I’m in London.

  • September 13, 2011 12:52pm

    I know, you’ve probably heard that too often, but your style of writing is wonderful to read! I always enjoy your posts, smiling now and then about statements like “where all the sales clerks are sacred virgins whose divine purpose on earth is to only wrap and sell Paul A. Young chocolate brownies” … thanks!

  • Vidya
    September 13, 2011 1:17pm

    Thanks for the clarification, David, also, speaking of jetting off around the world…I happened to read an article in the paper this morning which stated that you would be coming to Sydney soon? Please, please do. But beware of nasty supermarket lamingtons.

  • Martina
    September 13, 2011 10:08pm

    Haven’t tried these ones, but the ones at ‘the breakfast club’ are pretty amazing aswell!
    thanks for the tip xx

  • September 14, 2011 1:47pm

    Please do keep travelling to England – I always love reading your blog and travel anecdotes but as a London resident it is particularly nice to read about somewhere I recognise or can try instead of putting it to the back of my mind for if I ever manage to get there! I can’t comment on Paul A. Young’s Brownies but their chocolates (especially the flavoured ones) are great. x

  • September 15, 2011 12:59am

    And the best brownie in Paris?! Lola’s. Mon dieu. I finally got a taste of their deluxe brownies and I—and my Maltese, British, American and French dining companions—all agreed: le meiux!

  • September 15, 2011 8:36pm

    I am so much into brownie these days … and this once looks so divine … luckily i will be visiting London Next month and will definitely stop by this place and have a bite .. Thanks for sharing :-)

  • Carrie
    September 16, 2011 1:25am

    Long time reader. Love your blog.

    I’m inspired to make your chocolate cake now, but I don’t have a springform pan. Can I use a regular cake pan?

    • September 16, 2011 7:54am
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, you can. Be sure to grease it well so the cake comes out.

  • September 19, 2011 6:58pm

    I can’t live without chapstick either, and I’ve also started carrying two, just in case. Sometimes I forget, or lose them, and then I buy another one. I think I have about 10 chapsticks rolling around the car, house, and various bags. And yes, that does indeed look like the best brownie.