Anyone who searches the Internet for recipes knows that, after reading through the posted ingredients and directions, one should scroll through the top comments to see if the recipe needs any amendments. Maybe the recipe as-is is quite bland and could use an extra dose of hot sauce. Or perhaps those who try the recipe realize the chicken is underdone at 15 minutes and really needs a solid half hour in the oven. Either way, it’s just common practice.
But those who look up Katharine Hepburn’s ooey, gooey brownie recipe on The New York Times website get more than just some helpful tips in the comments — there’s also a hearty helping of personal drama.
“This has been my go-to brownie recipe for 30 years, even after going to baking school! I agree that using the best cocoa possible makes a difference. These days, I use Callebaut,” Sydne Newberry wrote one year ago. Fair enough!
But soon… the comment goes off the rails.
“In the ‘80s, an acquaintance in Germany to whom I brought some of the brownies, and who considered herself a great cook, asked for the recipe but was never able to get it to work. She kept asking me what she was doing wrong and I was never able to solve her problem. Eventually, she moved to the US and stole my husband!”
Admittedly, Sydne does have a valid amendment to this better-than-box brownie recipe. She recommends using the best-possible cocoa powder, particularly Callebaut, a Belgian brand. Using an expensive, European chocolate is actually reflected in fellow commenters’ posts.
It’s just, ya know, the husband-stealing that grabbed people’s attention on social media. It’s a twist at the end of a story that even a crime novelist couldn’t believe.
So, who knows? Maybe if you bake these brownies, you can steal someone’s husband.