Li from Pan Asian told me they were from Bees Knees, and I had assumed it was some huge American bakery such as Magnolia Bakery or Hummingbird Bakery. Hence I went online to search for a recipe. And there was indeed many recipes claiming to be Bees Knees Brownies. So I tweeted that to the world, only to be informed by Barbara, owner of Bees Knees Brownies, that what I had tried was her own creation and the recipe I had was wrong. However, she generously offered to send a sample pack to try out all the other flavours. During our correspondence, we found that we lived very close to each other, so a real meetup was in order.
I met Barbara at a cafe and we talked about food and especially brownies. Barbara had given up her employment in the corporate world to pursue her food dreams. She explained how she had spent a long term developing her brownie recipes as she couldn't find a good one that she was used to having in America. She had moved here from the States to study, met her now husband, and decided to stay. What a great story. Now she runs her own business making the most delicious brownies this side of America.
She has developed eight flavours, and given them cute names too. The flavours are as follows.
*The Real McCoy - Classic Brownie
*Attaboy - Toffee Almond Crunch
*Palooka - Peanut Butter Crunch
*It's The Berries - Raspberry and White Chocolate
*Mrs Grundy - Peppermint Cream
*The Big Six - Six Mixed Nuts
*Hotsy Totsy - Chili and Cinnamon
*All Dolled Up - Dulce de Leche
I managed to eat my way through five of the brownies, and here are my thoughts.
*Classic Brownie - Flecked with chocolate drops on top, the classic brownie is as it says, classic. The gooey chocolate just melts in your mouth. Barbara told me that she sources really good chocolate (I can't remember from where) and uses good quality ingredients, and it shows.
*Peanut Butter Crunch - I really like the peanut butter in the brownie. That slightly salty hit and peanut flavour works for me. If you don't like peanut butter, you won't like this.
*Six Mixed Nuts - You can never go wrong with nuts in brownies, and to have six different flavours makes for a good mix as you bite into different nuts at a time and get a different flavour with each bite.
*Chili and Cinnamon - I have to admit that I did not like this. I love chili in savoury food but have yet to find anything sweet with chili that works for me. You'll either love this or hate this, there is no middle ground I think.
*Dulce de Leche - Last and definitely far from least, is the dulce de leche (caramel). Oh. My. Goodness. This is by far my favourite and is perfect for me. It just outshines all the other brownies, despite them all being very good already. This brownie somehow just has this fragrant flavour. I'm not sure what chemical interactions go on during the cooking or if I'm just a sucker for dulce de leche, but you must try this brownie for yourselves.
The brownies now come in beautiful boxes that would make great presents for friends, corporate functions or thank you gifts. You can also just order them to eat. That's what I'd do.
Peanut Butter Crunch
Chili and Cinnamon, Classic Brownie
Toffee Almond Crunch, Six Mixed Nuts
Dulce de Leche, Gift Box
Thank you to Barbara for giving me that gift pack and taking the time to talk to me about her passion and philosophies on food.
EDIT: I thought I would tell everyone how you can get your hands on these brownies. After speaking to Barbara, here are the options.
1) For orders of the gift boxes or more that you want delivered, you can order through the Bees Knees website.
2) For orders of the gift boxes or more that you want to pick-up, you can pick them up at Pan Asian restaurant in Chapel street.
3) For purchases of individual pieces, you can follow Bees Knees on Twitter to find out when they deliver to Pan Asian, purchase at Soho Coffee House in Parkdale or Daylesford Makers Market.