Life in a Publishing House: taste testing

The Melbourne Cup bake-off is a distant memory. So, unimpeded by a heavy workload and relentless Tuesday meeting schedule, three editors and a publishing assistant decided to support local business—and their own chocolate addiction—by having a ‘brownie-off’. (No such word, we know, but we are gatekeepers of the language so are allowed to make up words when it suits us.)


Brownies were chosen from four local Crows Nest businesses: Montagu, St Malo, Cafe 107 (aka Campos) and the recent addition to Crows Nest, the Boulangerie.

In a blind tasting and under the supervision of an impartial palate (a gluten-free fellow editor), the group taste-tested (for research purposes only) and the results are as follows:

Visual appeal:

Brownie #1 received 3 out of 4 votes, and brownie #2 also scored highly.

Tasting notes:

Brownie #1

‘I’m not a fan—not a brownie’;
‘too fudgy’;
‘more like a mud cake than a brownie’

Brownie #2

‘Least favourite’;
‘too cakey’;
‘more like a cake than a brownie’

Brownie #3

‘Absolutely love it–crisp edge, sweet (though I would like a little coconut sprinkled on top);
‘I like the texture and the macadamias, but it’s too sweet’;
‘like the macadamias’;
‘love the crumbliness of the top’;
‘not sure how I feel about the macadamias’

Brownie #4

‘good, not great’;
‘a little underwhelmed’;
‘it’s nice and fudgy like a brownie should be’


But while no brownie seemed to stand above the others, #3 was scored as best in show by 3 of the 4 judges. The dissenter voted for #4.

When our esteemed Chairman walked past and offered to help, who were we to deny him. His vote was cast: 4,2,3 then 1.

And the key to the brownies’ identities is:

  • #1 St Malo Bakery
  • #2 the Boulangerie
  • #3 Cafe 107
  • #4 Montagu

Brownies Winner

In conclusion, the quest for the ultimate brownie continues.

So if you have a brownie, and feel that it needs properly taste tested by the experts, send them our way! We know good cakes when we see/eat them.

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