Chocolate Makes Everything Better

Everything is better with chocolate a better brownie with chocolate chips

Hello, Bonjour!

It’s been 6 months since my last post and over 2 years since I’ve posted regularly.

I’ve received many texts and messages asking when I will return to writing, teaching, and traveling, your encouragement has meant so much.   

One of the things I’ve been doing during this long break is refining recipes and honing kitchen skills and I‘m excited to share today, a new Even Better Brownie recipe.  Chocolate makes everything better and a big ole batch of these brownies might make sharing, a little easier.

An Even Better Brownie

I remember fondly a discussion with Chloe Doutre, one of the world’s most renowned chocolate experts, as we tasted some of her favorite chocolates in Paris.  She said, “Chocolate makes everything better, you have an email from your EX, eat a piece of chocolate FIRST…opening the bills, chocolate first; it softens the blow!”  While I work hard not to stress eat (who am I kidding?) I eat chocolate every day because I adore it, it makes me happy and brings me joy.

Everything is better with chocolate

The last 2 years have simply been unprecedented for the whole world.  There is not a person or family that has not been touched and endured great loss in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Our family has suffered too, loved ones are now gone and mourned daily and I know many of you have experienced these or similar losses.   

There has been so much collateral damage.  The consequences are like a wave rippling across society.  I think about the children and young people, their goals and aspirations.  The lost businesses, in some cases financial ruin, and the death of well-made plans and dreams.

It was in 2014 when a sweet cooking class student asked when I would take travelers along on my adventures in France.  Many of you know the story, that night I had a dream in vivid color about bringing my love of France and food together and A Taste of Paris culinary adventures was born. My passion for inspiring and sharing all of the best that France has to offer was unleashed and I had the time of my life for the next 6 years.

After the onset of the pandemic, it took 15 months for clarity.  Continuing to postpone travel was not going to be an option. Canceling all travel to France was necessary.  Since March 2021, this is what I’ve been working on.  Canceling reservations, negotiating for refunds, and writing checks to 56 travelers that had been scheduled for trips in 2020 and 2021.  These 56 travelers had been caught in this web of uncertainty along with me Their patience and commitment were unmatched and I will always be grateful for that. 

For over 10 months, I’ve been busy working behind the scenes to unspool 6 trips to France.  Posting up to now was impossible for me as I have been heartbroken over the loss of my business, and the dream that had become such a part of my identity.

While I don’t entirely know what the future holds for me and my business, my passion and love for France and its many gifts remain strong.  My mission from the start has always been to share food, to inspire you, and to discover a different view of the world.  To compel readers to a life filled with joy and passion.

So a lot remains unchanged and as I write today, I’m eager to share many of the fun and interesting things that I’ve been doing for the last 2 years and of course recipes that I know you will love.

So without further adieu an EVEN BETTER CHOCOLATE BROWNIE!

Everything is better with chocolate a better brownie with chocolate chips

Even Better Brownies

½ cup butter

6 ounces dark chocolate, 62% cocoa, chopped

1 ½ cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup extra dark cocoa powder

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Melt butter and dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.  Add sugar and mix well.  Add eggs, one at a time mixing until each is incorporated.  Add vanilla and mix well.  Add flour and salt and mix just until combined.  Add pecans, and chocolate chips if desired, mix and spread batter into prepared dish.  Bake for 24-28 minutes until edges are beginning to brown.

Chloe Doutre and one of my first groups to Paris
Chloe Doutre and my Paris 2016 group.

I’ve missed you all so much! I hope you will comment below so we can get reacquainted!

XOXO Lorie

47 thoughts on “Chocolate Makes Everything Better

    1. Jacqui Cooper

      Hi Lorie,
      The chocolate brownie recipe looks amazing. I can almost taste the brownie. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I do miss taking your classes from time to time. I always learn some new cooking tip.

      1. Lorie Fangio

        Hi Jacqui!!
        Thanks for your comment it’s great to hear from you! Hopefully we’ll all be together again soon!!
        Xo Lorie

      2. Karen L Verner

        Hi Lorie, This recipe sounds amazing. I too love chocolate. Reading through the recipe the directions did not indicate when to mix in the extra dark chocolate powder. I’ll mix it with the flour and add them together. I hope this sounds correct. I’m looking forward to reading more of your recipes. Thank you so much! Karen

  1. Terry Lacy

    Reading your message today made me smile from the inside out! I will most certainly make these brownies this weekend. Thanks for sharing Lori🥰

  2. Lynda

    So happy to read your note and back to sharing recipes. Missed you during this long period of time. Time to start trying your recipes.

  3. Nancy Stoops

    Lorie, it is so funny, I was thinking of you and what had happened to your “Taste of Paris” newsy emails. So glad to see you are coming back on to inspire us. This pandemic has hit us hard but we are resilient and will conquer this…with the help of chocolate! Love your enthusiasm for a bit of chocolate every day making you feel happy and joyful! Works for me too…

    1. Lorie Fangio

      Hi Nancy!!
      Chocolate is truly a gift from God!! Thank you for the kind words!! Hope to see you in the neighborhood soon!! Xo Lorie

      1. Decca

        So good to hear from you Lorie! I’ve missed your great informative emails and the cooking classes. I use so many of the things you taught us and have great memories of you sharing the fabulous recipes. Looking forward to more good times and cooking with you. Oh and did I say I’ve just missed YOU! Xo Decca

  4. Denise Ketchman

    I was so happy to see a post from you . I’ve told many neighbors about you in hopes that you’ll have classes again that we can come to .

    1. Lorie Fangio

      Thank you so much Denise!! I hope they will follow this blog- the minute I feel directed to put a class on the schedule it will show up here!!!
      Looking forward to cooking with you and your friends soon!! Xo Lorie

  5. Lori Hutson

    It’s so good to see you posting again! My friend asked me the other day about you. We are going to Paris and she wants to learn to cook something. We might just have to get Jack to show us how to bake baguettes or croissants! I look forward to to trying some new recipes from you.

  6. Linda Williams

    Hi Lori,
    Missed your blogs. Glad you are back. Looking forward to what the future holds for ATOP. I really want to get to France again. Brownies look delicious.

    1. Lorie Fangio

      Hi Linda!
      You and me both! Maybe things will start to settle down! Enjoy your day and thank you for your comment!
      Xo Lorie

  7. Tricia

    So glad to hear from you again. My husband and I have shared what we learned in our French Appetizers & Wines class and our friends were so impressed. Can’t wait for more! It has been a disappointing couple of years, but I have to believe that we will travel to France again, safely and confidently. In the meantime we will perfect our French cooking and pair it with delicious French wine. Thanks for being our guide to bringing the best of Paris into our homes.

    1. Lorie Fangio

      Hi Tricia
      I am so happy to hear that you’ve shared the recipes with your friends, that’s what makes it worthwhile for me, knowing that others are sharing and creating unforgettable moments in this crazy world!
      Would love to have you in a class again soon!

    2. Sarah Spreda

      Hi Lorie,
      Thank you for your brownie recipe! Missing your classes so much. Will be making the brownies this weekend for sharing with football and Valentine’s Friends. We will toast to you!! Warmly, Sarah

      1. Lorie Fangio

        Hi Sarah!
        That’s so sweet!! Enjoy your party and let me know how you like the brownies!
        Hope to see you soon!

  8. Susan

    Opened your email and the sleet began outside. A warm brownie on a sleet filled afternoon sounds perfect. Was thinking about Valentines Day and your champagne class from last year. So memorable. While it wouldn’t be as good as the ones you selected from France, any recommendations for champagne that can be bought locally that would be good for Valentines Day 2022?

  9. Lorie Fangio

    Hi Susan!!!
    Gosh I hope you are staying warm! That champagne last year WAS amazing!! I love your idea! I’m going to do a post before valentines with some of my favorite champagnes that are readily available on the store shelves. Meanwhile, 2 French champagnes that you can ALWAYS count on for quality and consistency are Moet and Chandon and Veuve Cliquot.
    Stay tuned for more great varieties and thanks for this fantastic idea!

  10. Kirsten Fair

    Lorie! Reading your post makes me miss you & want to hug you! I’m so excited to make these brownies with my kids. They all love you too & they often talk about the cooking skills you’ve taught them! I hope to see you soon!

  11. Lorie Fangio

    Hi Kirsten!!
    So good to hear from you. I’d definitely take that hug!!!
    I hope your precious family will enjoy the brownies and I’d love to get together for a proper catch up!!

  12. Lori ...

    Great to see your post…I’ve thought about you every time I pull one of your recipes out…and really missed a couple of “Gifts from the Kitchen” around Christmas. Glad you’re on your way back to the blog and of course for the recipe!

  13. Lorie Fangio

    Hi Decca!!
    I’ve missed seeing g you too!! Thanks for your message and I am thrilled that your using the recipes. Hope to see you soon!

  14. I really enjoyed reading this post… Thank you for being so transparent. I am hopeful for you to take more people to France and I plan to be one of them in the near future. Looking forward to making these brownies with my boys:)

  15. Lorie Fangio

    Hi SeekBalanceSea!!
    I am so happy you are creating powerful food memories with your darling boys!!
    Cheers to France and the future!
    XOXO Lorie

  16. Karen L Verner

    On 2/26 I made this recipe. Unfortunately they ere awful. Too sweet, the batter never formed, it stayed loose. I had two, threw the rest out. I used all in ingredients, even the one cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Maybe there was too much chocolate.

    1. Lorie Fangio

      Hi Karen
      I am disappointed that you had a bad experience. It sounds like they needed to cook longer. Unfortunate cooking time is only an estimate. Every oven cooks differently and the average oven can vary 100 degrees, 50 hotter than the setting and 50 cooler than the setting, that’s a lot! If they seemed too loose they needed more cooking time. Also, opening the oven door to check can lower the temp, increase the baking time and give you hotspots. It’s possible that your eggs were extra large. If so, they would finish cooking and set up just fine but they would need more cooking time. Of course sweetness is a personal thing and most people don’t realize that sugar is something that can be reduced in most recipes. I call for this amount of sugar because I use extra dark cocoa powder, this gives you a dark chocolate brownie that is still sweet. I am sorry you had a bad experience.

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