Truly, a recipe for disaster.
Now that wedding plans are well underway for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the positive effects (and tenderness) of Ina Garten’s “engagement chicken” is once again at the center of another love story. After all, it’s the dish that has led to many happy endings and wedding proposals, including the newly-engaged royal couple. But in celebrating this succulent roast chicken dinner, we’re reminded that not every ingredient to a delicious meal is a recipe for success—at least where matters of the heart are concerned. Case in point: the melt-in-your-mouth brownies that legendary actress Katharine Hepburn was known for baking in her heyday.
Hepburn, a chocolate fanatic who was no stranger to infidelity herself, was rumored to be involved in a longtime relationship with fellow actor Spencer Tracy. Tracy was actually married throughout their secret 25-year romance. So it’s no surprise the Oscar winner’s name is now being associated with a recipe deemed as the “home-wrecking brownies.”
Under normal circumstances, the crowd-pleasing dessert bars are usually made with sugar, eggs, flour, and, of course, chocolate. Yet when The New York Times published Hepburn’s infamous brownie recipe two years ago, one woman commented how the Times missed a secret ingredient: a dash of adultery.
Needless to say, her controversial comment made the waves online. And her recount of what happened after she baked Hepburn’s recipe is starting to circulate again on the Interwebs, thanks to a recent Times article highlighting the woman’s comment as their all-time favorite. In addition, The Cut finally tracked down the commenter to get her to dish on all the spicy details behind her now-viral comment and bittersweet love story. Her name is Sydne Newberry, and the following post is what started it all:
“This has been my go-to brownie recipe for 30 years, even after going to baking school,” wrote Sydne Newberry two years ago.
In Newberry’s interview with The Cut, she recalled how the other woman was a "gorgeous Italian woman who was very proud of her cooking and was a real food snob."
Despite her vast knowledge and technique in the kitchen, the woman couldn’t master Hepburn’s recipe. After many failed attempts, Newberry’s former acquaintance accused her of purposely leaving out an ingredient. That’s when Newberry decided to invite the divorced woman to her home in America. Let’s just say the woman left with more than a tummy full of brownies—she took Newberry’s husband with her. Newberry said the affair resulted in the end of her marriage, and the woman is still in a relationship with her ex-husband.
It wasn’t all bad, considering Newberry was able to move on and remarry the love of her life, who she’s been married to for 21 years. When asked by The Cut her thoughts on Hepburn and Spencer’s torrid love affair, she responded, “I can't think of it without thinking of that little twist of irony."
As for those tempting brownies? Surprisingly, Newberry said she still bakes them, with a few tweaks, of course. Understandable, since the original cocoa-based recipe is what led to the demise of her first marriage.
But Newberry, harboring no resentment for the woman who made off with her husband (and brownies), jokingly left women with this solid piece of advice:
“If you want to steal somebody’s husband, you should screw up a brownie recipe,” she contemplated.
WATCH: So Good Brownies
We’re just glad to hear Sydne Newberry didn’t seek revenge in the kitchen, otherwise, it might’ve been a dish served cold to her philandering ex and former friend.