Leigh Lambert is headed to the Oscars. Well, her brownies are.
Through her company Naughty Bits Brownies, Lambert has created “The Starlet,” a flavor that combines her classic creation the “Man Catcher” with chocolate-covered Pop Rocks dusted in edible gold.
“It’s more of a taste sensation than it is a flavor change,” Lambert says. “It’s more textural, but it’s like eating chocolate champagne ... You think, ‘Yeah that was a nice crunchy topping’ and then it starts to fizz in your mouth after you're done chewing.”
The fizzing delights will be included in the 10th annual “Everyone Wins at the Oscars” gift bag handed out to nominees for top awards that go home empty handed on Feb. 26. The bag is valued at more than $50,000 and includes swag such as an African safari, a cocktail party for 100 guests, a weight loss retreat, a hotel package and other luxury goodies, according to Distinctive Assets, the Los Angeles company that assembles the bag and similar bags for the Grammy Awards and other shows.
“The Starlet” will be available to the public as a limited edition flavor, as Lambert only has one case of the chocolate covered Pop Rocks, which themselves were released as a limited edition flavor.
The Silver Spring baker’s business has only been up and running for a year and a half, but its origins date back to 2007 when Lambert was working as a food journalist at “The Washington Post” and she did an article for Valentine’s Day that included a recipe for her “Man Catcher “brownies. The story was a hit.
"I still run into people who say ‘Oh my God, I know the ‘Man Catcher!’" Lambert says.
After Lambert became a mother and decided to leave her job, she started her business as Batch by Batch Bakery renting the kitchens at Capital City Cheesecake in Takoma Park. But something about the name didn’t fit with her saucy descriptions of her brownies, and, several months ago, Lambert rebranded her business as Naughty Bits.
“I want to be uncensored. I've worked for other people all my life and one of the joys of working for yourself is that you take responsibility for what you say…. It was just sort of my personal bumper sticker to give an uncensored license to be flirty and sassy,” she says.
A graduate from the University of Adelaide in Australia with a degree in gastronomy (the study of food), Lambert wanted to create brownies that were anything but average, and incorporates unusual ingredients that set her apart.
“I wanted to create flavors that were challenging and interesting but not so off-the-charts that they wouldn’t really be good. I didn’t want gimmick flavors," she says. "They all have personalities."
From the maple-smoked bacon and toffee “The Shiksa” to the ginger and wasabi “Geisha Girl,” Lambert has found that the public has loved her different approach to dessert.
"People around here, especially in the metropolitan area, are very food-aware,” she says. “They are very sophisticated with their palates and much more experimental, so I’ve gotten a really good response with the more wackadoodle flavors."
For more information and to purchase Naughty Bits Brownies visit www.naughtybitsbrownies.com.