50 Women Game Changers in Food: #20, Molly Wizenberg

The next two Game Changers will be easy posts....we know their stories well and most of us have been following them for years. This week, it's Molly Wizenberg from Orangette.

Molly traveled and studied through France, gathering  degrees in biology and French and cultural anthropology along the way. While she was attending 
graduate school in Seattle, her father was diagnosed with cancer. She went home to be with him and was there when he died.

Everyone said: make no major life decisions for 18 months. So Molly didn't but after that she moved to France, intending to work on a doctorate for a career in cultural anthropology. Within weeks of arriving in Paris, she realized that her life kept coming back to food. A writer friend suggested she start a food blog. After returning to Seattle,  she wrote the first Orangette entry in July 2004.

Orangette caught on quickly because Molly didn't just write recipes, but wrote about the meaningful things that happened around food. Slowly, her life inched more and more onto its pages. She even met her husband (Brandon Pettit) through her blog and together, they opened Delancey in Ballard. And all this time, we were there reading and experiencing all the difficulties and successes that life brings and then the complications of opening a new business.
So Molly's blog is about her life,  the experience, the stories, and imaginings that surround food. She says:  "Food is never just food.  It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, and who we want to be."

To celebrate Molly, I chose a recipe she posted back in 2005, Jimmy’s Triple Chocolate Scones. These are a chocolate-lovers delight and when she says triple chocolate, she means it. Don't expect them to be terribly sweet because they are scones, after all. But we did love the restrained chocolate flavor for breakfast. Besides, you can add more ganache topping if you want.

Jimmy's Triple Chocolate Scones

From Orangette, June 5th, 2005 post


For the scones:
1 ¾ c unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ c plus 1 Tbs unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
2 ¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
½ cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the ganache:

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (be sure to choose a good-quality chocolate that you’d enjoy eating on its own)
3/4 cup heavy cream


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Drop in the butter, and using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter chunks into the flour until they are reduced to pearl-sized nuggets. Stir in the granulated sugar. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, and vanilla. 
Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients, add the chocolate chips, and stir to form a dough. The dough will be firm but moist, and a bit sticky to the touch. Knead the dough lightly in the bowl about ten times—or, as Jimmy has found, if the dough is too sticky, don’t worry about kneading. It is better to undermix than to overmix.

Form the dough into a 7- to 7 ½-inch round disk on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 6 wedges, and using a spatula, transfer the wedges to a baking sheet. Bake the scones for 17-18 minutes, or until set. Remove them to a rack to cool, and set the rack over a rimmed baking sheet.

To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it is very hot and steamy (not boiling, but close), remove it from the heat, and pour it over the chocolate. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is thoroughly melted. Use a spoon to drizzle the ganache over the cooled scones, and serve.

Yield: 6 large scones

Join Mary from One Perfect Bite and all the other participants in this fun series.

Val - More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette - Healthy Living
April - Abby Sweets 
Katie - Making Michael Pollan Proud
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue - The View from Great Island
Kathleen Van Bruinisse - Bake Away with Me 
Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds
Martha - Lines from Linderhof
Amy - Beloved Green

 Ciao Chow Linda

Nancy - Picadillo


  1. These look so lovely. A huge glass of cold milk and I will be all set.

  2. Looks great. I love chocolate cakes!

  3. Molly's story of her blog is an inspiration to all of us who blog. Love that you've her chocolate scones. Breakfast or tea time doesn't get any better than this.

  4. Barbara your write up about Molly is wonderful, this post was a pleasure to read, and to see! The chocolate really does look triple strength. Being as chocolate and scones are two of my favorite things I'm paying close attention. Funny that I've never seen scones done this way, Starbuck's should think about it!

  5. These scones are a triple chocolate threat!!My decision is to make them soon!

  6. Oh I'd almost kill for one of those scones right now, to go with my pumpkin spice coffee...

  7. Those scones look so good! I've never had chocolate scones, so I'm intrigued...



  8. What a story! Her writing, life and food are inspirational as are these wonderful, chocolate scones.

  9. Scones, scones, scones! The perfect
    snack with tea or milk! Your tribute to Molly W is wonderful! She is something, isn't she?

  10. So true, Barbara. It isn't just about the food. MFK Fisher said it so brilliantly and so often and Molly has a bit of her genes (and her red hair, if I am not mistaken).

    She was one of the first blogs I ever followed. Food was an accessory to her writing... in the end, it is about experiencing things more deeply and food helps us do that. It is like a symphony within our lives that plays on and connects us to our memories.

    A lovely homage to a great girl.

  11. What a great recipe to illustrate Molly's work. These look wonderful and I can attest to their flavor. I really enjoyed your post today. It is good to have your feedback of our women game changers.Have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

  12. Oh, triple chocolate! These sound amazing.

  13. I find it hard to imagine a chocolate scone, but these look so good!

  14. A beautiful scone and a beautiful tribute to Molly. Her blog is one of my favorites!

  15. So many baked goods from Molly - I think it must be because they draw people together.

  16. What a decadent scone! I really do enjoy Molly's writing voice and style.

  17. I love what you wrote about Molly one of my most favorite bloggers! You wrote about her as if she were a part of your family. It is a fantastic post!

  18. Hi Barbara,

    Always inspiring to find out about successful women and I enjoyed reading about Molly. Thanks for sharing and the chocolate scones look divine.

    Hope that you are enjoying your weekend

  19. I actually really love the idea of something that is triple chocolate but not triple sweet. These sound delicious! Perfect for breakfast!

  20. Have you read her book, A Homemade Life? It's terrific. I love Molly! Hers was one of the first food blogs I read.

  21. At the Ritz in London they sometimes do a chocolate afternoon tea with chocolate scones, but I just don't know if i'd be into it (even though i do love chocolate). THe scones you made are certainly very indulgent looking :D
    *kisses* HH

  22. I have not heard of Orangette .. I must subscribe.

  23. I love your more-is-more attitude with the chocolate ganache. I get it totally!

    The Orangette story is touching and I'm amazed to read that Molly met her husband through her blog. Wild.

  24. Those chocolate scones look rich and divine!

  25. I didn't know anything about Molly, though I heard of "orangette" (never actually checked it out, must remedy this!), andof Delancey through Lecia's blog! Thanks for the introduction!

  26. her husband-meeting story has always given me hope. :) nice scones--more ganache is definitely in order!

  27. Molly is one of the big game changers--remarkable for her young age. her writing is sophisticated yet approachable, entirely endearing.



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