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Science, Baking, and Brownies

Mary's picture

First, thanks to all who responded - I know I asked a difficult question.
But really, THE ONE most burning question in my mind is how to make the chewiest ever brownies? (my ultimate weakness). I'm assuming box mixes use dough conditioners to get that chewy consistency (no?).

I have many brownie recipes but I can't quite tweak them to be chewey - do I add more eggs? less flour? more butter? (melted or not?)

Gerard's picture

(post #60022, reply #1 of 7)

The mean chef directed you to Maida Heater.
We converted a couple of her recipes to commercial volume, some work some don't like everything else.
You are probably looking for something like a chocolate pate', flourless or almost.
I wouldn't exactly call ours brownies, very little flour and only half baked, cannot be cut unless chilled overnite but melt in the mouth.
We use unsweetened choc liquer, I don't know why but it costs more than couverture.

I doubt there are dough conditioners in boxed brownie, thats normally used to develop gluten which doesn't really develop(hopefully) in a batter.

To get a smooth brownie you want the sugar to dissolve, so rather than doing a batter type mixing procedure its best to go the sponge route.
Whip the eggs with the sugar on high speed until inflated like as for spongecake.
Melt the butter and stir in the chocolate to melt.
Fold the butter/choc into the eggs, reduce flour by at least 50% or 75% or..omit completely.
Bake only until the edges look almost done and the middle is rediculously liquid.
Don't think about cutting until completely chilled down.

This should work with any recipe that doesn't use cocoa or fudge base and forget box mixes, they probably have enough sodium to gag a hoss.

The quality of the choc used will play a large role in the final taste but you can get great texture with regular Bakers crap from the supermkt because texture (which is what you were after) is dictated by the process more than the ingredients.
It really helps if you don't collect recipes but find the one you know works for you and stick with it, you'll develop more skill with one recipe.

Regards, Gerard

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #60022, reply #2 of 7)

Gerard, the brownies that I suggested have exactly the same characteristics as yours and similar technique with very little flour. I have taken this recipe and converted it to make 4 sheetpans at a time. Works well as long as they are not overcooked and are allowed to chill overnight.

Mary's picture

(post #60022, reply #3 of 7)

Thanks to both of you for the tips.
I'm going to try them as soon as I give up my "New Year's Diet."
(also sorry for posting the message twice.)


Mary_Ann's picture

(post #60022, reply #4 of 7)

Thanks, Mean Chef, I tried your brownie recipe over the weekend and it is absolutely de-li-cious.

Mary Ann

Jean_'s picture

(post #60022, reply #5 of 7)

You mean you're off your diet already? ;-)

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #60022, reply #6 of 7)

Chewy Brownies...bake less. I use a recipe from an old Baker's Chocolate Cookbook I have had since I was a kid. When I first met my guy over the net, I sent brownies 2000 miles to him for his birthday. I tried 3 recipes. The first one (can't remember where I got it) yielded a cakey but satisfactory tasting brownie. I wanted to send fudgy so I gave those to my daughter. I then tried one from the Silver Palate Cookbook that was so bad - I made a note in the book that said, "THESE SUCK - greasy and leaden." Threw those in the garbage, they were good for absolutely nothing else.

I then went back to my old favorite, the Baker's Chocolate cookbook - made the brownies - sent them along with a picture of myself and I now live with him.

Fudgy Brownies
(From Book of Chocolate Riches - Baker's Chocolate)

2 Squares Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate

1/3 cup Butter

2/3 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional) -OR-
3/4 cup Angel Flake Coconut

Melt chocolate with butter in saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat. Mix flour, salt and baking powder. Beat eggs thoroughly. Gradually beat in sugar. Blend in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture, stir well. Stir in nuts or coconut. Spread in greased 8 inch square pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cool in pan. Makes about 20 small brownies.

Mary_Ann's picture

(post #60022, reply #7 of 7)

What diet?