In our last issue, we presented some tips for great brownies. With a little feedback, we’ve compiled more. If you are a brownie baker, you’ll want these tips. Learn how to best melt the chocolate for your brownie batter, how to make your brownies denser or chewier, how to tell when your brownies are done, and more.
1. What’s the Best Way to Melt Butter and Chocolate Together?
We like to use the microwave. With many recipes, you can melt the chocolate and butter in the mixing bowl and have a one-bowl recipe. Melt the butter first. Chop the chocolate into bits and add that to the melted butter. Stir gently. If the chocolate is not entirely melted, heat it again.
2. Why is the Consistency of My Batter Different Each Time I Make My Favorite Brownie Recipe?
It could be the heat of the melted butter and chocolate mixture. The warmer the melted butter and chocolate mixture, the thinner the batter will be. Letting the mixture cool but not all the way will give you a thicker brownie batter.
3. Can I Use Bread Flour for My Brownies?
Yes. Bread flour has a higher gluten content than all-purpose flour and will make your brownies extra chewy. When making brownies with bread flour, be sure to mix your brownie batter for a few extra minutes to more fully develop the strands of gluten.
4. Can I Leave the Nuts Out of My Brownie Recipe?
Yes, but the texture of the brownies will be different. Leaving the nuts out of your brownie recipe will make the brownies much denser.
5. How Do I Make My Brownies Less Cake-Like and More Dense and Moist?
Try reducing the flour in the brownie recipe by one-third. It’s all that butter, eggs, and sugar compared to a relatively small proportion of flour that makes brownies dense. Brownies seem to be very forgiving and allow for experimentation.
6. How Do I Tell When My Brownies are Done?
The appearance of the brownies in the pan will change with a dryer, less-glossy look. The brownies will be firmer. Most cookbooks tell you to stick a knife or a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it is cake-like and done, it will come out clean. A dense brownie will still have some moist crumbs sticking to the toothpick when it is done. Brownies over-baked for even a couple minutes will be much drier. Check out this article for the perfect internal temperature for brownies.
7. Will My Brownies Continue to Bake in the Pan?
Yes. Heavy glass pans retain heat better and will cause brownies to continue cooking longer. You can always pull the pan out just a few minutes early to account for this.
8. Will the Type of Pan I Use Affect Baking Times?
Yes. Baking times is one of the great variables in baking. The pan as well as the oven, the shelf location, and the ingredients, affect baking times. Check your baked goods at least five minutes before the allotted time in the recipe. Dark pans tend to bake quicker than light pans. A silver pan may take much longer to bake.
9. Can I Drizzle Chocolate Over My Brownies?
Yes. Carefully melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave with one teaspoon of shortening added for every three ounces of chocolate or 1/2 cup of chips. The shortening will help the chocolate set up. Drizzle the melted chocolate over your brownies as they cool.
(Updated from May 10, 2014)