How To Bake The Best Brownies – 11 Amazing Tips

  1. Learn To Choose The Recipe Well

Launching the crazy thing to prepare a recipe is never a good idea, and much less in pastry. You have to be careful to choose well to make sure that there are no mistakes – sometimes missing ingredients or missing steps – and that it will meet our expectations .

If we hope to obtain small chocolate cakes, slightly fluffy, we will be interested in a recipe that incorporates more quantity of flour and some lifting agent such as baking soda or chemical yeast. When it is indicated that the eggs have to be very well beaten with sugar, the dough may appear abomaside. If what we want is a brownie man of the fudgey type, we will try recipes in which the proportion of wet ingredients is much higher than the dry ones. Baked Comfort Food  will give you the simple and best tips to make best brownies.

  1. Choose The Best Quality Ingredients

The basic brownie is made up of very few ingredients that any amateur confectioner always has in the pantry. But precisely for that reason it is important to trust only in the best quality , since they will be the key to the flavor and the final texture. For example, farm eggs, reliable butter, special sugar for baking – it is not essential but I prefer to use fine grain caster type – natural vanilla extract, pure cocoa without sugar or loose pastry flour, never bizcochona type.

But if there is an ingredient whose quality we can not skimp on, it is undoubtedly chocolate. A good brownie is pure chocolate, so it is essential to bet on the best possible. Here also goes in tastes of brands and varieties and it is a matter of trying to find our favorite. Of course, it is chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa, little sugar and no rare additives . We will avoid chocolate bars “special for desserts”, typical of corbeturas, because it has less flavor and usually has added fats to the margin of cocoa butter.

  1. Do Not Be Tempted To Reduce Fat A Lot

The usual fat in brownie doughs is butter, which can be without salt – we will need to add it then – or without lactose. There are alternative vegetable fats that I have not personally used, such as margarines or coconut oil, and they can also be baked with oils. I think that this type of sweet comes out much better with quality butter, but if we choose an oil it will have to be of neutral flavor, reducing a little the amount. Some recipes choose to combine butter and oil , because the first gives flavor and the second leaves the dough lighter.

  1. Uses And Prepares The Right Mold

In principle we use any mold to pour the dough before baking, but again we should be guided by the recommendations of the recipe . The most traditional is square or slightly rectangular, shallow and about 20-25 cm on each side. If we use one that is too different, it could affect the baking time and the final texture , since when the dough expands it would be finer and the cooking time would have to be reduced. A chubbier brownie is easier to keep a juicy interior.

Regarding the material we have two recommended options: metal or glass . Personally I do not like silicone too much for masses of this style. To facilitate the task of unmolding it is always a good idea to cover the mold with greaseproof paper or baking paper, to which we could even give a light layer of greased with butter, although it is not usually necessary. To be well attached to the mold just have to wet the fountain a little or paint some spots with butter or oil. Leaving a few inches of margin above the mold will help to manipulate it later.

  1. Do Not Add Cocoa In Any Way

Although not all recipes use cocoa powder if they already ask for melted chocolate, you have to know how to incorporate it properly if you need it. In fact it is a golden rule for almost any elaboration with cocoa powder: the previous sieving . Like so many ground dry ingredients, cocoa tends to form lumps that can be hard to undo if they fall directly into the dough.

Sifting the cocoa with a pastry sieve or with a fine and clean sieve ensures that it will be distributed evenly with the other ingredients. Pure cocoa has a lot of fat and moisture causes coarse lumps from its packaging. In the case of brownies we can sift it together with the flour to get a much smoother and well distributed mixture, which will melt in the rest of the dough to give a uniform crumb.

  1. Let The Chocolate Cool

The solid chocolate must be melted before adding it to the rest of the ingredients, but it is also important to let it cool down. In the microwave it is faster and we will use less containers, although it is necessary to control very well that it does not burn. In the water bath we will take a little longer but it is a safer technique, as long as no water enters. Once melted, creamy and bright, we will leave it aside to cool well.

What is the temperature we are looking for? The finger method is the best – and the tastiest – to check if it’s still too hot. We want you to barely notice any temperature, that is, keep your texture creamy melted but has lost almost all the heat. If it burns us a little, we have to wait longer. The term shock could affect the dough and, what is worse, solidify the butter or half-boil the eggs. Patience is a virtue.

  1. Do Not Go With The Extras

We can be faithful to the elemental recipe or opt for the traditional touch of nuts, although it is always a good idea to try adding different extras . Almonds, white or milk chocolate chips, hazelnuts, dried or fresh fruits, chopped cookies, jam, peanut butter … Almost anything is allowed in the brownie batter.

Almost almost, because you do not have to spend throwing things. Choosing a couple of added ingredients, which could go as topping or inside the dough, can give a different and original touch to our favorite recipe. I like to experiment a bit and play with different flavors and aromas, also looking for texture contrasts, but nobody likes an absurd jumble of extras in each bite. The mass of the brownie and its chocolate flavor should always prevail.

  1. Know Your Oven And Master The Baking

Domestic ovens can behave differently and have temperature swings that end up affecting any dish that is cooked inside them. In pastry is a particularly delicate issue, since a few degrees of more or an insufficient time can mean success or failure.

Using the indications of the recipe, it is best to adapt to what we know will work best. Do you usually need to leave the cupcakes longer than you ask? Do the cakes burn too fast? Fix the details to get it right. In addition, it is necessary to consider that the dark metal molds heat faster, while the glass respects the masses more. Another advantage is that we can monitor through its walls the approximate point of the dough while it is baked.

  1. Check In Time If They Are Ready

The standard temperature for baking simple confectionery masses is around 180ºC, but there are brownie recipes that ask to rise up to 200ºC, reducing the time, to create an outer crunchy layer. In any case, it is preferable not to get too far away and to check how it goes when half the time has elapsed . The dough should already have color and begin to harden on the outside, but without getting too brown. It is also advisable to rotate the mold at that moment so that the entire surface receives the same heat power.

A few minutes before the total indicated, you have to insert a toothpick in the center in case you need to shorten the baking. I should leave a little stained and with crumbs , but not dragging liquid mass. We do not want raw brownie, but it is not overdried and dry, so we should not forget that the interior will continue to cook a little more once it is out of the oven. You also have to adjust the point as we like.

  1. Do Not Be Impatient When Trying It

patience will be recommended . If you think that the brownie is already in its point you can place the source on a cold tray with ice to cut the cooking, or just wait a few minutes to temper the dough a little. Then we can extract it whole helping us from the paper, without removing it yet, to leave it on a grid.

Once the brownie is at room temperature it is best to wrap it in plastic film and take it to the fridge , still with the paper or inside the mold if we have let it cool on it. One hour is the minimum desirable, but if we are able to wait the next day the result will be even better. The brownie gains a lot if you let the dough rest in cold, both in texture and taste.

  1. Cut The Portions Delicately

After the time in the refrigerator we can finally cut and taste the brownie. Never do it inside the tray, we will always look for a clean table, preferably to be used only for breads and sweets. Without the paper, a serrated knife will help us to cut the outer layer in case it was a bit crunchy; then there are those who prefer non-stick plastic to penetrate the wettest masses. Cleaning the knife with warm water , leaving it a little moist after each cut, will help clean out portions.

As for the conservation, the brownies hold well a couple of days in an airtight container , but if they are very humid and it is hot I prefer to have them in the fridge. They will be better preserved if we keep the whole mass wrapped in plastic film and cut the portions as we go to consume them, and they can also be frozen without any problem.

Bhanu Garg: