Brownies are so named because of their dark, rich color. Truly great brownie recipes have that sugary crust on the outside, are soft and moist on the inside and are just oozing with that rich chocolate flavour. When you take that first bite you are hit by that wonderful, chocolate, melt in your mouth taste.
All brownies have the addition of chocolate, but by using different types of chocolate, such as dark or white, a totally different taste sensation is achieved.
That unique texture that brownies are famous for is achieved by adding nuts or nougat for crunch, chocolate chips for extra gooiness or berries for softness. Adding cream cheese cuts through the sweetness and is one way of lightening the slice.
Brownies are the most famous of the bar cookies and they have more varieties than any other cookie. The combinations are endless.
What are the secrets to baking better brownies? Here we share with you our tips and techniques so you get perfect results every time.
The secret to making the best brownies is butter. Never use margarine. Butter gives them that unique, dense texture.
Using the correct chocolate is often the difference between success and failure . Different chocolates bake in different ways. Always use the type specified in the brownie recipe. For more information on the various types of chocolate go to our chocolate page.
If adding cocoa powder to melted butter, whisk it instead of stirring it in. This prevents any lumps and ensures a smooth batter.
When adding eggs to the chocolate batter, allow the batter to cool slightly first. Your eggs will cook and curdle if added to hot chocolate.
Don’t overmix the batter (unless the recipe states otherwise) as this will result in tough brownies. As with other cookie recipes, once you add the flour, mix until it is just blended with the other ingredients.
Never overcook your brownies. They should be barely set for that perfect texture. If unsure, remove them from the oven a little early. The chocolate will set in the fridge.
How do you know if your brownies are cooked? To test, touch them halfway between the edge of the tin and the center. They should be just firm to the touch. If they are overcooked that characteristic gooey texture will be lost.
Or insert a skewer or toothpick into the center. For a fudgy brownie, there should be bits of brownie attached. If you prefer them firmer, the skewer should be clean.
To give added texture, add ingredients such as nuts, choc-chips or berries.
To make sure your brownies bake evenly, after you spoon the mixture into the pan, use the back of the spoon to smooth the surface. Make sure the mixture reaches all the corners and is evenly spread.
Use a hot, sharp knife to cut the brownies into squares.
Always use the correct size pan as specified in the brownie recipe.
Our bar cookies page has all the information you need on tin sizes, tin preparation and cutting and serving
Once you have made your brownies you need to know how to store them to keep them fresh. Brownies taste better the next day. Bake them the day before, allow them to cool, then store them overnight.
Allow them to cool completely before storing.
The best way to store brownies is to leave them uncut. Wrap in tin foil then place in an airtight container. Cut them just before serving.
To freeze, wrap your brownies in 2 layers of foil, then a layer of plastic wrap. Wrap them very tightly, making sure all the air has been expelled. They will freeze for up to 4 months. For tips and techniques on freezing, go to our freezing cookies page.
Everyone, it seems, has a preference for how they like their brownies.
Some prefer them fudgy, some chewy and others cakey.
What is your brownie preference?
Do you have a favorite brownie recipe that you always seem to bake over and over again?
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