28 January 2014

My 5 commandments to 'Better Your Brownies'

Brownies in Santa Cruz
 It's nice to be able to bake anything I want. ANYTHING. After 1 year of the same book, the baking universe is mine to conquer.

Brownies in Paris
And now I've said that, I'm going to confess that the first thing I baked was a chocolate cake (Mum's recipe, the one I briefly mentioned in my first ever post) and the second was a brownie recipe for a colleague's birthday. I know you're (not) terribly overwhelmed by my riske behaviour and innovative approach to baking, but I refuse to apologise - after dozens of tea-infused cupcakes and millions of cheesecake I just wanted to do something simple. So that being said here are some tips for baking your best ever/ first ever brownies. 

Tip 1

Line your tin with tin foil. This means that when the brownies are done you have little handles to pull them out. Although the brownie structure is dense it isn't particularly strong so this allows you to get right underneath the brownie and scoop them out if yours are on the squidgy side.

Tip 2

Think about texture. Unless you have some really fussy eaters that will sniff at a chocolate chip, try to combine some interesting textures in to your brownie. Add walnuts, marshmallows, chocolate chunks or for a celebration some SPRINKLES. I used white chocolate chunks for contrast and my favourite disk sprinkles for a bit of crunch. You don't need exotic ingredients to take your brownies to the next level.

Tip 3

Like cookies, DON'T OVERCOOK THE BROWNIES. You want them to have a slight 'crust' with a crack or two on the top. Remember your brownie will firm up as it cools, so it needs to be soft and slightly wobbly in the middle. You're not looking for the brownie to bounce back or the skewker to come out clean (like you would if you were checking a cake). This may take practice to get right with your oven, as everyone's is different and everybody has a difference preference with regards to squidge. They will all taste yummy (so long as they don't burn) but some will be more cakey or more gooey. Look for a cracked top but wobble in the middle. 

Tip 4

Don't use drinking chocolate as a substitute for cocoa. It's not even remotely the same. Tut tut. You should be ok substituting milk chocolate with dark chocolate (or with only a minimal change in texture).

Tip 5

Eat warm if at all possible. Brownies are always better warm. ALWAYS.* 

*This is 100% my opinion. Tell me to shut up if you wish.

What's your favourite brownie? Dark and rich or light and nutty?

Brownies in Santa Cruz - Room Service
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