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Kerry Beal

Brownies -- Bake-Off I

220 posts in this topic

I've been researching my favorite recipe, trying to find out where it comes from. The source seems to be Maida Heatter, who somewhere published this recipe:

http://theoutdatedkitchen.blogspot.com/200...s-brownies.html

My mom's version (which is what i've always made) uses a food processor. The butter is melted on the stove with sugar, and both are whisked together until thickened. This is added to chocolate that's been ground in the food processor. Everything is mixed in the processor, and one by one, the other ingredients are added, with the flour/salt/baking powder going in last and getting mixed mimimally. What's great about this recipe is partly the sour cream, which adds moistness and a barely perceptible tang, but also the gigantic proportion of chocolate. I have yet to find another recipe that has nearly as much.

Before finding this (presumably) original version online, I've been working on refining the recipe and adapting it for use without a food processor.

This weekend I melted the chocolate and butter together, and separately beat the eggs and sugar together. Everything was stirred together, with the flourf and salt going in last. I ommitted the baking powder, since beating the eggs and sugar incorporated a lot of air. I used callebaut bittersweet chocolate.

The results were delicious, but very tender (not chewy like the original version). I assume the mixing method is responsible for the change in texture, but I wonder if using better chocolate (in the past I've often used baker's chocolate from the supermarket) could have anything to do with it. The good chocolate likely has more cocoa butter and less sugar.

I'm going to try Maida's original assembly instructions next. I'd also like to experimentt with a bit less sugar and a bit more salt.


Edited by paulraphael (log)

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I've put on 5lbs just going through this thread. :biggrin:

Someone has ordered a 2-tier occasion cake from me, and requested it to be a brownie cake. Since brownies are usually 1" high or so, I'm wondering if I can make it work by sandwiching 2 layers of brownies with chocolate ganache or buttercream. I suppose I'll have to make a brownie which is more firm?

Has anyone made a brownie 'cake' before?

Cake-like brownies are also sometimes called "Texas Brownies".

This is a link to an eGullet Recipe I submitted:

"Clara’s Brownies (aka Texas Brownies)"

What makes them brownie-like is the icing...it's chocolately and nutty. The recipe calls for a 9x13 pan which helps contain the heated frosting as it's applied. I'm not sure how you could translate it into a wedding cake tier since the heated frosting probably wouldn't stick to the sides of the exposed cake.

Take it for a test drive...


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

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We're still finishing a great batch of Applesauce Spice Bars (very popular over in the "Baking: From My Home to Yours" forum), but you guys have given me a great excuse to try the "Independent Brownies" from "Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Traditions from Around the World" (Alford & Duguid, who brought us "Hot Sour Salty Sweet"):

gallery_48670_4405_15243.jpggallery_48670_4405_41498.jpg

Kind of like the best possible version of those Hostess mini-brownies, if the outside were crispier, the texture better (in a cakey way), and the taste more grown-up. They look like they'll travel well, too.

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Thanks, Tim. Looks delish with the choc topping. However, for this order, she wants a very nutty brownie cake covered in rolled fondant. I'll definitely keep your recipe for a brownie order.


TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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The oven was hot. I had the chocolate. So I made some impromptu brownies last night using the Ina Garten recipe I posted earlier. Half recipe. Half with nuts/half without. I cut back the instant coffee by half because I'm sensitive to caffeine and in this recipe, it puts me over the edge but most other people tell me they can't tell the coffee is there.

In her cookbook, Ina recommends using Ghirardelli (I think) so that is what I use for these, too. Didn't really get that nice glossy finish this time but they tasted great all the same. Dense, intense & fudgy. Normally, I am in favor of simplicity but last night I was wishing I had some homemade marshmallows to add with the chips and walnuts for a rocky road variation.

gallery_15459_985_13379.jpg

enjoy!

N.


"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali

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Tepee, the words "brownie cake" actually made me feel sick :wacko: ! The word "frosting" following close after didn't help, either!

Since my kids are home from school at present, I plan to dig out the recipe for a non-chocolate :raz: "caramel" or "butterscotch" brownie. I do like the look of the shiny, crackly top, and I like chocolate, but gooey + chocolate is not for me!

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Tepee, the words "brownie cake" actually made me feel sick :wacko: ! The word "frosting" following close after didn't help, either!

Rolled fondant, Helen, not frosting :wacko::rolleyes: .

That's what I hate about taking orders for cakes. Odd requests. Some design requests are so against 'our' taste, but we just have to suck it in. I took a one and a half year break from all this and has just announced that I'm taking orders again. Sigh. Only thing that motivates me (plus the odd job that allows my creativity full reign) is the money I make from one cake creation job is equivalent to the earnings from 30 loaves of bread.

Sorry for going OT.

As for the brownie (cake), I think I'll just do a very rich chocolate cake with nuts (she wants lots of it...cutting would be messy I fear).


TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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Oooh! Had the most intense craving for brownies earlier this week. Couldn't find a recipe I liked (not having eggs didn't help either) so had to forego the brownies. The next night, found this thread! Must be fate by brownies.

Yesterday, I used Shaloop's recipe too (inspired by Domestic Goddess's picture). Turned out pretty good, I threw in a handful of walnuts, but next time will take it out of the oven earlier. I just finished having one, and now must go and have another and wipe brownie crumbs off the keyboard before the S.O. sees the mess! :raz:

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Yesterday, I used Shaloop's recipe too (inspired by Domestic Goddess's picture).  Turned out pretty good, I threw in a handful of walnuts, but next time will take it out of the oven earlier.

These are my favorite brownies, but I find the recipe indicates too long a baking time, ie, 35-45 minutes, the shorter time for metal pans, the longer for Pyrex pans. I do them about 32 minutes in a shiny metal pan.

Here's the link for those who want to check these out:

http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/recipes...y_brownies.aspx


There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

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I'm working on version 2 and version 3 of World Peace Brownies tonight. Version 2 has 1 less egg, and I stirred in the brown sugar at the end to see if I could get that sandy crunch. It seemed an rather dry batter.

Version 3 contains chunks of world peace cookies, made without the chunks of chocolate. The chocolate chunks were added to the batter along with the chunks of cookies.

I'll report back tomorrow after my tasters get through with them. I'll have to bake up the remaining world peace cookies to take along for the comparison. I wonder if it's too late to stir in the chunks of chocolate.

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I'm working on version 2 and version 3 of World Peace Brownies tonight.  Version 2 has 1 less egg, and I stirred in the brown sugar at the end to see if I could get that sandy crunch.  It seemed an rather dry batter. 

Version 3 contains chunks of world peace cookies, made without the chunks of chocolate.  The chocolate chunks were added to the batter along with the chunks of cookies.

I'll report back tomorrow after my tasters get through with them.  I'll have to bake up the remaining world peace cookies to take along for the comparison.  I wonder if it's too late to stir in the chunks of chocolate.

Into the cookie dough? No.

I've done that. The first time I made WPC, I halved the chocolate chunks and baked off only part of the dough. Then I added more before baking the rest off.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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So the results of the World Peace Brownie experiments were rather interesting.

Using chunks of cookie gave me a brownie with a nice sandy texture and a salty crunch - reminded me very much of the World Peace cookies, however most people liked the more traditional fudgy brownie with the addition of salt better as a brownie.

I liked the cookie added brownie best myself. I think I'll keep my usual brownie recipe as is.

So, I'll post in recipeGullet tomorrow but for now

World Peace Brownies

1 recipe adapted world peace cookies

1 1/4 cups flour

1/3 cup dutched process cocoa

11 tsp butter (room temperature)

1/2 tsp baking powder (here I deviated in error, but it worked)

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp fleur de sel (I used Portugese Salt Cream)

1 tsp vanilla

I placed this all in the food processor, processed until it started to clump, dumped out on a piece of parchment, squeezed together into a log. After an hour in the fridge, I cut into slices, baked at 325 for 12 minutes.

To make the brownies

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate

6 tbsp butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 extra large eggs

1 cup flour

1/4 cup dutched process cocoa

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp fleur de sel (again Portugese Salt Cream)

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate chunks

4 World Peace Cookies broken into chunks

1/4 tsp fleur de sel to sprinkle on top

Grease an 8 by 8 inch pan. Preheat oven to 325 F.

Melt first 5 ounces of chocolate in microwave, add butter and melt. Let cool, stir in brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder, stir until no longer streaky. Carefully stir in chocolate chunks and cookie chunks - you don't want to break the cookies up too much. Press into baking pan, sprinkle with additional salt, bake for 18 minutes. Don't overbake.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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Allright, gang. I'm looking for a new brownie recipe to use at the shop. I need one that's crunchy/flaky on top, and chewy/fudgy in the middle. The one I love at home hates the convection oven at the shop. I need one that can be eaten out of hand, or be thrown in box lunches, but is still sinfully delicious. Please help!


~Lisa

www.TheCakeAndTheCaterer.com

Bloomington, IN

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I'm witih Cleo on the One Bowl Brownies! I just find they work out consistantly well, and they're fast and easy enough to fix up.

I sometimes dump the dried cherries in them with pecans.

I've been wanting to try with salted caramel - gfron1 beat me to it in the thread though!

mmm.. maybe some baking tonight... I'll take a look-see if there's another recipe to try. I have some scharffenberger that I should use...


foodpr0n.com 11/01/17: A map of macarons in Toronto // For free or for a fee - bring your bottle! corkagetoronto.com

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Allright, gang. I'm looking for a new brownie recipe to use at the shop. I need one that's crunchy/flaky on top, and chewy/fudgy in the middle. The one I love at home hates the convection oven at the shop. I need one that can be eaten out of hand, or be thrown in box lunches, but is still sinfully delicious. Please help!

Several people on this thread have recommended these, including me. They're my favorite so far:

http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/recipes...y_brownies.aspx


Edited by merstar (log)

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

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Thanks! I just made some from Baking Illustrated, and they're a bit too bitter for me. I'll check out your recommendation! Do they have a flakyish top?


~Lisa

www.TheCakeAndTheCaterer.com

Bloomington, IN

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Yes!


There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

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this is my last batch of brownies for at least a 10 lb weight loss!!!

I am usually a purist and like my brownies with chocolate and maybe nuts ...but I opted for an adventure...and boy was this a great tasting adventure!!!

using the Bakers one bowl recipe I used brown sugar instead of white, added some real maple extract (about 1tsp) then into the batter I folded in 1 cup of walnut halves with 1 diced ripe banana ...on the top ..I loved so much the sound of the salt but only had some Kosher on hand ..I just sprinkled the top of the brownies with reckless abandon!

it was really still a chocolate brownie had the nice top and chewy middle ..but there were the bananas and nuts and a hint of praline that really made this one ..for sure one I will keep


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Made a batch last night, but didn't turn out good (texture) as I have just moved and am testing the oven and I tried an entirely new recipe that required no butter, as I didn't have enough... bad call.

However, I'd make this again with a different recipe... I like the stuff in it, but I think I'll experment more. A friend suggested I soak the brownies in booze or something to "soften it up" *g*

Photos and step-by-step here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/439686121/


foodpr0n.com 11/01/17: A map of macarons in Toronto // For free or for a fee - bring your bottle! corkagetoronto.com

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I can't make these at the moment, but one of you should try making my Black Pepper Brownies. They are fudgy and have a nice kick to them.


Edited by Swisskaese (log)

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Made a batch last night, but didn't turn out good (texture) as I have just moved and am testing the oven and I tried an entirely new recipe that required no butter, as I didn't have enough... bad call.

However, I'd make this again with a different recipe... I like the stuff in it, but I think I'll experment more. A friend suggested I soak the brownies in booze or something to "soften it up" *g*

Photos and step-by-step here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/439686121/

Do you have a recipe for the caramel. It looks delicious!!

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