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Kerry Beal

Brownies -- Bake-Off I

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I think with most brownie recipes, it doesn't matter, but Kerry's here, and she'll tell you what to do.

I was tempted to just use the natural unsweetened figuring "how bad could they be?", but then I saw this on the Joy of Baking website:

"There are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder: natural and Dutch-processed and it is best to use the type specified in the recipe as the leavening agent used is dependent on the type of cocoa powder."

I was too afraid that they wouldn't be good and I didn't have time to make another batch.

Oh no! Don't take my advice! This recipe has baking powder in it, so changing the cocoa powder from Dutched to natural might cause a problem.

My understanding was that when the recipe calls for baking powder as the only leavener, you can use Dutch-process cocoa with no problems, because baking powder includes the acid which is needed to cause the reaction with the sodium bicarbonate that produces the CO2, and hence the leavening. On the other hand, using Dutched in a recipe in which baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is the only leavener could cause problems, because the the Dutched cocoa is not acidic enough to cause the CO2 forming reaction.

I knew it was fine for one, and not fine for another, but I wasn't sure which. Hence my post asking Cleo to disregard what I said--plus I hadn't read the recipe when I posted originally.

But thanks for enlightening me!


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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I was planning to try the On The Fence Brownies this past weekend to bring to a barbecue.  I had all of the ingredients, but since I don't bake very often, I wasn't sure if I could use plain old Nestle cocoa, which is what I had.  The recipe calls for Dutch-processed cocoa.  So I Googled it and found this explanation and figured that I better get the Dutch-processed cocoa.

The thing is that I went to 4 different supermarkets (including Whole Foods) and I couldn't find Dutch-processed cocoa; they only had natural unsweetened (Hershey's and Nestle although Whole Foods did have more brands available).  Now this may be a stupid question, but is Dutch-processed cocoa hard to find for some reason?  And if they don't have it in Whole Foods, where would I find it?

I ended up making the Baker's One Bowl brownies which were good, but I was looking forward to trying a new kind for comparison.

I have used both. I prefer them with Dutch processed but the natural worked fine as well. I just preferred the flavour.


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Ninth try was the charm!

I finally got my brownies to come out with both the right flavor and texture. Posted here, with some background, for anyone interested.

These will appeal to you if you're crazy for dark chocolate.


Notes from the underbelly

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Ninth try was the charm!

I finally got my brownies to come out with both the right flavor and texture. Posted here, with some background, for anyone interested.

These will appeal to you if you're crazy for dark chocolate.

Congratulations! They sound great!


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

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I made the "Layers of Love" brownies from the Nestle Very Best Baking web site for a work party today. They were a big hit. If you like VERY fudgy brownies with a bit of embellishment, these are for you.

They are a very fudgy, cocoa-based brownie with caramel, white chocolate chips, pecans, and semisweet chips layered in! I don't have a photo, but mine looked pretty much like the one at the recipe link. My only substitution was to use chopped bittersweet chocolate instead of the semisweet chips. The recipe calls for caramel ice cream topping for the caramel layer. Next time, I'll try to be more ambitious and make my own caramel.

http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/detail.aspx?ID=32212

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I made the Brownie recipe fom best ever Brownies from Baking with Julia-recommended on this thread/forum or somewhere. I used 85% Valrhona Abinao instead of unsweetened and some bittersweet..

After the recommended baking time they were still liquidy and after cooling them down I was unable to cut them. I popped them back into the oven, cooled, and then BACK into the oven. I think they baked for over an hour. They were eventually baked, but still not a clean cut. They were dense-too dense or heavy. I baked in a white pyrex-could this be a problem?

What went wrong? I want a dark deep chocolate taste, not very sweet... Any advice? I need a brownie that I can take with me to a dinner party or give to a friend. The ones I made were "family" only cause they looked so disastrous!


Edited by Lior (log)

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I made the Brownie recipe fom best ever Brownies from Baking with Julia-recommended on this thread/forum or somewhere. I used 85% Valrhona Abinao instead of unsweetened and some bittersweet..

After the recommended baking time they were still liquidy and after cooling them down I was unable to cut them. I popped them back into the oven, cooled, and then BACK into the oven. I think they baked for  over an hour. They were eventually baked, but still not a clean cut. They were dense-too dense or heavy. I baked in a white pyrex-could this be a problem?

What went wrong? I want a dark deep chocolate taste, not very sweet... Any advice? I need a brownie that I can take with me to a dinner party or give to a friend. The ones I made were "family" only cause they looked so disastrous!

Here are two great ones:

Chewy Brownies from Fine Cooking

*NOTE: Just watch the baking times - they're done sooner than the recipe indicates - I do about 32 minutes in a shiny metal pan

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

Super Fudgy triple chocolate espresso Brownies from Cook's Illustrated

(I bake these about 34 minutes).

http://www.recipezaar.com/41985


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

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I baked these back in November I believe, but I'm making them every few days at work and they're flying out the door.

gallery_25969_665_493083.jpg

Zingerman's magic brownies w/ dulce de leche swirled in.

I love this recipe, and I really never liked brownies. They have an unorthodox mixing method and they use cake flour and a bit of levening.

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I baked these back in November I believe, but I'm making them every few days at work and they're flying out the door. 

gallery_25969_665_493083.jpg

Zingerman's magic brownies w/ dulce de leche swirled in. 

I love this recipe, and I really never liked brownies.  They have an unorthodox mixing method and they use cake flour and a bit of levening.

Thank you both very much! Iwill try them! Is Zingerman's recipe available over the net?

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Came out of my lurkdom specially for this.

Has there been any consensus on the best brownie yet? I'm one that likes fudgy and rich and dense over cakey. Any recommendations?

I started baking[pretty recently] with brownies, so they will always have a soft spot.

Thanks to all that respond! :-)

HAPPY BAKING!

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What follows is the recipe the Brownie Expert (BH Ginger) says is the best. Her opinion carries weight as the Brownie is her all time favorite food. Before this recipe I used a different one which made a double batch, using a double broiler on a stove to melt the chocolates, two kinds of chocolate, all kinds of directions, it took a long time, about 1.5 hours. This new one I can get it in the oven in 12 minutes from start to finish. :biggrin: I use the best unsweetened chocolate (100% cacao) brand I can find locally which coincidentally is Ghirardelli and imported French butter. GG love walnuts so thats the nut I use.

Please don't discount trying it when you see nuking (Microwaving) the chocolate, like I did which stopped me at first from trying this recipe.

12 minutes and I can say "from scratch" !

(I think these are Barb's words, she's my kind of GAL )

Notes: First Place, Plain Brownies, 1997 Minnesota State Fair. Adapted from recipe in Cook's Illustrated magazine, March/April 1994. Please note that I do use real chocolate, unsalted butter and cake flour. If you do not, don't complain to me about it."

Barb Schaller's Famous Orgasmic Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter
 8 oz

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate


2 cups granulated sugar
 15 oz

4 eggs


2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1 teaspoon almond extract
 (GG does not like almond extract use an extra vanilla) ((I thought it was better with the Almond but what do I know))

1 cup chopped nuts, optional (walnuts or pecans)


1 1/3 cup cake flour
 6 oz

1 teaspoon baking powder


1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Move oven rack to center and preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9x13” metal baking pan with parchment paper.

In microwave oven, on medium-high power, melt butter and chocolate in 2-quart microwave-safe bowl, about 3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Mix in granulated sugar, then beat in eggs, one at a time, with wire whisk.

Mix in vanilla and almond. Stir in nuts, if using them. Combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt and fold into chocolate.

Spread batter in 9x13” pan lined with baking parchment and bake in preheated oven at 350F for about 33-35 minutes. Do not overbake; toothpick may have fudgy crumbs on it, but not wet batter.

Cool pan on wire rack for 15 minutes before removing (if you wish) brownies from pan.

***One last BIG suggestion. We like crusty ends on all our brownies. G-d and all the angles in heaven decided to reward people who love brownies and had man invent this THIS

Try it you'l love it.

Didn't someone say "Huh what's in a name" I'll allude to, there are side benefits to making these brownies

[Moderator's Note: Permission to post recipe received from author Barb Schaller]


Edited by heidih Add moderator note and delete ref to deleted post in other topic (log)

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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I made this brownie recipe last night for the first time in years, substituting one ounce of cocoa powder for one ounce of the flour, and about half the called-for semisweet with bittersweet chocolate. I hated them. They were way too dry, despite baking them for a full five minutes less than the minimum baking time. Perhaps it was my new Goldtouch pan that was the culprit, as I used to bake the hell out of these when I was a kid, and they always turned out fudgy and perfect. Good thing they're being served à la mode all week long. :hmmm:

Has anyone ever tried baking the KAF On-the-Fence Brownies without the teaspoon of baking powder? I've made the original recipe dozens of times and, while I like the flavor well enough, they just were never chewy enough for me. Perhaps I'll reduce the baking powder to 1/2 teaspoon, at first. They've got the shiny top. They're certainly chocolaty enough, especially when I've used KAF's Double Dutch Dark cocoa. I just wish they were chewier. I'll give this a shot when I receive my Valrhona cocoa powder from Chocosphere.

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I just found this brownie recipe...can any engineers out there decifer it? LOL

http://liw.iki.fi/liw/misc/MIL-C-44072C.pdf

tracey


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

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I just found this brownie recipe...can any engineers out there decifer it? LOL

That's amazing. I'm going to pass that off as my grandma's secret recipe.


Notes from the underbelly

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I liked these quite a bit, too! I think they're my favorite standard brownie. I made them with the full salt, and thought they were a little too salty, and noted to try halving it next time. I'm glad you found halving it worked well!

baked brownie.JPG

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I liked these quite a bit, too! I think they're my favorite standard brownie. I made them with the full salt, and thought they were a little too salty, and noted to try halving it next time. I'm glad you found halving it worked well!

I think you'll be very happy with the halved amount - it was perfect for me. That's a delicious-looking photo!


Edited by merstar (log)

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

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I've been producing cooking videos for work to promote our digital cookbook collection -- these brownies are from Dorie Greenspan, and they were quite good...

 

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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7 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

I've been producing cooking videos for work to promote our digital cookbook collection -- these brownies are from Dorie Greenspan, and they were quite good...

 

That's a great little video and some good tips for anyone who might be new to cooking/baking. Enjoyed watching it! 

  • Like 1

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I may have posted this before. When I want to gift to neighbors I use generic mix, disposable pan, a touch of raspberry jam, couple drops of Angostura bitters, and a tablespoon of coffee. The men especially get very excited. i think that broadly mimics the more bitter as @Chris Hennes posted.

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