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Common mistakes to avoid when baking brownies
August 21, 2016, 11:03 am
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When it comes to comfort food or favorite desserts, brownies top the rank for many of us. They are rich, decadent and sweet. But these chocolatey treats are trickier to nail than they seem – there are a good many mistakes to be made along the way, from using the wrong recipe to digging in too soon. To prepare the perfect brownies, make sure you avoid the mistakes given below.

Using an old recipe: The recipe you use matters because most people fall into two brownie-related categories: Those who prefer cake-like-brownies, and those who want them on the fudgier side. To prepare the perfect brownie, the first thing you need to know is which type do you prefer. If it is the cakey brownies, then go for a recipe that is reminiscent of, well, cake: For example, if your instructions include the act of creaming together butter and sugar, then you are probably going to be making a cake-like brownie. And if  you prefer fudgey brownies, then look for a recipe that has a higher chocolate and butter-to-dry ingredient ratio.

Baking with poor-quality chocolate: Brownies do not require a lot of ingredients — so the ones you use should be really good. Instead of purchasing ubiquitous ‘baking chocolate,’ just grab chocolate that you would want to eat on its own. Go for a bar chocolate and chop it into big chunks which will melt slowly, making rich, ultra-chocolaty brownies.  

Scorching the chocolate and scrambling the eggs: To prepare brownies you will need to melt your chocolate, but do not combine screaming hot-just-melted chocolate to your eggs, butter and sugar — it will cook and scramble the eggs, not to mention potentially burn the chocolate. Speaking of temperature, make sure to bring the rest of your ingredients to room temperature before combining. In case you forget to take your ingredients out of the fridge before beginning, stick them in warm (not hot) water for about 15 minutes.

Going overboard with the add-ins:  When preparing, pick one ‘extra’ flavor or add-in, like chocolate, cream cheese or nuts and stick with it. The point here is to enhance the chocolate’s flavor—not mask it.

Underbaking the brownies: Underbaking your pan of brownies means you will be eating, well, underbaked brownies. Always follow your recipe’s baking time and bake your brownies until they are done. The right texture is all in the right recipe; it is not about the cooking time. To make sure you do not overbake your brownies, it is worthwhile investing in a clear Pyrex pan—that way, you can keep an eye on how things are looking.

Digging in too soon: Restrain yourself from digging in too soon. The brownies will continue to set as they cool down, as well as develop flavor. Plus, they slice and come out of the pan much easier when properly cooled.

Recipe:

Cocoa brownies: Preheat oven to 162 Degrees Celsius. Line an 8x8x2 inches glass baking dish with foil, pressing firmly into pan and leaving a two inches overhang. Coat the foil with nonstick spray; set baking dish aside.

Melt ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into one inch pieces in a small sauce-pan over medium heat. Let cool slightly. Whisk 1 ¼ cups sugar, ¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl to combine. Pour the butter in a steady stream into dry ingredients, whisking constantly to blend. Whisk in one teaspoon vanilla extract. Add two large eggs one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. Add 1/3 cup all-purpose flour and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.

Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack; let it cool completely in the pan. Using foil overhang, lift the brownie out of pan; transfer to a cutting board and cut into 16 squares.

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