Believe it or not, making delicious chocolate brownies, that are just the right amount of gooey, is harder than it looks. It can be tempting to dismiss these bakes as children’s starter recipes, but that would be wrong. Yes, they only use a few ingredients and the recipe is relatively straight forward, but, as we all know, there’s a world of difference between an ok brownie and an OMG this-is-amazing brownie (hello Indulge brownie boxes!). In this blog we reveal the most common brownie mistakes when baking, so you can get it right every time…
Avoiding Brownie Mistakes
1 – Making Do With Poor Quality Chocolate
Every recipe is only as good as its ingredients. When you consider that brownie recipes generally have just a handful of ingredients, then they need to be the best you can afford. This is especially true of chocolate as it is one of the key ingredients in a chocolate brownie recipe. Chocolate can vary widely in quality so it’s best to look for a bar that has minimum artificial additives but has a high cocoa content. We think 43% gives a nice balance just like in our own brownie mix, something like the ethically sourced and vegan-friendly chococo bar is a good choice. You can also use cocoa powder as an alternative. You can see for yourself how good this is in our Keep It Classic brownies.
2 – Not Allowing The Brownies To Cool Fully Before Cutting
We know, it’s hard to resist those fresh baking smells when a brownie traybake comes out of the oven and off the baking pan. But resist you must. If you don’t, when you cut into your brownies they will crumble and slide and you won’t get clean cut pieces. Thirty minutes cooling time is the minimum, but even better if you can leave them in the fridge overnight. This is especially important if you have added a layer of your favourite spread in the middle of your brownie mixture. Just like with our Biscoff Big One brownie, with Biscoff Spread running through the middle, this chocolate brownie is so gooey it needs extra time to set before it’s partitioned up!
3 – Overmixing The Batter
If you’re baking a cake, the recipe calls often to mix well to create air in the batter. It’s actually the same with brownies; if you mix and mix to pump air into the batter, you’ll end up with a more cake-like texture resulting in a cakey brownie. Which is fine, if that’s what you’re after. But, if it’s a squidgy or fudgy brownie that you want, then it’s best to swap the whisk for a spatula and gently fold in the dry ingredients. You can read more about what makes a brownie cakey or fudgy in our dedicated article. This one of the most common brownie mistakes we find.
4 – Having The Oven Too Hot
When it comes to baking you really need to know your oven. Some ovens run a bit too hot and some a bit too cool so get an understanding of where yours sits on the scale. If you’re aiming for a gooey chocolate brownie that’s squidgy in the middle, then set your oven temperature just a few degrees lower than the recipe states. It’s also a good tip to remember to wait until your oven has heated fully up to temperature. It’s exciting to get your mix in as fast as you can but adding it to an underheated oven will result in the brownies not fully cooking despite being in the full amount of time specified.
5 – Overcooking The Batter
When a recipe states a baking time, use it as a general guide. Check your brownies 10 – 15 minutes before the timer goes off by inserting a skewer into the middle. If the mixture is very wet, then they need longer, but if they are starting to develop a cracked top and possibly even burn, you may need to cover them loosely with foil. Keep checking back every few minutes. For a gooey chocolate brownie, an inserted skewer should come out with some squidgy crumbs attached to it. A top tip is err on this side of caution and slightly undercook your brownies if in doubt, as they will continue cooking once out of the oven.
6 – Deviating From The Recipe
Baking is a science and for it to work well you need to have all the right components in all the right quantities. There are thousands of brownie recipes out there and each will have different lists of ingredients with baking methods that have been specifically tested for that particular recipe. As much as possible, follow the recipe in front of you. You’ll soon start to get a feel for the sort of recipe that gives you the results you want. You can always test different methods on a new batch of brownies as you get more confident.
7 – Not Being Creative
One of the most rewarding things about baking brownies is that you can be creative. That might seem like a contradiction to point number 6, but as long as you don’t deviate from the main ingredients (which is where the magic happens), then you can start to have some fun! Experiment with simple additions like chocolate chunks (as in our Death by Chocolate brownies), chopped hazelnuts or dried fruit. Or top your creation with your favourite frosting, sprinkles or sweets – our Christmas edition Terry’s Chocolate Orange brownie is topped with a chocolate orange ganache and Terry’s Chocolate Orange segments – because who doesn’t love a chocolate orange at Christmas time?
So there you have it – how to avoid the seven deadly sins a brownie mistakes when baking ! Hopefully you can now have the confidence to create your own amazing brownies but if you’d like a helping hand, then take a look at our brownies by post delivery service. That way you can have perfectly squidgy chocolate brownies delivered through your letterbox any time you want them! For more general tips on how to bake the perfect brownie, read our handy guide.
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