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Old 07-27-2006, 12:09 PM   #1
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Brownie disasters

i am quite a fan of brownies and i really hate the store-bought ones. but recently i've been baking not-so-perfect brownies...they end up usually too soft and mushy in the centre (it collapses after baking) with a dry and overcooked edge. what am i doing wrong...is it the size of my pan, or the ingredients, or the baking time? i try all sorts of recipes and they advice me to cook at low temp or take them out a few minutes earlier than stated time, but it still remains unevenly cooked once cooled. help!

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Old 07-27-2006, 12:21 PM   #2
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The first thing I'd do is check your oven temp; sounds like it may be heating a little hot - which would cause the overdone edges and not-cooked middle, and the sinking.

Then, I'd be sure to follow the recipe - exactly - down to pan size, and ingredients, making sure you're measuring both liquid and dry ingredients correctly, using the size egg that's called for in the recipe.

Check out some of the great recipes by our members on here!
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Old 08-05-2006, 12:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmalady
The first thing I'd do is check your oven temp; sounds like it may be heating a little hot - which would cause the overdone edges and not-cooked middle, and the sinking.

Then, I'd be sure to follow the recipe - exactly - down to pan size, and ingredients, making sure you're measuring both liquid and dry ingredients correctly, using the size egg that's called for in the recipe.

Check out some of the great recipes by our members on here!
thanks! it does look like it's the oven temperature that's the problem...we are renting right now and the oven came with the house. once you pointed it out to me, my brownie disasters started happening right about the same time we moved in. i didn't realize this at first because my other recipes did well, it's only the brownies that suffered so i just thought i needed to find another foolproof recipe--thanks for pointing it out to me! is there anyway to resolve this without resorting to getting a new oven?
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Old 08-05-2006, 01:14 PM   #4
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The best brownies I've every had are the "Brownies Cockaigne" from the 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking @ page 701.

Although the recipe first appeared in the 1931 edition of Joy, it was changed in the 1997 edition (as were many of the book's classic recipes), with minor adjustments to the ingredients and supposedly simpler instructions. I find that the earlier version produces better results.
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Old 08-05-2006, 01:25 PM   #5
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so is the joy of cooking cookbook really worth buying? what's your personal opinion? i just have SOOO many cookbooks already, i'm still having a think if i need to add this to my present hoard. there is a joy of baking website and there are lots of great recipes there too! :)
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Old 08-05-2006, 01:27 PM   #6
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another thing, does it make a difference if the pan is a non-stick pan or a glass pan for brownies? which one is better?
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Old 08-05-2006, 03:01 PM   #7
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Arlienb... Brownies are among the most foolproof of recipes, in my experience. I've been baking them for more than 50 years! Feastivals makes 28 different flavors -- all chocolate...

I don't think anyone can give you real help without your posting the recipe for us to see what might be wrong.

Are you looking for a cake-type brownie, or the fudgy kind?
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Old 08-05-2006, 03:59 PM   #8
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The Joy of Cooking

Quote:
Originally Posted by arlienb
so is the joy of cooking cookbook really worth buying? what's your personal opinion?
That's a difficult question to answer. I collect cookbooks, so for me there are considerations other than the quality of the recipes in a book, namely the collectibility, which has to do with rarity, historical significance, etc. I have a copy of the 1936 edition of The Joy of Cooking, a 1943 with a dust jacket, the 1975, and the 1997, all in excellent condition. I want an original 1931 -- but that's extremely rare (only 3000 copies were printed) and now runs about $1500 in good condition.

Joy is a good basic cookbook with a lot of good advice and clear instructions on thousands of dishes, from simple to complex. There are a lot of good cookbooks that can make similar claims, but many people think Joy is the best in this regard. In short, it's a kitchen bible for many cooks.

Personally, however, I much prefer the older versions to the current edition. You might want to look on eBay for an older edition -- there are always several available, and you should be able to find a nice clean copy for under $10.

Here are a couple of sites with information about the various editions:

http://www.cookbkjj.com/college/joy.htm

http://www.simonsays.com/content/fea...feature_id=386
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Old 08-05-2006, 03:59 PM   #9
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I found the recipe in my 1974 version, page 389. It looks really good and I will definitely try it soon. No baking today. Tomorrow is gs's birthday. He will be 7 and we will have a Sponge Bob ice cream cake - chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, with reese cups. I bought another dessert just in case the cake is too intense for some of us.
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Old 08-05-2006, 04:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by licia
I found the recipe in my 1974 version, page 389.
Do you mean the 1964 edition? I think that was the edition before the 1975, although there may have been several printings of it.

I'm pretty sure the recipe in the 1964 (or 1974) edition must be the same as in the 1975, because it's the same in the 1936 (although it's called simply "Brownies I -- Fudge Squares" in that edition).
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