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Old 06-05-2009, 05:48 PM   #1
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Brownie problem

Hi all, I found a brownie recipe that sounded really good, I followed it exactly, but it was a huge failure. It said to bake for 35-40 mins, and stressed not to over-cook, but after the cooking time, it was still liquid under the crust. I have a thermometer in the oven to double check the temp. I'm including the recipe in case anyone can see a problem with it or at least tell me where I may have gone wrong. I really would appreciate help with this, please. 8x1 ounce squares of unsweetened chocolate 1 cup butter 5 eggs 3 cups sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla 1-1/2 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 2-1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Melt chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat; set aside. In a mixer, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla at high speed for 10 minutes**. Blend in chocolate mixture, flour and salt until just mixed. Stir in the nuts. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes. (Don't overbake.)

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Old 06-05-2009, 06:15 PM   #2
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hmmmmmmmmmmm no baking powder or did i miss it? did it rise? here is my recipe which is almost the same as yours but mine has 1/2 the chocolate. maybe it needs more flour, less chocolate, less butter and some baking powder. i don't think you did anything wrong, it's probably the recipe.


Mocha Brownies

4 squares (1 oz. each) unsweetened bakers chocolate
2/3 c. shortening
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped nuts (optional)
Instant coffee powder - to taste

(Glossy mocha frosting recipe below)

Heat oven to 350F. Grease and dust with cocoa powder instead of flour so you don't have white sides; 13x9x2 pan. Heat chocolate in large microwave safe glass bowl, microwave on high 1 minute at a time, stirring it after each minute, just till melted (be sure not to over heat or it will scorch and taste bitter. Or the oils will separate and break the chocolate). Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix in remaining ingredients. Spread in pan. Bake until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. About 30 minutes. (Do not over bake) cool slightly; spread with frosting (recipe below). Cool completely ; cut into bars.

Glossy mocha frosting

3 squares (1 oz. each) unsweetened bakers chocolate
3 Tbls. Shortening
2 c. powdered (confectioners superfine) sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. finely chopped nuts (optional)
Instant coffee powder - to taste

Heat chocolate in large microwave safe glass bowl, microwave on high 1 minute at a time, stirring it after each minute, just till melted (be sure not to over heat or it will scorch and taste bitter. Or the oils will separate and break the chocolate). Stir in powdered sugar, instant coffee powder, salt, milk and vanilla; beat with hand mixer until smooth. Place bowl of frosting in larger bowl of ice and water; continue beating until smooth and of spreading consistency. Stir in nuts.
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:16 PM   #3
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The baking time is an estimate. You will need to adjust for things like humidity and your own ovens temperamental things. Likely you would need closer to an hour and I would have used a lower temperature. I think 350 for an hour to 75 minutes would have been a better benchmark. Again, climate can play a factor here.
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:41 PM   #4
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The recipe looks fine to me -- my brownies don't have baking powder as I prefer dense, chewy brownies to cake-like brownies. I bake them at 350 for about 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the recipe. But that's for my oven with my metal pans.

Are you sure about the oven temperature?

Did you use a metal or Pyrex/Ceramic pan (which take longer)?

One hint -- most cakes are done when they just start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Touch is also important -- cake-like brownies should be springy to the touch, chewy brownies should feel more solid. And the toothpick test is critical -- if it comes out with goo on the end, it ain't done!

My two recipes are attached. I made the chewy brownies yesterday, and they turned out fine. I somewhat prefer the other recipe, but my wife likes the one I made.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Brownies, Chewy.pdf (34.1 KB, 62 views)
File Type: pdf Brownies.pdf (20.5 KB, 59 views)
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:46 PM   #5
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Thank you both for you quick responses. msmofet, you're dead right, no baking powder, although it did rise about an inch. I am not that familiar with brownies being a Brit, but I'm not giving up on this. Thanks for your recipe, I'll certainly try it.
Alix, you may also be right, although I did give it another 10 mins, but it didn't help. When I turned it out, it actually ran liquid from under the cooling wire.
I'll be sure to let you know how I get on with another batch tomorrow, and thanks again.
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:52 PM   #6
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Hi Scotch, your reply came in as I was answering the others. Interesting that you don't use baking powder. I know the temp was ok, and I used a metal cake pan, lined with parchment, 9x13 inch. Is that not right? I'm grateful for more recipes because I had my first brownie at a new friends house a couple of weeks ago, and now really want to be able to make my own. I like the tips on checking for the cake being cooked too thanks.
I'll keep you posted.
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:10 PM   #7
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Brownies are awesome! Keep trying. Either of the recipes I gave you should work well -- I never have any problems, and I've made the instructions as explicit as I can.

One thing that struck me about your recipe on rereading it was beating the eggs and sugar on high for 10 minutes. Seems excessive, but I don't think it would make the result runny.

One thing to understand about brownies, which I touched on in my first post: there are two distinct basic types: (1) chewy, which are very dense, sometimes almost like fudge, and (2) cake-like brownies, which are light and airy, like most cakes.

People who like one variety often don't like the other. I'm in the dense camp (as my wife often tells me). I think cake-like brownies are just chocolate cake cut in small pieces, whereas chewy brownies are something heavenly, between a cookie (biscuit to you Brits) and a good piece of fudge.

Also, as you probably noticed in msmofet's recipe, some are topped with icing -- I don't like that as it's unnecessary and too sweet, IMHO, on dense brownies, although it's often appropriate on cake-like brownies.
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackcat View Post
Thank you both for you quick responses. msmofet, you're dead right, no baking powder, although it did rise about an inch. I am not that familiar with brownies being a Brit, but I'm not giving up on this. Thanks for your recipe, I'll certainly try it.
Alix, you may also be right, although I did give it another 10 mins, but it didn't help. When I turned it out, it actually ran liquid from under the cooling wire.
I'll be sure to let you know how I get on with another batch tomorrow, and thanks again.
you're very welcome. let me know how you like them. i do both the toothpick and touch to tell when done. be sure to look for the "pull away" from the sides of pan. i use a metal pan greased and "floured" with cocoa powder. melting the chocolate in the microwave is so much quicker and easier than on the stove and doesn't scorch very easy.

my recipe is in the middle - denser than cake brownies but not as dense as fudge brownies. best of both worlds. i use the frosting cause everyone loves these especially with the frosting. you can try it both ways and choose which you like best. or try to frost 1/2, maybe insert a piece of firm poster board or cardboard wrapped in foil pushed in across the middle of brownies and frost one side. i have sold these at craft fairs and school bake sales and they are a hit. i added the coffee because i love mocha flavor but you can leave it out.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:18 PM   #9
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IMO....and I'm not a baker the recipe is flawed...Too much Chocolate...Too much fat (from the cup of butter and the 8 oz. of chocolate) and too much sugar for the mount of flour called for....Suggest you reduce the chocolate by 1/2 --- Reduce the butter to 3/4 Cup --- Reduce the sugar by 1 cup. Also, I want eat a brownie unless they have a lot of pecans...1 1/2 Cups is usually sufficient for me --- So 2 1/2 Cups seems excessive. --- You might also try one of the recipes posted above.

Have Fun and Enjoy!
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
IMO....and I'm not a baker the recipe is flawed...Too much Chocolate...Too much fat (from the cup of butter and the 8 oz. of chocolate) and too much sugar for the mount of flour called for....Suggest you reduce the chocolate by 1/2 --- Reduce the butter to 3/4 Cup --- Reduce the sugar by 1 cup. Also, I want eat a brownie unless they have a lot of pecans...1 1/2 Cups is usually sufficient for me --- So 2 1/2 Cups seems excessive. --- You might also try one of the recipes posted above.

Have Fun and Enjoy!
Not sure that's it. The recipe is very similar to my recipe for chewy brownies, albeit doubled, although it's a bit light on flour and heavy on nuts. Pan is also not twice as big as the 9X9 I use.
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