Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quest for Killer Brownies

We’ve been struggling with this one for years, and we just may have had a breakthrough in the last day or so. It involves the ultimate in manly challenges, the making of a killer brownie. Now we’ve made plenty of brownies, some of which are good, but two things have been impossible for us to achieve. First off, brownies that are chewy, and secondly, ones that have a crispy, crusty top.

Our brownies always fall a little short and are cakey, until now, that is. When we had supper with HH, she brought over these brownies that were killer, and I asked her the secret. Like everyone before her, she seemed somewhat ambivalent about her accomplishment, and almost made it seem like it was no big deal. Ha, little did she know how this problem had tormented me.

Part of the problem is that we deviate from the recipe. We always use whole wheat flour, and substitute low glycemic sugar. Even still, I’ve tweaked the number of eggs and the baking time, all to no avail.

R suggested that I just follow the standard recipe to a T and see if I can pull it off using regular sugar and white flour. I decided to follow HH’s recipe, though couldn’t bring myself to use white flour and used white wheat, instead. The beauty of brownies is that they’re fairly quick and easy to make, not like cookies, which take more work.

I was cruising along when I glanced in our new bible of baking, the King Arthur Whole Grains Cookbook, and I noticed a key piece of information. They mention that to get a crispy coating on top, make sure you dissolve as much of the sugar as possible. This is best accomplished by melting the butter and then re-heating it after you add the sugar to help it dissolve. Genius. I love that book.

Sure enough, after baking, we got that nice crispy topping. The brownies were awesome but a bit undercooked, I was paranoid, but now feel pretty comfortable getting the desired effect. I should have consulted the baking book of wisdom in the first place. Best of all, the book uses whole wheat flour, so we don’t have to change our ways. Next up, we’ll try to repeat the results with low glycemic sugar. If it works, we’ll be in brownie heaven.

Until then, thanks for reading.

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