Nothing beats a batch of delicious, freshly baked chocolate brownies. It’s a simple recipe – a combination of chocolate, eggs, flour, butter, and sugar – but there are a few quick and easy ways to take your brownies from good to great.
Here are my top five tips for baking brownies:
1. Select the best quality ingredients
The quality of your brownies largely comes down to the quality of your ingredients. Good ingredients will obviously be more expensive, but trust me, it’s worth it!
If your recipe calls for melted chocolate for example, you should be using bars with at least 70% cocoa for that intense chocolatey flavour (Lindt Excellence dark chocolate bars are perfect for this). Real butter will also add a richer flavour and texture to your brownies.
2. Cakey vs fudgy
Brownie recipes will always fall into one of two camps – cakey brownies or fudgy brownies. Both are delicious and are easy to make, but you’ll find that everyone prefers one or the other.
Cakey brownies are similar to a good slice of chocolate cake. Due to a higher content of flour, less fat and the addition of baking powder, they have a light, airy texture. Personally, I love a fudgy brownie. This involves a lot more chocolate and butter, which are melted together and combined with less flour to produce a gooey, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
You need to find the right recipe for you, or experiment with ingredients to create your own.
3. Always line your tin
You should always, always line your baking tin with baking parchment (a.k.a. greaseproof paper). It is extremely frustrating to go through all of the effort of making your brownies only to have them stick to the tin and fall apart as you try to remove them.
I recommend lining your tin with butter or an oil spray as well as baking parchment so they lift out easily. I would also recommend lining your tin before mixing any ingredients to get your brownie batter in the oven as quickly as possible.
4. Thoroughly beat the eggs & sugar
This is the secret to achieving the perfect crackly top to your brownies!
You can do this by hand with a whisk or using a hand-held or stand mixer, but it’s so important to beat the sugar and eggs until they’re pale, thick, and really frothy. This adds lots of air to your batter and essentially creates a meringue-like effect, which will give you that lovely shiny crust.
5. Experiment with added extras
There’s nothing wrong with a plain chocolate brownie, but why not experiment with different textures and flavours?
Chocolate chips, nuts, fruit, biscuit pieces, mini marshmallows, Crème Eggs, cookie dough, cheesecake batter, peanut butter, salted caramel sauce, chopped ginger, pretzels…etc. etc. I could go on and on. There are so many ways to jazz up your brownies and really make them your own.
You can check out my recipe for delicious, fudgy chocolate brownies here.
What are your top tips for making brownies? Let me know in the comments!