What is brownie?
Brownie often known as chocolate brownie or Boston brownie is a dessert originating from America. It is typical cacao pastry, very often with added chocolate pieces. Sometimes it can be covered with chocolate icing. Usually, it is served in the forms of small squares. It is a very dense dessert with a strong flavour, so even a small piece of this sweet is enough.
This dessert even comes in so-called white brownie variant, i.e. brownie from white chocolate. White chocolate is used in the dough instead of classic chocolate. This gives the brownie totally different taste, it is quite unusual variation.
Brownies come from America
This typical American dessert was supposedly invented in 1893 by a Chicago confectioner. Chocolate brownies were created at the express request of the wife of the owner of luxury hotel Palmer House. She wanted a dessert that will be similar with a cake by its structure, but it will be smaller and could be eaten from a box.
In the original recipe, the apricot glaze and nuts were important, but you will find these in today´s brownies very rarely. The name of this sweet is devoted from typical brown colour of the dough, but in the past this sweet didn´t contain chocolate. Instead of chocolate, molasses was added to the dough, which is a by-product of sugar production.
Furthermore, brownie cakes appeared in a cooking textbook from 1896. However, recipe we know today, begun to take hold in the first decade of 20th century.
We also recommend: Classic Gingerbread Cake
Two types of brownies
Before you start making your own brownies, it is important to think what kind of brownies you want to bake. There are two types of this sweet:
- one is from soft dough, it has dark chocolate colour and typical dense consistency,
- but you can prepare also cake-like pastry that will be drier.
These differences are mainly due to different amount of flour and the proportion of other ingredients. If you want to try typical American brownies, better try the soft ones. There are plenty of recipes for classic cocoa puffs with a fluffy consistency. But brownies are unique and if you like chocolate, you will love them.
How to prepare the best brownies?
For baking homemade brownies, you will only need five ingredients. These are:
You can also add nuts, dried fruit, etc. It is important to know how the different ingredient behave in the dough and how it influences in the dough. Let´s have a closer look at it.
The less flour you will use, the softer the brownies will be. The base should be good, plain or semi-coarse flour. The gluten content is important so that the dough comes out nicely and you won´t get unsightly chocolate pancake on the baking tin. For this reason, better use proven flour, with which you can make good yeast dough. If you want to be sure, choose white wheat flour, because it has a high content of gluten.
This ingredient makes great taste of this sweet. Also, it gives it the fluffiness. If you would like a thickener dough, then you can add vegetable oil instead of butter. As a compromise mix butter and oil in a 50:50 ratio.
Chocolate is the most important part of this dessert. You will not find chocolate in some desserts at all, instead there is only cocoa powder. It can lead to a rather dry dough – cocoa brownies are not the best choice. So, if you are craving classic soft and really chocolate brownies, go for chocolate. Chocolate should be of a good quality, with a strong flavour and high cocoa content.
If you don´t like dark chocolate, hypothetically you can replace it with lower content of cocoa powder in the recipe. Of course, the lower quality chocolate you choose, the less sugar add to the dough. On the contrary, if you use really hard chocolate, you might need to add a bit more sugar.
Not only it does pleasant taste and balance the chocolate, but it also acts as a softening agent. So, if you limit the quantity significantly, the result will be dry sweet. If you don´t like classic white sugar, try to replace it with brown cane sugar. It will give the brownie a lightly different structure and taste.
The egg significantly determinate the final consistency of this sweet. The more eggs you add to the dough, the softer and more fluid the result will be. So, if you are not satisfied how your brownies look like, try to change the number of eggs.
On the other hand, if you prefer desserts without eggs, because of being vegan or having allergies, try out 14 tips how to replace eggs in recipes.
How to prepare brownies
The procedure to make this sweet is actually very simple, even a beginner can make it. There are not difficult procedures, all you need to do is to mix all ingredients. There are only few important points, which you should follow to get fudgy brownies.
- Chocolate needs to be melted. Ideally melt it slowly in water bath or even in a microwave, however this is not very suitable procedure. To avoid burning the chocolate, melt it together with butter.
- To get really fluffy consistency, whisk the eggs with sugar into solid foam. You can then add melted chocolate and flour to it.
- If you don´t want to take the time to whip up the rich foam, you can mix ingredients even without that. Only mix chocolate with sugar, eggs and at the end add flour. It is not good to whip up for a long time, so just mix the ingredients and stir that there are no lumps.
How long to bake brownies?
Baking this dessert is the most difficult part. It is very important to pay attention to it, unfortunately in this case you should not let the dessert in the oven for another 5 minutes just in case. They key to the best recipe is to let them a little unbaked.
So, really, don´t be afraid to get them out of oven a bit earlier, before they will look baked. First of all, this dessert should remain fluffy and dense, plus due to residual heat and gradual cooling it will be even more firm. If you leave the brownies in the oven too long, instead of delicious result you will get dry and crumbly cuts.
Do not follow the time in the recipe, rather control the dessert earlier. You can tell if it is ready to be removed from the oven by checking it with a classic toothpick or skewer test. Don´t expect really dry toothpick or skewer test. Ideal time to get it out from the oven it when there are small crumbs on it.
American chocolate brownies: Easy and quickly recipe
Try recipe from chocolate brownies that you will fall in love with.
Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
Cut butter and chocolate into small pieces so that will melt easily.
Melt these 2 ingredients and mix it into soft cream.
Whip up the eggs with sugar into foam, then gradually add chocolate with butter.
Carefully sprinkle with the flour.
Line a small baking tin with baking paper. Ideal baking tin for this amount of ingredients is from 25 to 30 cm.
Put the ready dough into the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes.
Sprinkle with nuts up to your taste.
Let it cool at the wire wreck for a few minutes after removing from the oven. Then remove brownies together with baking paper and let it cool aside of baking tin. It should cool for at least 4 hours for the brownies to set sufficiently.
Brownies are very popular American dessert that has gained the popularity also here – and no wonder. It is quick dessert, especially it does not require many ingredients and the preparation is very simple. So if you are craving something really chocolatey that melts on your tongue, brownies are the right choice.