Two nights ago we had family in town that were visiting all the way from Germany. I was super excited since this was my first time meeting them, and I had a million questions to ask, trying to keep in mind that they didn’t speak ‘fluent’ English. We were all out to dinner, when the topic of American and German food came up. My one cousin remarked, “If the food we eat isn’t good, then there is always chocolate”. After that statement, I knew exactly what my dessert would be for the following night… Brownies.
Warning, this post doesn’t contain any healthy twists, in contrast to my typical desert posts. I do have some healthier brownie recipes that I want to share, however I had to make the ‘real deal’ for my German cousins. Therefore, these brownies are little pieces of gooey, chocolate heaven. Now on to my brownie knowledge. Brownies come in 3 basic forms, which are 1.) chewy, 2.) fudge aka ‘the classic’ brownie, and 3.) cake like. They can all appear and taste very similar, and bake times play a huge role in the finished product.
Let’s start with the first style of brownie, which is the chewy version. Chewy brownies in my experience have two types of chocolate. The first type is melted, and the second uses cacao powder. This cacao powder version can also contain brown sugar, giving it extra richness. Adding an extra egg or two is also an option to increase the ‘soft and gooey’ nature of the brownie. They typically do not have a leavening agent.
The second style of brownie is fudge. They typically have the least flour, and require melted chocolate only. They also have no leavening agent. Both fudge and chewy brownies usually have melted butter and chocolate, as opposed to creamed butter. Also, it should be noted that fudge brownies require shorter baking time than the others.
The third brownie, and if truth be told my least favorite, is the cake like brownie. These brownies sort of resemble a cake, in that they require a longer baking time, and also a leavening agent. They require the use of more sugar and less butter, and are made by creaming the butter with the sugar, instead of melting it. For the most part, I prefer my brownies a little more gooey, with a fabulous ‘crinkle effect’ on top. Which style brownie is your favorite?
Now on to my brownies. I would say this batch was more in the fudge category. I wanted to create more of a ‘crinkle effect’ on top. The shiny crinkle is a layer of meringue. This happens the first few minutes of baking the brownies. The fat in the batter melts while the sugar dissolves, once the batter is more fluid the sugar molecules rise. (The molecules weigh less than the fat). Fudgy brownies are more likely to have the crinkle, since they don’t use brown sugar, or cocoa powder. With these fudge style brownies I only used white sugar with melted chocolate, and I used one less egg. I melted the butter on the stove top with the chocolate. I then added eggs and sugar to the mix, before stirring in the flour. These brownies also cooked for a few minutes less. These are my favorite brownies, b/c they had a great ‘crinkle’ and overall rich taste and the perfect gooeyness.
My relatives from Germany loved the brownies hope you do too.