Brownie is a baked flat bar either fudgy or cakey depending on the ingredients used. Brownies are normally served as snacks and they are often accompanied by coffee, milk, or ice cream. Brownies can also be frosted and topped with whipped cream, chocolate chips, or other ingredients. Blondie is a variant of brownie which is prepared with brown sugar and no chocolate.
Origin of Brownie Recipes
Brownies were first introduced in the US and Canada by the end of the 19th century and beginning of 20th century respectively. Later brownie, especially the chocolate brownie became popular in Europe and other parts of the world. In the late 19th century brownies were popular cakes baked individually in tin molds with molasses.
Ingredients Prescribed by Brownie Recipes
Most of the brownie recipes prescribe an assortment of ingredients that include used by butter, eggs, flour, castor sugar, cocoa powder, baking powders, walnuts, vanilla essence and salt.
Popular Method of Preparation of Brownies
After mixing flour, baking powder and cocoa powder in a container the mixture of butter, vanilla essence, sugar and salt should be added. Then eggs and walnuts should be added before pouring the mixture in a baking pan to be baked for about 40 minutes. Delicious brownie is ready top be served.
Serving and Eating Brownie Dishes
Brownies taste best when they are warm or freshly baked. They come in two textures: cake or fudge, and it’s up to one’s personal preference as far as it’s preparation and serving are concerned. One can make it all the more attractive by sprinkling a little chocolate syrup and raspberry sauce over it. It can also be cut into various interesting shapes and top it with some whipped cream.
Before cutting the brownies for serving, they should be cooled, as otherwise they will not cut be properly and the cake will stick to the container.
Types of Brownies
Brownies can be broadly divided into four varieties:
- Fudgy: This is a type of brownie which has minimum flour and no baking powder. To make it denser or fudgier the butter is melted and unsweetened chocolate is normally used along with sugar. Granulated or brown sugar is used for a strong molasses flavor.
- Cake-like: These types of brownies contain less butter and more flour than other type of brownies. A little baking powder is also used to make the brownies lighter or softer. Usually softened butter is creamed with the sugar.
- Chewy: Extra eggs and a variety of chocolates help in preparing chewy type brownies. Both unsweetened and semi-sweet chocolate are used to create this stiffer-textured brownie.
- Blondies: These are actually butterscotch bars that are prepared with an assortment of brown sugar, butter, nuts and eggs. They have a cake- like texture, but no chocolate is used.
Health and Nutrition Facts Related to Brownie Recipes
Brownies are not so unhealthy, but diet conscious people should stay away from rich chocolate brownies. However, there are many low-calorie brownie recipes that can be prepared at home to have total control over the ingredients used.
Famous Brownie Recipes
Brownies are popular all over the globe. Some of the most famous names include:
• Almond Brownie – It is prepared by baking a batter of flour, suagr salt, vanilla extract and baking powder mixded with a solution of chocolate made by melting chocolate chips along with butter and suagr. The dense batter mixed with plenty of chopped almonds is spread over a baking tray and baked till done. The finished cake, with a crumbly dark brown texture is cut into rectangular bars and served.
• Apple Brownie – Best to taste when made with fresh fruit during the fall season this dessert by itself can be used as an ingredient to a sundae which is prepared by adding ice cream on top of a layer of the brownie. Drizzled with caramel sauce, apple brownies taste excellent.
• Blonde Brownie – golden brown and crisp, this brownie, though not made of chocolate, is one of the most liked brownie recipes, sometimes more so than its chocolate sibling owing to its rich butterscotch flavor. Made with brown sugar, flour, butter or margarine and preferably pecans this brownie complements hot tea or iced cold milk and is therefore served as a snack rather than a dessert.
• Caramel Brownies- one of tastiest of their kind, these sweet and crunchy cake bars are prepared by baking the cake with cake mix and spreading caramel mixture made of milk, caramels and semi-sweet chocolate chips on top of the brownies.
• Chocolate and Apple sauce Brownies – the batter for these brownies consists of the normal ingredients that are used for making brownies, i.e. flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, milk powder and baking powder(soda), and applesauce, the special ingredient which is added after all the other ingredients are mixed well. The batter is poured into a baking tray and when done the chocolaty colored and flavored dense cake is cut into rectangular bars which are fondly eaten as dessert delicacies.
Tips for Baking Perfect Brownies
• A brownie is tested for doneness just like a cake or most other baked products. The baked mass is pricked with a toothpick to test for doneness which will come out clean if the food is baked completely.
• Though typically chocolaty in flavor, a generous amount of chocolate chips may be specifically added for extra chocolate flavoring.
Unlike a number of other dessert foods, preserving brownies does not require refrigeration. Make-ahead brownies, as those prepared for parties, can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature. When using raw eggs for preparation of brownie recipes, special caution should be maintained in preservation of the batter as there is a risk of it acquiring salmonella infection. Therefore it is recommended that the batter be baked when fresh.
Variations of Brownie Recipes
A number of creative recipes can be tried based on the basic brownie, one’s creativity being the only limiting factor. Cappuccino, mocha, cream cheese, mint are all different ingredients with which novel variations of brownies can be tried out.
Different types of Brownie Pans
Different types of brownie pans in different sizes and colors are available in the market. There are dark colored brownie pans and lightly colored ones too. However, the dark colored brownie pans are supposed to be better because it is known to absorb the heat and will cook the brownies much quicker. While it is not the same case with light colored metal pans that will not absorb as much and therefore even cook it slowly. In a light colored metal pan, the chances of brownies turning soggy are also that much more as it cooks quite slowly. Besides metal pans, even glass pans are quite good since it allows the heat to pass through and cooks the brownies quite quickly. Preparing brownies in a brownie pan is always quite easy and convenient.