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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Everyday brownies turned out like cake!

    I made the everyday brownies from Kitchen and they have turned out nicely, but the consistency is kind of bouncy like a sponge cake, rather than fudgey like a brownie. Is this how they are meant to be please? I had the oven on 190 as advised, but it is a fan oven-should I have cut the temperature?   

    I was given Kitchen for Christmas and have been working my way through it ever since- with great success. However, I tried (with much anticipation) the brownie recipe last week and it was a giant flop. It doubled or trippled in size to end up more like cake than brownie and dried out very quickly. I checked my following of the recipe and checked all of my ingredients thoroughly, but I cannot seem to find out where I went wrong! I even allowed for my electric fan-assisted oven and decreased cooking time and temperature accordingly. Please help; I was so looking forward to the brownies in the photo!

    From the nigella team:

    Unfortunately if the brownies have turned spongy then they have been overbaked. For fan ovens it is usual to turn the oven temperature down by 20C (50F) but fan ovens can still cook slightly more quickly than regular ones even at lower temperatures so the cooking time can be shorter. Also if the pan used for baking the brownies is slightly larger than the one specified in the recipe (25cm/10-inch square or 30x20cm/9x11 inches) then the baking time will be slightly shorter too.

    With any brownie recipe we suggest always checking the brownies before the end of the cooking time stated in the recipe as ovens always vary slightly and with brownies they can always be returned to the oven if under baked but there is little that can be done to rescue ones that are over baked. For the everyday brownies check them after 15 minutes and give the pan a little shake. If it is still liquid in the centre then return to the oven for another 3 minutes then check again. If the top looks firm but there is a little movement underneath then check with a cake tester or cocktail stick (toothpick), it should come out gungy or with damp crumbs of brownie on it (though not completely raw or liquid batter) then the brownies are ready and should be taken out of the oven straightaway.

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