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Can I Make The Brownie Recipe Less Sweet?

Asked by Bakingqueen16. Answered on 14th March 2024

Full question

I have made Nigella's Brownies for years and love them. I moved to a different country recently and I have heard a few times that my bakes are too sweet (using the same recipe I have always used). What could I do?

Image of Nigella's Brownies
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
By Nigella
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Our answer

Nigella's Brownies (from HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS) have a crisp crust and a rich and squidgy chocolate centre. Most brownie recipes have a slightly high proportion of sugar as it is the sugar that helps to form the crust on the outside and also help to keep the brownies moist.

Because the sugar is important to the structure of the brownies, it is difficult to suggest reducing it. However, we wonder if the chocolate used has changed as the country has changed. Nigella prefers to suggest using chocolate with 70% cocoa solids, if possible, as this type of chocolate is not too sweet. If the chocolate used has a lower level of cocoa solids then this could contribute to the brownies tasting sweeter. Try to find a chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids. If you are in the US you could also try using unsweetened chocolate (sometimes called baking chocolate) as this is just cocoa solids and cocoa butter. It is too bitter to eat but can work well in recipes like brownies and gives a deep chocolate flavour without too much sweetness.

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