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Mixing Brownie Batter

Asked by Pastry2019. Answered on 29th June 2020

Full question

Dear Nigella, In the Brownie recipe when you say to stir the eggs with sugar, do you mean with a mixer for a few minutes, until it gains volume or just mix with a whisk? The recipe also has a large amount of sugar. Is this due to the dark chocolate used? If I use a chocolate with less cocoa, should I reduce the quantity of sugar?

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

Nigella's Brownies recipe (from HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS) gives squidgy brownies with a slightly crisp crust. The recipe uses quite a large baking tin and makes a fairly large number of brownies. The eggs, vanilla and sugar are whisked together and this should be done by hand, just until they are combined. You don't want to whisk them until they look moussey as this will incorporate too much air and could make the brownies more cake-like, rather than dense and moist.

The amount of sugar in the recipe looks large but you have to bear in mind that the recipe makes a lot of brownies. The ratio of sugar to other ingredients is not exceptionally high for a brownie recipe. We would not recommend reducing the sugar too much as when they bake they will not form a crust as well on top. We prefer to use chocolate with a 70% cocoa content but even if it is 60% we would not change the rest of the ingredients. We would also avoid using milk chocolate as this often contains vegetable oils as well as extra sugar and will give the brownies a different taste and texture.

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