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Why Did My Brownies Not Bake Evenly?

Asked by Kish04. Answered on 13th September 2023

Full question

I made my Brownies following the recipe. I preheated the oven and used the correct ingredients and method. But I left the Brownies for 10 more minutes in the oven because they seemed to liquidy and there was not 180 degrees Celsius on the oven so I had to estimate. My Brownies visually looked good but the outer edges were fully burned. The Brownie itself was too underbaked in parts and some parts were too crunchy and chewy. What could I have done wrong?

Image of Nigella's Brownies
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
By Nigella
  • 14
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Our answer

Nigella’s Brownies (from HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS) are always popular. Nigella likes her brownies to be “squidgy”, which means that when cold they have an almost fudge-like texture.

The description of the brownies seems to suggest that they have baked extremely unevenly, which may be more of a problem with the oven than the recipe itself. It sounds as if the oven temperature was too high if the edges are cakey and burnt but the centre is underbaked. We are not sure what oven was used, but the oven temperature should be 180c, or 160c fan, which is 350F, gas mark 4 or Thermostat 6 if you have a very old French gas oven. This would also be considered a "moderate" oven temperature in older recipes. In older ovens try to make sure that you bake the brownies on the middle shelf where the temperature should be more even. The brownies can be slightly gooey in the centre when you remove them from the oven as they will continue to cook slightly as they stand and as they cool they will become firmer but have a fudgy texture. Insert a cake tester into the centre and it should come out with some goo on it (or damp crumbs of brownie if you prefer them to be slightly less squidgy) but not completely unbaked cake batter. Don’t try to remove brownies from their pan until they have cooled completely as they will break up too easily.


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