Thursday, July 07, 2011

Alton Brown-ies

The brownies we made last night were Alton Brown's Cocoa Brownies. They were way yum, even with a couple of small missteps (like forgetting to put the butter in; had the batter in the pan before I remembered and had to pour it back in the mixer). Definitely want to try them again with fewer... distractions.

The interesting thing, though, is that the recipe on the website and the recipe from the show vary quite a bit. Well, really more the "method" than the recipe per se; the ingredients are the same. Online: butter and flour the pan, Show: use a parchment sling. Online: use whisk attachment, Show: uses paddle attachment. Online: add sugars separate from other ingredients, Show: sift all dry ingredients together. (BTW, have you ever tried sifting brown sugar? It's awful!) Online: after sugar, add all other ingredients. Show: add dry ingredients to eggs, then slowly stream in butter, like a salad dressing. I was genuinely surprised at the rather dramatic differences.

I bet it made a huge difference in my batter. On the show, Alton Brown's batter poured into the pan, like a thick cake batter. Mine had to be scooped/spooned out; there was no "pouring" involved. I think that is because I used the whisk to do everything, so I got more air in it than I should have. This also made it take about and hour and 15 minutes to bake instead of 45-ish minutes, and it almost cooked out of the pan, which also resulted in a very crunchy top with super-crunchy edges. (Some people like that, but not me.) It deflated quite a bit as it cooled, but I don't think it was supposed to do that. Still, the flavor was excellent, it just wasn't quite the texture I was expecting. I'll try it again sometime using the show version and see what difference it makes.

Currently feeling: chocolatey


  1. I've made this recipe before and had the same ?! about the sifting of brown sugar. But they were excellent brownies. I've actually been quite pleased with every one of his recipes that I've tried!

  2. I will have to make these this weekend! I have a serious brownie craving. Did you add nuts? Brownies seem naked without walnuts.

  3. I'm not a sifter. I always just use a hand whisk to "sift". I checked out the recipe in his "more food" book. It says to use whisk for the eggs and then the butter. I'm guessing at that point, you might want to switch attachments. I find it funny that he suggests an 8" square pan, but the yield is 8 1" square brownies. Somebody messed up their math...

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Alton. Every recipe we have tried has been fantastic. Will have to add these to list. :)


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