What is the defining difference between a chocolate brownie that is ‘meh’ and absolutely out-of-this-world? Well, for us, a perfect chocolate brownie has to have a rich fudgy interior – no cakey brownies here!
Baking delicious brownies with NOMU MiniMakes Small Batch Baking kits is super easy, and once you understand the basic ingredients and method, you can adapt the base recipe to create a whole lot of your own variations with consistently delicious results. Ready to become a master? Let’s go!
Classic MiniMakes brownies don’t require any fancy ingredients or heaps of chocolate to make. In addition to your MiniMakes brownie mix, all you will need is:
- Melted butter: Melted butter not only gives brownies an amazing flavour, but also helps to give brownies a dense, fudgy interior rather than a cakey one. Make sure to melt your butter gently in the microwave – you don’t want it to boil or bubble excessively – and use it while it’s still warm to help dissolve the sugar.
- Eggs: We use large free-range eggs for all our MiniMakes recipes. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature for baking to help with proper emulsion and even mixing.
- Add-ins (optional): Feel free to throw in any of your favourite add-ins to the brownie batter, like chopped pecan, chocolate chunks or crushed Oreos.
Tip: Find the base recipe for classic brownies on your MiniMakes box, or have a look at our Vegan Chocolate Brownie recipe for a plant-based alternative!
One of the key steps in making great brownies is to encourage the sugar to dissolve, as this plays a role in creating that meringue-like shiny surface on top. Using butter while it’s still warm helps to melt the sugar, and vigorously whisking in the eggs helps to dissolve it further.
1. Prepare: Preheat your oven and line your chosen bakeware (see below) with baking paper. Lining your tin instead of just greasing it makes it easier to remove the finished brownies. We love to bake our brownies using fan-assisted convection mode as this keeps the interior soft and fudgy. (Read more about How Oven Settings Affect Your Bakes).
2. Combine the melted butter and sugar: Use a whisk to combine the melted butter and sugar (sachet 1), using the butter while it’s still warm to help encourage the sugar to melt and dissolve. You want to mix this fairly well so that it looks somewhat thick and goopy.
3. Vigorously whisk in the eggs: Once you’ve added your eggs, give the mixture a good whisk, about 1 minute, to further dissolve the sugar. You want to end up with a creamy and fully emulsified mixture that falls off the whisk in a thick ribbon.
4. Add the dry ingredients: Ditch the whisk and gently fold in the brownie mix (sachet 2) using a silicone spatula until it is all incorporated – you want a smooth, glossy batter with no streaks of dry ingredients remaining. Stir through any add-ins at this point if you’re using.
5. Bake: Spread the batter into your prepared tin and place in the centre of your oven. The pressure point here is to not overbake your brownies as this will give them a dry, cakey texture. Follow the recommended baking time as a guide until the brownies are just baked through (remember that the exact baking time may vary due to oven temperature fluctuations).
TIP: To know when your brownies are perfectly baked, the edges should be puffed but the middle should still be fudgy and soft to the touch. A skewer inserted into the centre of the brownies should come out with a few sticky crumbs. Don’t worry if the middle of your brownie sinks slightly after removing it from the oven – this is a sign that it is still fudgy in the centre and not overbaked.
6. Slice: Let your brownies cool completely before slicing, otherwise you’ll end up with a ragged chocolatey mess. For clean-cut edges, dip a large sharp knife in a jug of boiling water (or run under a hot water tap). Wipe the blade dry before cutting and clean it afterwards. Repeat this process until all the brownies are portioned.
MINIMAKES brownie mixes can be baked in various shapes and forms for different variation recipes. Make sure to consider the change in baking time when chopping and changing your bakeware.
|Makes||Bakeware||Bake time||Recipe inspiration|
|8 x brownie squares||21 x 11cm loaf tin||20 – 25 min||Peanut butter-swirled brownies|
|16 x layered brownies||20cm square tin||15-20 min||Cosmic brownies|
|12 x brownie cookies||Baking tray||10 – 15 min||Fudgy brownie cookies|
|18 x brownie bites||24 mini cupcakes tray||10 -15 min||Classic brownie bites|
|1 x brownie skillet||17cm skillet pan||25 – 30 min||Oreo white chocolate skillet brownie|
The Shiny Crust Saga
There are two schools of thought to help get a shiny surface on top of your brownies:
1. Dissolving the sugar: Whisking the sugar with warm butter first, and then vigorously again with the egg is thought to achieve that shiny meringue-like crust on top of brownies. Whisking well helps to dissolve the sugar while also incorporating small pockets of air, which work together to create a crackly shine.
2. Adding chocolate: Mixing chocolate in your brownie batter (either grated, melted or in chunks) can also aid in forming a shiny crust. This is due to the presence of soy lecithin, a common emulsifier found in most commercial chocolate. White and milk chocolate almost always contain soy lecithin, while darker chocolates may not – we recommend checking the ingredient list if you’re unsure.
Food for thought: Getting a shiny surface on brownies can be a temperamental achievement. Some days you get it without even trying, and other days not so much. Although the sheen looks stunning, it is important to note that it is purely visual and won’t make or break the final taste of your brownies.
Brownie Troubleshooting Guide
NO SHINEY CRUST: See our Shiny Crust Saga tips above to help create a shiny surface on your brownies.
CAKEY TEXTURE: Make sure not to overbake your brownies. Because of oven temperature fluctuations, set your timer for a few minutes less than the recipe states to make sure your brownies are on track.
SOFT WITH A RAW, GOOEY INTERIOR: While we love a fudgy centre, brownies should still be cooked all the way through. If your brownies look very gooey, make sure they are properly cooled to help them firm up, or bake them for a few more minutes to help them cook through.
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