The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Need advice on my brownies

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zigster's picture
zigster

Need advice on my brownies

Hi all,

I've been making brownies from scratch and I am very happy with them!  But I have one issue -- a pillow of air (about 1/2 inch) forms on the top.

Here is my recipe:

3/4 c oil

1 1/2 c sugar

3/4 c flour

1/2 c cocoa

3 eggs

1 1/2 t vanilla

3/8 t baking powder

3/8 t salt

I use an 8x8 glass pan.

I've baked them at 350 degrees and then at 325, thinking maybe it was too hot but it still happened.  The texture of the brownie is fine but the top is pretty messy, even if it is tasty!

 

Any advice would be great.  Thanks!

 

embth's picture
embth

My first thought is "Is the batter well mixed?"  Could the baking powder be lumpy and those lumps are causing an abundance "rise" in parts of the mixture?    The great thing about brownie batter is that it most always tastes good.  : )     Embth

golgi70's picture
golgi70

got a picture?  I can't grasp it by the description

Josh

zigster's picture
zigster

Ok!  Got a picture to load.  Thanks embth, I do mix all the dry together well before mixing, so I don't think that is it -- it's pretty evenly rising too.  It's like it rises rapidly, cooks into that shape, then the brownie falls back to where it should be.

Thanks!!

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi zigster,

It could be too much baking powder, or, over-aeration of your egg.

Best wishes

Andy

zigster's picture
zigster

Thank you, Andy!  I did beat the eggs.  I just loved the texture it turned into with the sugar and oil and thought I was doing good!  I am a total novice baker and so excited to experiment and learn :) 

golgi70's picture
golgi70

Do you butter and flour your dish?  Brownies naturally souffle a bit and fall after cooling.  Looks like they went up and stuck on the sides and the inside came back down without its top.  And after looking at my recipe which is similar it has no chemical levainer and just the eggs do the raising.  Maybe you could cut the baking powder entirely?

Our formula is similar but we use unsalted butter opposed to oil (much tastier).  We melt butter in microwave until half melted and creamy.  We then whip the eggs and sugar and until light and fluffy.  Then we alternate adding the dry ingredients and the creamy butter starting and finishing with the dry.  Put into pan that is greased and floured.  We bake at 325 convection for 20-30 minutes but these are in full sheet pans so that timing won't apply to your pan.  They are done baking when a toothpick inserted has moist crumbs. 

Josh

zigster's picture
zigster

Thanks Josh.  I have just been using cooking spray for the pan, and I will try all of your suggestions!  Right after I finish off this batch :) 

BakingBad23's picture
BakingBad23

Hi there!

I've had this happen before - it normally happens when you used processed cocoa and also when you whip the brownie mix. Normally, I always find or use a recipe where it calls for melting solid unsweetened chocolate with butter, then tempering it into whipped eggs and simply folding the rest by hand. With that, you receive a thinner, more dense, brownie. It all depends on the quality of your cocoa and how well your eggs are mixed in (whether if you whip them, or whisk them by hand, make sure everything is well mixed together). Make sure to also use APF flour instead of bread or cake flour - bread flour will make it rise  and fall (because of the heaviness of the cocoa fighting it, and cake flour will turn this into a cake).

Just make sure everything is well incorporated, but not overmixed! Try it again with a melted chocolate instead of cocoa - you'll have better luck!

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

a metal pan I have never ever had good luck or consistency with glass and baked goods. I use a wilton 9x7...I actually line it with aluminum foil to make cutting easier and spray with non stick. Mix together all dry ingredients excpt the sugar. Start with the oil in a bowl and add sugar mix till smooth. In a seperate container beat eggs and vanilla then add that mixture to the sugar oil mix and whisk till smooth. Whisk in 1/3 of dry at a time till mixture is velvety with no lumps. Cocoa has a tendency to lump so if needed sift the flour and cocoa before adding the other dry ingredients. Bake at 350 in a PREHEATED oven. That size should be done in about 34-37 minutes if your oven is accurate. Test with a tooth pick...it should come out wet with a few crumbs...don't overcook as they will continue to bake after removal from the oven in the hot pan. They should appear with a top similar to yours but pulled away sightly from the sides. Try this and please report back.....Good luck!!  Matt

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

Also check the date on your baking powder...if you need more I have found Argo to be best!!

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

My glass bakeware does not have straight sides, and probably yours doesn't either. It is angled in toward the bottom, so the top has a larger area. That being the case, if it rises during baking, and subsequently falls while cooling, the top would be stuck at the higher position simply because it is too big to fall into the smaller size at the lower level.