HOW do you make your brownies SO FUDGY?!
Call us crazy, but following HUNDREDS of requests, we’re caving and revealing our top secrets to baking perfectly dense, fudgy brownies. 6 tips, because that’s how many we had time for - might do round two later.
Does your week need sweetening up? We'll help!
Order yourself a box of the FUDGIEST brownies in the world (really, they are - take a look at our 5* reviews!).
Use butter, not oil (and definitely not margarine!)Pick a recipe that uses proper butter, not oil.
At room temperature, butter is more solid than oil - and even more solid when fridge-cold - which makes the brownies dense and fudge-like.
Oil helps them keep for longer without drying out (and it’s a lot cheaper!) but it makes for crisp edges and a chewier texture. They’ll turn out more like a boxed brownie. Butter also tastes a million times better!
Use actual chocolate, not just cocoa powderCocoa powder is great for delivering that intense, deep chocolate flavour hit, but it does very little for consistency - it’s more drying than flour and doesn’t have the flavour richness of actual chocolate. If you've tried a brownie box mix, that's the chewy texture that a cocoa powder-based recipe will create.
A good quality dark chocolate (yes, use DARK chocolate, even if you’re not a fan of eating it - the sugar and butter will balance it out!) will play nicely with the other ingredients and contribute towards maximum fudginess.
We recommend using both chocolate and cocoa powder - find a recipe with a good mix. Remember that cocoa powder is drying, so you won’t need as much flour when there's cocoa in the recipe.
HIGH proportion of wet ingredients to dry ingredientsThis is VITAL! The very high proportion of wet ingredients to dry ingredients is one of the hallmarks of a good brownie recipe (and one of the main things that differentiates it from a chocolate sponge recipe).
Find a recipe that calls for a lot of butter and chocolate, and little flour and cocoa powder - I’d be looking for around 200-250g butter plus at least 200-300g of actual chocolate, and no more than around 250g of dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder) in total.
This is CRUCIAL to get that squidgy texture. Recipes with a higher flour to fats ratio will give you brownies that are lighter and drier, more like a cake.
Leave out the raising agentsBe very suspicious of any brownie recipe that calls for baking powder or soda. Unless it’s a recipe for more cake-like brownies, it shouldn’t need raising agents - when baked, these aerate and lift the batter, which is the opposite of the dense, fudgy consistency that we want.
Whisk the eggs and the sugar properlyWhen you mix the eggs and sugar, whisk them properly, until you get to ‘ribbon stage’ (a pale, foamy mixture). This helps give the batter structure (in the absence of the raising agents, which we recommend leaving out), and it’s also what creates that shiny, crinkly layer on top of the brownies when they bake.
Use the right chocolateA good quality chocolate is soooo important.
It needs to be dark - even if you prefer to eat milk chocolate! - as once mixed with the other ingredients milk chocolate gets a little lost and just doesn’t deliver the richness and flavour hit that we need. We recommend 70% and upwards.
The chocolate liquifies in the oven, mixing with the other ingredients, and then sets again as the brownies cool, contributing towards the fudgy consistency. Not to mention, it’s the dominant flavour in the brownies - flavourless, waxy chocolate won’t suddenly taste good because it has been baked!
We buy big bags of Barry Callebaut 70.5%, but for home bakers, Green & Blacks or other decent supermarket brands work just as well.
LOW And Slow!This is absolutely key. Bake the brownies on a LOW temperature. And don’t trust your oven dial - if you can, get an oven thermometer. And if in doubt, go low - they’ll just take longer to cook.
Brownies are dense, and often deep - if you bake them on a high temperature, the edges will dry out (and could even burn) before the heat gets a chance to reach (and cook) the middle of the brownie.
If you’re finding that your brownie edges are burnt and the middle is still raw, your oven is DEFINITELY too hot.
There’s nothing worse than getting a slightly burnt-tasting, dried out edge bit - bake the brownies on 160C-170C maximum.
DON’T OVER-BAKE the brownies!Whatever else goes wrong, don’t over-bake the brownies and they will still taste good. If they're a little soft while you're trial-and-error-ing your way to a winning recipe, eat them out of a bowl with some ice cream.
Even if every other element is perfect, leave them in the oven for too long and your brownies will be dry and cakey.
We take ours out while they’re still visibly wobbly in the middle - all that chocolate and butter will be liquid while boiling hot, but when they cool down they’ll set to their room temperature consistency and the brownies will firm up.
There you go. Give them a go and spread the brownie joy.