Having a warm brownie in the afternoon with tea or after dinner can be a magical thing, the perfect chewy, chocolate textured dessert. Making brownies yourself can be pretty straightforward, but at the same time, if the recipe is not followed, mistakes can be made, leading to brownies that don’t meet your expectations.
Prevent chalky brownies by avoiding over-and under-baking them, use the correct pan, cool first before cutting them, make sure the recipe ratios are correct, and measure the ingredients correctly. The type of recipe you choose for the kind of brownie wanted is also vital.
Following the recipe of the brownies is vital. To do this, make sure you read the recipe thoroughly before starting and get all your ingredients and equipment ready.
This will prevent mistakes, although even though most of us feel we follow the steps perfectly, mistakes can still be made.
How to Prevent Making Chalky Textured Brownies?
The recipe is vital to follow to avoid mistakes, although this is not always the case. To ensure your brownies come out perfectly, it is helpful to know the common mistakes made and how to avoid them.
Another important thing is the recipe you choose; it is essential to select the correct one based on the type of brownies you want. You typically get two types, cake-like brownies, and fudgy brownies.
So that you don’t get disappointed, make sure you know which type you enjoy the most and choose the correct recipe for the kind of brownie you desire. Typically your cake-like brownies will ask you to cream butter and sugar together, while your fudge brownies will have more chocolate and a higher butter to dry ingredients ratio.
A common brownie disaster is when the texture becomes chalky, this can be typically described as too dry, cakey or if it starts to fall apart. Let us look at the common mistakes made resulting in this disaster brownie.
Baking for the Correct Amount of Time
Over or under-baking brownies can be one of the easiest mistakes to make because sometimes they cook much quicker than expected; you forget to take them out, or you take them out too early, assuming they were done.
If the brownies are taken out undercooked, they can become crumbly; make sure they are adequately cooked before being removed from the oven.
Over-baking brownies can lead to them being dry and crumbly. To avoid this, make sure you follow the temperature and time suggestions on the recipe. Check on your brownies a few minutes before the timer is meant to go off to see if they are ready or need a bit longer.
Check if they are ready by sticking a toothpick into the batter; if it is covered in batter, it still needs time to cook. It will be ready when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. The brownies are overcooked if the toothpick comes out clean.
Using the Right Type of Pan
Cooking your brownies at the correct temperature and for the right amount of time is crucial, but so is the type of pan you use. The size of the pan to the amount of batter is vital; try to choose the right size pan that the recipe indicates.
If your tray is larger than the recipe says, the batter will be more spread out, meaning it will need less time to cook. If it is smaller than suggested, you will need to cook the brownies for a longer time as the batter will be thicker than what the recipe has accounted for.
Another interesting fact is that glass pans retain heat more than metal ones; this means your brownies will continue cooking for longer once taken out of the oven if you use this type of pan.
Due to this, it is recommended to use a metal pan; another bonus with a metal pan is the straight edges instead of curved ones.
Cutting and Removing from the Pan Too Early
When taking out a new batch of brownies, some of us may get carried away and start cutting them to eat; it is better to wait for them to cool before taking them out. This can help you avoid them crumbling and falling apart.
If you are in a rush and don’t have time to wait for the brownies to cool, you can make an ice bath just bigger than the size of the pan; once they come out of the oven, put them into the ice bath to cool quickly.
An ice bath can also be helpful if you are nervous that you have overcooked your brownies; this may only help if they are slightly overcooked.
The ingredients ratio is vital to get the right consistency of brownies. A few things can result in the batter becoming too chalky. One of them is that the batter doesn’t have enough structure typically caused by too little protein to support the structure, leading to crumbling brownies.
The batter can become crumbly or chalky when there is too much flour to the amount of fat used in the recipe. It is vital to choose the correct recipe and the right amount of ingredients it indicates to prevent this from happening.
Another reason that doesn’t involve the kind and amount of ingredients used is if the batter is overmixed. If you over-mix your batter, it can introduce too much air causing it to become too light and airy.
Avoid this by following the instructions on mixing the batter, and stop mixing once you see that the dough is uniform.
What to Do With Ruined Brownies
The first thing is if you can, then don’t just discard your brownies if they didn’t turn out the way you hoped; unless they are badly burned, then there is no way to save them. It is always good to save food before just throwing it away.
A great way to use ruined brownies is to make a brownie crumb with them. You can do this by placing them in a food processor till they form a coarse crumb.
You can then add them to other desserts like ice cream or your cookie mix. You can even put them in a zipper bag and freeze them until you need them again.
Reading a brownie recipe properly is the most important thing you could do to prevent any mistakes from happening. Sometimes this doesn’t always work, so the next best thing to know is the common mistakes bakers make and how to prevent them.
The main things to avoid a chalky brownie are knowing how long to bake the brownies, mixing the batter correctly, using the right pan, and allowing them to cool before cutting them.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.