Brownie Bake-Off

Y’all, I think I might be really into bake-offs now. It’s fun to see two slightly different recipes take shape, and you also end with double the baked goods you normally do, and more baked goods are always better than less baked goods.

Today’s bake-off is brownies. Similar to the blueberry muffin bake-off I did earlier, I found two recipes claiming to be “the best fudgy brownies” and decided someone had to be lying.

I used one recipe from Tasty and one from Café Delites. And the winner is:

Café Delites recipe on the left, Tasty recipe on the right

Tasty!

The Café Delites brownies weren’t bad. The Tasty ones were just…better. When I was doing my taste test, I kept distinguishing between the two pans as the “Tasty” brownies (for the site the recipe was from, not the taste) and the “ugly” brownies. The Café Delites brownies (on the left in the picture) were the ugly ones. I know it’s not nice to judge something by its outward appearance, but here I am. I’m sorry. That being said, they tasted better than they looked. These brownies didn’t have that crinkly top that makes brownies so good. That effect is achieved by making sure your eggs are really nice and whipped, so it’s possible that I didn’t beat them long enough, but I really thought I did. They also had a spongier texture and weren’t as sweet as the Tasty ones, which I’m pretty sure is because these are made only with cocoa powder and not melted chocolate. The other big difference between these and the Tasty brownies? These use oil, the Tasty recipe does not. Find the Café Delites recipe here.

The Tasty brownies (on the right) had that beautiful crinkly top I wanted. They were sweeter than the Café Delites brownies and also chewier, which I prefer. These were sweeter, but they were also much saltier—one teaspoon of salt in this recipe versus ¼ of a teaspoon in the Café Delites recipe. I love the salty/sweet combo, so I didn’t mind, but if you aren’t big into that flavor combination, I would suggest cutting down the amount of salt. The salt flavor of the brownies made me want to douse them in salted caramel sauce and a hefty scoop of vanilla ice cream. I’m serious—these brownies were made for an ice cream sundae. The only thing with the Tasty brownies is that I did not bake them long enough. Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe nearly every baked good is better when it’s *slightly* underbaked. But there is a difference between slightly underbaked and warm batter, and these were basically warm batter. Next time, a few more minutes in the oven would be good.

Ingredients:

8 oz semi-sweet chocolate (I used chocolate chips because that’s what I had)
12 tbsp melted butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder (I used unsweetened because that’s what I had)
1 tsp salt (I’d go less if you don’t want as salty of a brownie)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Melt 4 oz of the chocolate (half of the total amount).
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using a hand mixer) cream the butter and sugar.
  4. Beat in the eggs and vanilla for a minute or two until the batter is very light and fluffy—this is what will make the top nice and pretty and crinkly!
  5. Beat in the melted chocolate, then add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix only until combined—don’t overmix!
  6. Mix in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the baking dish.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes—I baked for 22 and that was not long enough in my oven, so I’d suggest the higher end of this scale, but I’m not going to tell you how to live your life.
Recipe adapted from Tasty.

2 thoughts on “Brownie Bake-Off

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