Recipes sometimes offer obscure, painstaking techniques and ingredients to get perfect results. Not here, though, not today: The secret for how to make fudgy brownies is so simple and old-school you might laugh.
Just give ‘em a rap — as in a gentle smack or firm tap, not a few bars from “The Next Episode.”
The trick is to pop the air out so your brownies condense down into that rich, gooey texture that (some) brownie fans just love. All it takes is a timer and an extra moment or two!
How To Make Fudgy Brownies: Timing Is Key
You can use any old brownie recipe you desire, as long as it’s not too heavy on the flour (more on that later). The main thing to keep an eye on is the timing. Giving the brownies a rap before you put them in the oven might even out the texture on top, but it won’t do much for the air pockets that develop while baking.
Instead, aim for the halfway point of the baking time to make your move. You should be planning to rotate the brownie pan around then, anyway, so this barely counts as an extra step.
When you reach in to turn the pan, lift it a couple inches or so off the baking rack, then drop it back down. Do it before you rotate or after, it doesn’t matter. That little jolt — the rap — will cause the half-baked brownies to deflate.
Proceed as usual with the rest of the bake time, but be careful not to overbake. Dry brownies are enemies of happiness, and worse, they’re not fudgy brownies.
This brings us to a clear divide in the brownie-loving community: Cakey brownie backers versus fudgy brownie boosters.
The cakey brownie is just what it sounds like. It’s similar to cake in its structure: taller and with a lighter, drier crumb than the fudgy brownie. Sometimes they may even have frosting on top, like a small square of chocolate cake.
There are folks who prefer this style of brownie. Personally, I have an affection for cakey brownies because my grandmother made them this way, with chopped walnuts and chocolate frosting. She cut them into small rectangles so they were, indeed, like tiny slices of a sheet cake.
The main difference, recipe-wise in how to make fudgy brownies versus cakey brownies, is that there’s a higher ratio of flour to fats in the batter of a cakey batch. This recipe, from King Arthur Flour, is a good example of the cakey style. It is expressly meant to be cakey, and uses 1 1/2 cups of flour to two sticks of butter.
On the other hand, Chrissy Teigen’s brownie recipe states that “fudgy is the goal” and uses just 3/4 cup of flour to two sticks of butter. That’s half the amount of the cakey recipe!
(Side note: You should try the Teigen recipe because they are some of the best brownies I’ve ever made.)
Obviously, if you prefer a cakey brownie, don’t employ the rap method. It’ll ruin the rise of your light and airy brownies. But if you’re a fudgy fan, give it a try next time you bake!
[h/t: The Kitchn]