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COOK TIME vs. TEMP vs. BATTER DEPTH for Brownies?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I had a question about a cooking time/temp conversion.

I have a recipe for (literally "World-Class") brownies that I got from the pastry chef at a restaurant I used to work at in San Francisco.
The brownies that he made wound up being about 1" thick, and a 4" x 4" x 1" brownie weighed about a pound (being only slightly facetious)...they were incredibly dense (just short of being fudge consistency).

Anyway, I halved his recipe because I don't have an industrial tray that big (nor would it fit in my home oven if did).
His recipe called for baking his tray for 45-50 minutes @ 325*
I poured my batter into a 17"x12"x3" foil lined pan (and just for my own knowledge, measured the batter depth to be 1/2") and popped it in the oven....

I checked them at 35min, then 45, then 50 and every 5 minutes until I just pulled them out at 105 minutes. I couldn't let them go any longer because they were on the verge of smelling burnt.

The top edges were starting to lose their airpockets and started looking like smooth, flaky-if-you-touched them, cocoa-brown brownie edges,...but the center is still slightly moist when I toothpick it (in addition to the air bubble holes that are still visible on the center surface of the tray making it look like an aerated lawn).

When I lifted the brownies up by the foil ends (lengthwise), what I was hoping to be a "slab" consistency, sags like a devils' food cake in a hammock.

So, I guess I have a couple of questions for next time I make these:

1) Did I make the batter depth too thick? (I mean, they turned out fluffy, but it took FOREVER, and they're not the dense consistency I was shooting for).

2) When making the batter, the recipe said to blend the Eggs, Sugar, Vanilla and Salt into a Stiff Ribbon....so I put the Kitchen Aid on 6 and let'er-rip for about 5 minutes....could I have whipped too much air into the batter and either shouldn't have done that...OR...should have let the batter settle (i.e.: release some of the airpockets within) before popping it in the oven?
3) Provided I get an answer to my "density" (or lack thereof) question, is there any rule of thumb for increasing the temperature by "X" and subsequently decreasing the cook time by "Y"?


While I'm waiting for feedback on this post,...if anybody has a recipe for a brownie the consistency and weight of a Fort Knox Gold Bar, I'd love to hear from you.

Any help would be great.



post #2 of 2

I'm going to take a stab in the dark here, but it has been my experience in both "world class Chef" recipes as well as some cookbooks, that certain elements of the recipe were left out or changed so that the final product does not turn out as expected.

Some Chefs tend to be so EGO oriented that they can not nor would not allow their recipes to be duplicated.

I know it sounds harsh and almost unbelievable that someone could do such a thing but there are numerous examples of said behavior everywhere.


As for your recipe, the fact that you used a smaller pan and the depth was decreased, the time element should have been less. Also take into account that the brownie will continue to bake after you remove it from the oven. You may have to experiment with the recipe and tweek it along the way to give you the desired results.

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