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big lumps in brownies

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have a brownie recipe I have used for years.  In recent years, I find that I sometimes get batches that have huge areas of bubbled-up brownie and are inedible.  I honestly do not know what I am doing differnetly when this happens.  I cream 2 cups of sugar with 2 sticks of butter and add 4 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla.  Then I add a cup of flour with 5-6 Tbsps of cocoa, alternating with 4 tblsp of milk.  Most of the time I get a wonderful pan of brownies, but sometimes, I get a pan of brownies with huge areas that are giant domes scattered throughout the pan.  I am not mixing them enough or am I beating them too hard?  I just do not see what I am doing differently when this happens.  Thanks for your help. 

post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

Just a couple more thoughts and a clarification.  I actually use margarine, not butter and sometimes I soften it in the microwave.  Could the micro be causing problems?  I know this does not happen every tie I soften it in the microwave, but I cannot say if it only happens when I have softened it in the micro and I do not use a specific time in the micro whenever I soften it-that would vary.  Thanks again.

post #3 of 7
I always use melted butter(not margarine) , not softened. The only liquids I my recipes for brownies are eggs, melted butter and in some recipes, melted chocolate. I'm gonna take a wild stab and suggest your milk and flour mixed are clumping. Consider trying a recipe without the milk, but certainly be sure your batter is fully but just incorporated .
post #4 of 7

Since you have been making this for years without any problems (and seem to enjoy the finished product) I will not comment on your recipe.

I will ask if you sometimes switch ingredient brands or stray off the suggested recipe instructions.

Those are the big bakery no-nos.

Have you tried sifting all your dries together before adding?

Are you using a hand mixer or going commando with a fork or spoon?

 

mimi

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

I do use different brands of margarine.  My favorite brand is no longer available here.  I had a batch fail 2 days ago and made another batch the next day that were fine.  I did use a different margarine brand in the second batch.  I did not soften the margarine in the microwave in the successful batch AND i carefully folded in the ingredients rather than beating the batter at all (all by hand- I never use a mixer).  Do you think the problem could be the mixing?  When my kids were little and I was working long hours, I suspect I did not carefully mix the batter.  Now I have more time and I think I may be overmixing. 

My other concern is that softening the margarine in the micowave may change it in some fundamental way (esp if softened too much??).  I notice that margarines have widely different amounts of vegetable oil in them.  Thank you for your help.

post #6 of 7

You are welcome.

I suppose it could be the veg oil .

More oil equals less water in the formula.

I have noticed recently some of my standard go-to products are not performing as expected.

Trying to keep the product affordable, I suspect.

Whatever you did the second time just keep on doing it, lol!

A few months ago my grands wanted brownies and my pantry was bare of the unsweetened blocks of chocolate (one bowl recipe, I won't mention the brand) so searched for a cocoa based recipe.

Tried one written by a cable cooking personality and was really wowed.

Chocolate crack, smiles.gif

If you want to look at it I could PM you.

 

mimi

OBTW...when my Gma Van taught me the basics of baking, it was all by hand.

I still make small batchs of cookies and some of my oil based cakes with a spoon and spatula.

It's like kneading dough...a bit of time to reflect and think about things.

Comforting, ya know?

m.

post #7 of 7

make sure you cream the butter and sugar really well together before adding in the rest of ingredients. ensuring that it is light and fluffy should help with and lumps. Also, hand mix everything once it is all Incorporated to ensure that there are no air bubbles or pockets.

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