SEARCH 100,000+ RECIPES FROM MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS, TV, & COOKBOOKS

Recipe

OF THE DAY

Butternut squash, kale, and crunchy pepitas taco from Tacolicious

Like Us?

SPREAD THE WORD!

RECIPE SEARCH

Tell me more about Project Foodie recipe search

  add another ingredient

- or -



Project Foodie

SEARCH ARTICLES

Shirley O. Corriher - BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking

Print E-mail
List of viewable recipes from "BakeWise" by Shirley O. Corriher

Today's guest blogger is Shirley O. Corriher author of BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking .  BakeWise has been nominated for a James Beard award in the Baking category.

Shirley is a master at using science to improve cooking as she proved over 10 years ago in  her first book "CookWise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed", which won a James Beard in 1998.  In BakeWise, Shirley focuses her attention on teaching us how to make the best baked goods we can.

We asked Shirley to tell us a bit about how she uses science to solve baking problems....

Cooking Mysteries!

by Shirley O. Corriher

ImageI love it when I figure out why something happens in cooking-solving a great mystery. It's exciting-- like being Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie's famous detective. I know what did it!

That crust on brownies---it is on some brownies, but not on others. How do you get it? How do you keep from getting it? Is it just on brownies or can it crop up in other baked goods? Whoa! This may be a major mystery.

Dena's brownies were my first encounter. Dena Kalin ran a bakery that supplied hundreds of pans of brownies to restaurants all over the southeast. Dena expanded next-door, adding on to her original bakery. Equipment was moved-things were rewired. Suddenly, the brownies that she had made for years had a crust on them-same ingredients, measured the same, mixed in the same old Hobart mixer. Where did the crust come from?

We got down to basics. The brownies didn't have a crust in the old room, but now in the new room next door, they have a crust. Is the new room jinxed? We finally nailed down the problem to mixing speed. For some reason, the mixer was beating a little faster in one location than the other.  We realized with faster beating we got the crust.

Then, I set out to nail down the culprit-was it faster beating all the time or part of the time? Were the ingredients involved? After much sleuthing, I realized that it was the beating after the eggs were added that mattered. It is a shiny, crisp, meringue-like crust. It makes sense that beating after the eggs are added could create a "meringue" crust.

Now, a little expansion-this happens with pound cakes, too. And, to my astonishment even to chocolate chip cookies! Pat and Betty at the Reynolds test kitchen emailed me a photo of their cookies with a shiny crust. And sure enough, they had been beating them vigorously in a heavy mixer after the eggs were added. They were stunned at the difference when they cut the mixing to just enough to blend the eggs in well. The crust totally disappeared.

Once I have solved a mystery, I want to tell everybody about it. Some people want a crust and some people don't want a crust. I can help you get what you want. I have written a syndicated column since about 1998 (originally L.A. Times Syndicate, now Tribune Media Services). One of my recent columns was printed as far away as The Qatar Tribune on the Persian Gulf. My two books, CookWise and BakeWise are exactly this-my passing on information on how to get what you want in cooking.

I'll take brownies from BakeWise and pass on information for getting your perfect brownie.

Your Perfect Brownies

 

From BakeWise by Shirley O. Corriher (Scribner, 2008)

Crust or No Crust: Depending on how much you beat the batter after the eggs are added, this crust can be barely noticeable or a dramatic crisp, shiny crust.

Firmer or Softer: Brownies may be very firm or slightly softer depending on the predominate fat. Cocoa butter set up firmer than butter so brownies that are made with chocolate (which contains cocoa butter) can be firmer than those made with cocoa powder and butter.

Fudgy Taste or Chocolate Taste: Brown sugar with its touch of molasses adds a fudgy taste to chocolate. You will see some brownie recipes with brown sugar or part brown sugar for this fudgy taste.

Melding of Flavors: Alice Medrich, our Queen of Chocolate, will sometimes prepare the brownies, place them in the pan, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight or for 2 or 3 days to allow the flavors to meld.

High-Temperature Baking: Most brownies are baked at 325°F/163°C to 350°F/177°C. Alice wants a crisp outside and gooey inside, so she bakes for about half the normal baking time at a higher temperature 400°F/204°C and, then, instantly cools the brownies by placing the brownie pan on ice in a larger pan.

Cakey Brownies or Fudgy Brownies: The plain, wonderful chocolate brownie, as we know and love it, probably came from the creativity of Fannie Merritt Farmer when she drastically reduced the flour in one of her chocolate cookie recipes. So, the ratio of flour to the other ingredients is a big deal with brownies.


The difference between fudgy and cakey brownies is the difference in the ratio of fat and chocolate to flour. The 75th anniversary edition of Joy of Cooking estimates a range of fat and chocolate from 1 1/2 cups (12 oz, 340 gm) butter and 5 ounces (142 gm) unsweetened chocolate to 2 tablespoons (1 oz, 28 gm) butter and 2 ounces (57 gm) unsweetened chocolate for 1 cup (4.4 oz, 125 gm) of flour.

For fudgy brownies use less flour, for cakey brownies, more flour. Here are recipes for both fudgy and cakey brownies. This photograph shows clearly the difference in the two types of brownies.

Shirley's Fudgy Brownies

From BakeWise by Shirley O. Corriher (Scribner, 2008)

Minimum Crust
Makes an 13 x 9-inch pan, about 24 (2-inch square) brownies

What This Recipe Shows:

*Roasting enhances the flavor of the nuts.
*Melting the chocolate with the butter prevents chocolate's seizing.
*Since these brownies contain more cocoa butter than brownies with cocoa, they will be firmer than cocoa *brownies with butter as their primary fat.
*Dark brown sugar gives the brownies a fudgy taste.
*Salt suppresses bitterness to bring out sweetness of brownies.
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz, 170 gm) coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (13 oz, 369 gm) unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon-size pieces, divided
  • 12 ounces (339 gm) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 ounce (28 gm) German's Sweet Chocolate   
  • 4 large eggs (7 oz, 198 gm)
  • 3 large egg yolks (1.95 oz, 55 gm)
  • 1 1/2 cup (12.6 oz, 357 gm) dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup (4 oz, 120 gm) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (0.9 oz, 25 gm) granular sugar
  • 3 tablespoon (45 ml) light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4.5 gm) salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (6.6 oz, 187 gm) spooned and leveled, bleached all-purpose flour
  • Nonstick cooking spray


1. Arrange a shelf in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F/149°C.

2. Spread pecans on a baking sheet and roast for 10 to 12 minutes. While nuts are hot, stir in 2 tablespoons (1 oz, 28 gm) butter.

3. Line a 13 x 9 x 2-inch (32.5 x 23 x 5-cm) pan with parchment or Release Foil (nonstick side up) allowing overlap on both long sides to make removal easier. Butter parchment or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

4. Place 1 1/2 cups (12 oz, 340 gm) butter around the edge of a microwave-safe glass bowl. Place semisweet and German's sweet chocolate in the center and melt butter and chocolate in the microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring at least 2 times, and then 15 seconds more, stirring 1 time. Or, place chocolate and butter together in a stainless bowl. In a large skillet, bring water to a simmer. Set aside until the water is no longer any steaming. Place the bowl of chocolate and butter in the hot water being careful not to get water or steam into the chocolate. Stir chocolate every few minutes until melted.

5. In a large bowl, with a fork, beat eggs just to blend whites and yolks. With a minimum of hand stirring, stir together eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar, confectioners' sugar, granular sugar, corn syrup   vanilla and salt.

6. By hand, with a minimum of stirring, stir together the egg mixture and the chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour. Fold in the roasted nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out. Soak Magic Cake Strips (available at Michael's or where other cake supplies are sold. See sources, page 000) in water and wrap around the outside edge of the pan as directed.

7. Place the pan on the baking stone and bake until brownies just begin to pull away from the edge of the pan, about 1 hour. ERE ON THE SIDE OF UNDERCOOKING rather than risk drying. A toothpick inserted should come out wet with gooey chocolate.

8. Cool completely in the pan on a rack. Remove the brownies from the pan, using the parchment overlap to help lift out the brownies. When completely cool, wrap the brownies well with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Place the brownies on a cutting board and remove parchment. Place another cutting board on top, turn over so that the brownies are right side-up. Trim the edges and cut into 2 1/2-inch (6-cm) squares.

Shirley's  Cakey Brownies

From BakeWise by Shirley O. Corriher (Scribner, 2008)

Minimum Crust
Makes an 13 x 9-inch pan, about 24 (2-inch square) brownies

What This Recipe Shows:

*Roasting enhances the flavor of the nuts.
*Melting the chocolate with the butter prevents chocolate's seizing.
*Since these brownies contain more cocoa butter than brownies with cocoa, they will be firmer than cocoa brownies with butter as their primary fat.
*Dark brown sugar gives the brownies a fudgy taste.
*Salt suppresses bitterness to bring out sweetness of brownies.
  • 1 1/2 cup (6 oz, 170 gm) coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (13 oz, 369 gm) unsalted butter, cut into 2 tablespoon-size pieces, divided
  • 12 ounce (339 gm) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 ounce (28 gm) German's Sweet Chocolate   
  • 4 large eggs (7 oz, 198 gm)
  • 3 large egg yolks (1.95 oz, 55 gm)
  • 1 cup (4 oz, 120 gm) confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup (5.3 oz, 150 gm) granular sugar
  • 3/4 cup (6.3 oz, 179 gm) dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4  cups (9.9 oz, 281 gm) spooned and leveled, bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 gm) baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4.5 gm) salt
  • 1/3 cup (79 ml) whole milk
  • Nonstick cooking spray

1. Arrange a shelf in the middle of  the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F/149°C.

2. Spread pecans on a baking sheet and roast for about 12 minutes. While nuts are hot, stir in 2 tablespoons (1 oz, 28 gm) butter. Set aside.

3. Line a 13 x 9 x 2-inch (32.5 x 23 x 5-cm) pan with parchment or Release Foil (nonstick side up) allowing overlap on both long sides to make removal easier. Butter parchment or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

4. Place 1 1/2 cups (12 oz, 340 gm) butter and semisweet and German's sweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring at least 2 times, and then 15 seconds more, stirring 1 time, Or, place chocolate and butter together in a stainless bowl. In a large skillet, bring water to a simmer. Set aside until the water is no longer any steaming. Place the bowl of chocolate and butter in the hot water being careful not to get water or steam into the chocolate. Stir chocolate every few minutes until melted.

5. In a large bowl, beat eggs just to blend whites and yolks. Beat together eggs, egg yolks, confectioners' sugar, granular sugar, dark brown sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla.

6. By hand, with a minimum of stirring, stir together the egg mixture and the chocolate mixture. Beat together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir flour mixture into the batter and then stir in the milk. Fold in the roasted nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out. Soak Magic Cake Strips (available at Michael's or where other cake supplies are sold.) in water and wrap around the outside edge of the pan as directed.

7. Bake until brownies just begin to pull away from the edge of the pan, about 1 hour. ERE ON THE SIDE OF UNDERCOOKING rather than risk drying. A toothpick inserted should come out wet with gooey chocolate.

8. Cool completely in the pan on a rack. Remove the brownies from the pan, using the parchment overlap to help. When completely cool, wrap the brownies well with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Place the brownies on a cutting board and remove parchment. Place another cutting board on top, turn over so that the brownies are right side-up. Trim the edges and cut into 2 1/2-inch (6-cm) squares.

Disclosure: Review copies of books discussed in this post may have been provided to Project Foodie by publicists and/or publishers.

PermaLink

yum!
tia @ buttercreambarbie (Unregistered) 2011-04-07 21:09:51

wow, great tips here. thanks for passing on the info. and thanks also for the link to cookbookkarma.com... GREAT site!
Write comment
Name:
Title:
UBBCode:
[b] [i] [u] [url] [quote] [code] [img] 
 

Powered by JoomlaCommentCopyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved.Homepage: http://cavo.co.nr/

 
< Prev   Next >
Home arrow blog arrow Archives arrow Cookbook Spotlights arrow Shirley O. Corriher - BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking
Privacy Policy - Terms of Use - Site Index
Copyright © 2007 - 2012 by Project Foodie. All Rights Reserved.

Logo and website color scheme/theme by Elizabeth Goodspeed.