Saturday, February 27, 2010

Baking makes no sense

For some reason, these brownies - recipe followed exactly, except for the '40 strokes with a wooden spoon' bit - tasted, a few hours out of the oven, like something of a disaster, a waste of time and ingredients. Not only did they not look gooey and amazing like in the picture, but they tasted just... wrong, too greasy and almost sandy in texture.

Then I forgot to cover them overnight, but felt it would be wrong to throw them out. I tried one, expecting it to be just a stale version of the previous day's brownies and... it was delicious! Jo confirmed that they truly did taste entirely different the next day. Not sure the chemistry of what happened there, but it was like accidentally discovering penicillin.


PG said...

I didn't think those brownies looked very good in the pictures and hadn't tried making them yet. I'm glad you mentioned that they tasted better the next day, though, as I'm easily discouraged when stuff doesn't taste or look as it should immediately out of the oven, so if I try making those and they're not good right away, I'll know to give them an uncovered night before despairing.

I made the SK sour cream chocolate coffee cake Friday night, intended as a housewarming gift for a friend who has moved back to NYC, and the chocolate chips on top didn't melt so I decided it was unworthy as a gift. But my husband thought this was silly, and we toted it uptown when we helped her put the futon together the next day, and it did still taste pretty good even with those chocolate chips sticking out of the top. (The ones in the middle did melt, so if I ever make this again I think I will put a lot more in the middle, instead of what I did this time which was putting a third in the middle and 2/3 on top.)

Phoebe said...


This was my first attempt at making a recipe from this site - it's usually Bittman, Epicurious, or one of the few hard-copy cookbooks I have on hand. I worry that much of the appeal comes from the beautiful photography... and so will probably return to making brownies with baking chocolate rather than cocoa. What I can't figure out is, I suppose just in terms of chemistry, what happened to the brownies overnight that made such a difference.

PG said...

You should post a comment about your experience; Deb often answers comments helpfully and I've learned some about the chemistry of baking from her site.

Phoebe said...

Good to know - will do.