Replacing heavy cream with skim milk??
i am a professional baker, and while i would never do this at my place because customers would adversely react, at home i have subbed both yogurt (of differing fat contents) and at other times buttermilk for heavy cream or even just for plain old milk. they both tend to bring what i find to be a pleasant tang to the finished product. i dont know if you want any tang to your brownies but thats neither here nor there. the nice thing with buttermilk, even low fat or 'skim' buttermilk, is that it is thick like heavy cream and so doesnt tend to affect the finished product's texture too drastically. FRIENDSHIP FARMS seems to have the best all around buttermilk btw. for yogurt, well, there're just too many options to choose from arent there? i havent tried but manypeople swear by FAGE, even for baking purposes. try and let us know.
if you'd like, i have a wonderfully simple and yet delectable real, old school irish soda bread recipe that uses yogurt that i'd be more than likely to share.
6 cups Stone Ground Whole wheat flour (pastry flour works best if you can find it)
1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 1/2 tsp Salt
2 cups Buttermilk (i use yogurt prob 75% of the time)
you can half the recipe for a single loaf yield.
Mix the whole wheat flour thoroughly with the salt and baking soda.
Make a well in the center and gradually mix in the liquid. Stir with a spoon. You may need less or more liquid - it depends on the absorbent quality of the flour.
The dough should be soft but manageable. Knead the dough into a ball in the mixing bowl with floured hands. Put on a lightly floured baking sheet and with the palm of your hand flatten out in a circle 1 1/2 inches thick.
With a knife dipped in flour, make a cross through the center of the bread so that it will easily break into quarters when it is baked. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake a further 15 minutes. the times are averages.
Going from cream to whole milk will drop the fat content without sacrificing too much quality in the finished brownies. The fat content between 2% and whole milk isn't enough to make me want to drop to 2% when baking.
Subbing applesauce for oil/butter in baked goods works pretty well, too.
Do you remember what brand of condensed (evaporated?) milk you used? Is it fat free, or low fat?
I tried making something (I think a gratin) w/ evap fat free milk a while back and it was horrid. I mentioned it to my Mom who said she thought the fat free was "an inferior product", but that the low fat version was OK. I haven't tried it again, but I would like to give it another shot.
Lots of good suggestions. Ones I have used to add (some repeats):
a skim milk/cream combination
a skim milk/ fat free half-and-half combo
fat free half-and-half
skim evaporated milk
fat free yogurt
fat free sour cream
reduced fat cream cheese
Or a combination of any of the above. :)
When I'm baking, since it's typically so fat anyhow, I often just go ahead and use the cream. But if I'm out of cream and in a rush or otherwise can't get to the store, I have used the above substitutions successfully.
Trader Joe's No Pudge Fudge brownie mix uses a container of nonfat vanilla yogurt.
I have used plain yogurt in place of cream for scones and in place of buttermilk in pancakes. I think plain or vanilla yogurt would be a much better alternative to skim milk. Of course, if you want fat free brownies, you can always make them from the TJ's mix - it's pretty darn good and easy!
With all due respect to Niki in Dayton, I think she means evaporated skim milk and not condensed. The condensed is heavily sweetened and won't give you the results you're looking for. I've subbed evaporated skim milk for cream in soups, but never in baked goods. I'm not sure it would work. However, here is a WONDERFUL recipe for low fat brownies. I just made these on sunday and they were awesome. You won't miss the fat, I promise.
Brownies ("The Best Light Recipe," from the editors of Cook's Illustrated )
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tablespoon warm water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee, if necessary
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with parchment paper or foil (two sheets overlapping so all four sides of pan are covered) then lightly coat with vegetable oil spray. Whisk flour and baking powder together in a small bowl; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the cocoa, water, vanilla and espresso powder together; set aside. Microwave the butter and chocolate together in a medium microwave-safe bowl on 50 percent power until melted, about 1 minute; whisk until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the sugar and salt until completely incorporated. Whisk in the cocoa mixture, then whisk in the egg. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated (do not overmix). Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking (do not overbake). Cool completely on wire rack, about 1 hour, lift brownies out of pan by grasping onto the parchment paper, and cut into 12 brownies. Makes 12 brownies.
It's not like fattening is a pass/fail class. Brownies with a lot of fat will not make your butt as big as brownies with a HUGE amount of fat...and so forth.
I sub skim milk for cream in soups and quiches and biscuits and hot chocolate and pudding....the list is long. Sometimes the results are better than others, but they are usually acceptable.
BTW, I have not had good luck w/ skim condensed milk.
re: Niki in Dayton
If I were going to try to cut back on the fat in a brownie by replacing cream with something, I would probably do what Niki in Dayton suggests above. Or, I would consider using whole milk for part of the sub and applesauce for another part.
I think you probably are going to drastically change the consistency of the brownie. If I were you, I would consider going with a brownie recipe that has already been tweaked to be low fat, isntead of trying to tweak it myself.