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Sep 27, 2008 08:27 AM

density intensity

what's the trick to DENSE brownies and bars? what ingredients make them that way? any recs for recipes?

the ones i see in the cases of coffee shops always look dense. the chocolate layers look thick like fudge.

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  1. I would be able to give a better response if I knew the recipe, but extra fats and maybe a extra egg yolk will help. under baking by a few minutes can also be of assistance.

    1. I think an important part is also underbaking. I remove my brownies when the center of the pan still has a bit of "jiggle" to it. Very important for dense, fudgy brownies.

      1. kelli- i would have thought that i'd have to find a recipe with a certain ingredient (say, butter instead of oil) to get the density. if i wanted to do ina's brownies, how would i make them more dense? 1lb butter sounds like plenty to me ; ) here are the ingredients:

        * 1 pound unsalted butter
        * 1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
        * 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
        * 6 extra-large eggs
        * 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
        * 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
        * 2 1/4 cups sugar
        * 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (1 cup for batter and 1/4 cup in the chips and nuts)
        * 1 tablespoon baking powder
        * 1 teaspoon kosher salt
        * 3 cups diced walnut pieces

        scuzzo- thanks for the tip but the ones in the stores look like solid bricks of chocolate! when i describe them as "fudgy" i mean more of a thick block of fudge that's hard to cut through vs a cakey, delicate crumb kind.

        5 Replies
        1. re: midtownDiner123

          I wonder if you should try some recipes in a 9x9 pan instead of this oversize recipe.

          I haven't made this one in a long time but it was very popular (I guess you could omit the Kahlua).

          1 1/2 cups flour
          1/2 teaspoon baking soda
          1/2 teaspoon salt
          2 cups sugar
          3 eggs
          3 ounces chocolate (unsweetened)
          2/3 cup butter
          1/4 cup Kahlua
          1 cup chopped walnuts

          Combine the first 3 ingredients and set aside.
          Beat the sugar with the eggs til fluffy in a large bowl.
          Melt the chocolate with the butter, then add to the eggs. Add the Kahlua. Fold in the flour mixture, then the nuts.

          Bake 350 for 30 minutes, in a 9" square pan.

          I have a note that you can substitute 9T cocoa and 3 T oil for the baking chocolate.

          1. re: midtownDiner123

            The first change that would make them denser is to remove the baking powder, or cut it down to one tsp. This recipe must make 2-3 pans of brownies because I have never seen a residential recipe with 1 pound of butter and 6 XL eggs.

            The 1 1/4 cup of flour and 6 oz of chocolate seem quite low for that quantity of batter, because I use the same amount for my brownies and I only use 1 1/4 stick of butter and 3 eggs.

            1. re: Kelli2006

              That food network was made in a shallow sheet pan. It's probaby overbaked at 30 minutes.

              In addition to 6oz of chocolate it's got 1.75 lbs of choc chips. It just seems like a wierd recipe to me.

              1. re: mlgb

                I completely missed the chocolate chips, I'm sorry

                I have a very simple brownie recipe that are very dense and fudgy.

                6oz of (Ghirardelli 60%) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
                4oz of unsalted butter chopped
                1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar
                1 Tsp of vanilla
                pinch of salt
                2 Tbl of dutched cocoa
                1 1/4 cups AP flour
                3 lg eggs
                1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts are typical, but hazelnuts are great).

                Preheat your oven at 350° and prep a 7x11 pan with the butter wrapper and cocoa. Reserve the renaming cocoa

                Melt the chocolate and butter over double boiler, stirring occasionally. When the chocolate-butter mixture is melted remove from heat and add stir in salt, sugar, nuts, and cocoa. Add the eggs 1 at a time and incorporate fully. stir in the flour and vanilla incorporate by hand so not to develop the gluten.

                Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 30 minutes or until the top is domed but a toothpick should be slightly wet but not runny. cool on a rack. You can make a ganache with semi-sweet chips, or you can take the easy way out and just pour chips on top and spread them with a spatula after them melt from residual heat. Wait 20 minutes before consuming the entire pan.

                repeat as necessary until your chocolate fix is satiated.

                1. re: Kelli2006

                  That certainly looks llike a more "normal' recipe.

          2. If you are up for a change in recipe THIS IS IT! not for the one's who like cakey brownies but more for the fudgey, gooey, barely set lovers. a little unorthodox mixing method but worth it. her we go ( and i give this to you out of love ):

            11/4C sifted AP flour
            1 tsp salt
            2 sticks ( 8 ounces ) unsalted butter
            4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
            2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
            2 C. sugar
            1 tsp. vanilla extract
            4 large eggs
            (NO baking powder= also more dense)

            Set to 350 in the center.
            Sift flour and salt together and set aside.
            Melt butter and chocolate together over low heat. watch and don't scorch. ( you can use double boiler ) Add 1C . of sugar to the mixture, stir 30 sec. remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla. pour into lg. bowl.
            Remaining sugar & eggs go into mixer. WHISK BY HAND JUST TO COMBINE. Very slowly pour 1/2 of the mixture into the chocolate mixture. stir gently but constantly to not cook eggs. grab a whisk attachment and whip the remaining eggs, maybe 4 min. until doubled and pale in color. Fold the whipped eggs into the chocolate mixture. When it is almost incorporated fold in dry ing.
            A heavy ceramic or glass pan is ideal-Pour and scrape into unbuttered pan. 9" square. 25-28 min. (sounds weird but around the 23 min. mark cut into the center just a little bit to see progression. The goal is barely set and gooey. On the other side they are still delightful even if you do a little over. )
            Cool on rack, cut into slices and enjoy.

            If anything please try them. A lot of emphasis on the word YUM!

            1. My husband is the best brownie baker, he's the uber guy for everybody. He gets fudgier brownies by making them thinner, as in 9 x 13 pan. A 9 x 9 pan makes a cakier brownie.
              The bible is Joy of Cooking, preferably an older edition, we have several the the oldest is the most beaten up ( a good thing ). It sems counterintuitive, but it's true, thinner are are fudgier.