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Let's Compare Recipes of Favorite Brownies

Antilope Apr 2, 2013 04:04 AM

I have searched Chow to find some of the favorite brownie recipes mentioned in various brownie threads.

Those recipes have been converted to Baker's Percentages so they can be compared equally one with another.

Baker's percentage is a baker's method of indicating the proportion of ingredients by weight, relative to the flour. Flour is always 100%.

Example, in the Alton Brown Cocoa Brownies recipe, if 1 lb of flour is used, then 1.72 lbs of cocoa is used in the recipe. For every 1 lb of
flour used, 6.4 lbs of sugar is used, etc.

With Bakers Percentage, it is relatively easy to scale recipes up or down as needed. You just have to decide the amount of flour to be used and the
rest falls into place.

Here are the top 11 recipes listed from the highest ratio of sugar to the lowest ratio of sugar used:

-----

Alton Brown Cocoa Brownies

Flour 100%
Cocoa 172.35%
Baking Powder 0%
Salt 2.24%
Sugar 640.16%
Eggs 320.21%
Butter 363.11%
Vanilla Extract 13.87%
Nuts 0%

-----

Katharine Hepburn Brownies

Flour 100%
Cocoa 181.52%
Baking Powder 0%
Salt 4.87%
Sugar 640.14%
Eggs 320.2%
Butter 363.05%
Vanilla Extract 6.94%
Nuts 352.27%

-----

Maida Heatter Chocolate Mint Brownies

Flour 100%
Cocoa 132.35
Baking Powder 0%
Salt 0.89%
Sugar 411.76%
Eggs 147.06%
Butter 132.35%
Vanilla Extract 5.1%
Nuts 88.24%
peppermint 588.24%
patties

-----

Alice Medrich Best Cocoa Brownies

Flour 100%
Cocoa 120.65%
Baking Powder 0%
Salt 2.43%
Sugar 400.01%
Eggs 160.11%
Butter 227.04%
Vanilla Extract 3.47%
Nuts 116.25%

-----

Hersheys Best Brownies

Flour 100%
Cocoa 45.5%
Baking Powder 1.42%
Salt 2.44%
Sugar 320.1%
Eggs 160.11%
Butter 181.63%
Vanilla Extract 6.94%
Nuts 88.07%

-----

Nick Malgieri Supernatural Brownies

Flour 100%
Cocoa 182.2%
Baking Powder 0%
Salt 2.43%
Sugar 320.07%
Eggs 160.1%
Butter 181.63%
Vanilla Extract 6.94%
Nuts 176.16%

-----

Joy of Cooking Brownies Cockaigne

Flour 100%
Cocoa 90.76%
Baking Powder 0%
Salt 1.22%
Sugar 320.07%
Eggs 160.1%
Butter 90.81%
Vanilla Extract 3.47%
Nuts 88.07%

-----

Mark Bittman Brownies

Flour 100%
Cocoa 136.15%
Baking Powder 0%
Salt 0.61%
Sugar 320.08%
Eggs 160.11%
Butter 181.63%
Vanilla Extract 3.47%
Nuts 0%

-----

Ina Garten Outrageous Brownies

Flour 100%
Cocoa 108.92%
Baking Powder 6.83%
Salt 3.9%
Sugar 288.07%
Eggs 192.13%
Butter 290.44%
Vanilla Extract 16.65%
Nuts 211.36%
chocolate chips 508.27%
coffee granules 1.21%

-----

Ghirardelli Cocoa Can Label Brownies

Flour 100%
Cocoa 78.35%
Baking Powder 1.08%
Salt 1.85%
Sugar 181.86%
Eggs 121.29%
Butter 137.6%
Vanilla Extract 5.26%
Nuts 66.72%

-----

CHOW's Intense Brownies

Flour 100%
Cocoa 140.45%
Baking Powder 0%
Salt 1.83%
Sugar 160.04%
Eggs 80.05%
Butter 90.81%
Vanilla Extract 3.47%
Nuts 0%
brewed espresso 3.95%

-----

  1. biondanonima Apr 3, 2013 11:49 AM

    Robert's Absolute Best brownies are another VERY dense, chocolaty brownie that I enjoy:

    6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted or salted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan
    8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 large eggs, at room temperature
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour

    Flour 100%
    Bittersweet chocolate 640%
    Butter 240%
    Sugar 480%
    Vanilla .13%
    Eggs 320%

    Again, the sugar number looks sky high, especially if you break down the bittersweet chocolate into its components - I usually use 70%, which means that 30% of the chocolate or 2.4 ounces is actually sugar, making the numbers look like this:

    Flour 100%
    Cacao solids and cacao butter 448%
    Butter 240%
    Sugar 672%
    Vanilla .13%
    Eggs 320%

    However, despite the high ratio of sugar to flour, these brownies are NOT too sweet - the flavor of the bittersweet chocolate actually comes through very well.

    1. biondanonima Apr 3, 2013 11:41 AM

      My favorites are the brownies from Ad Hoc at Home - incredibly delicious. The AHAH recipe is:

      3/4 cup all-purpose flour
      1 cup unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
      3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
      1 teaspoon kosher salt
      3 large eggs
      1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
      1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
      6 ounces 61 to 64% chocolate, chopped into chip-sized pieces ( about 1 1/2 cups)

      So, if my math is correct (and assuming a 5oz cup of flour and cocoa powder), baker's percentages would be:

      Flour 100%
      Cocoa 133.33%
      Butter 320%
      Salt .05%
      Eggs 160%
      Sugar 373%
      Vanilla .05% or less
      Chocolate 160%

      However, I'm not too concerned about the ratio of sugar to flour in a brownie recipe. For my money, the ratio that matters most is the ratio of sugar to chocolate (and really, the amount of chocolate overall). You also have to remember that chocolate-based recipes (unlike cocoa-based recipes) can vary wildly in sugar content depending on the type of chocolate used. On the surface, the AHAH recipe looks like it might be sweeter than the Supernatural brownies, for instance, but in reality these brownies are much, much darker and more intensely chocolaty.

      1. Antilope Apr 3, 2013 10:37 AM

        Here is a corrected list with cocoa and chocolate noted where used:

        -----

        Alton Brown Cocoa Brownies

        Flour 100%
        Cocoa 172.35%
        Baking Powder 0%
        Salt 2.24% - kosher
        Sugar 640.16% - 50/50 white & brown, sifted
        Eggs 320.21%
        Butter 363.11% - melted
        Vanilla Extract 13.87%
        Nuts 0%

        -----

        Katharine Hepburn Brownies

        Flour 100%
        Cocoa 181.52% - or bakers chocolate
        Baking Powder 0%
        Salt 4.87%
        Sugar 640.14%
        Eggs 320.2%
        Butter 363.05% - unsalted
        Vanilla Extract 6.94%
        Nuts 352.27%

        -----

        Maida Heatter Chocolate Mint Brownies

        Flour 100%
        unsweetened chocolate 132.35%
        Baking Powder 0%
        Salt 0.89%
        Sugar 411.76%
        Eggs 147.06%
        Butter 132.35% - unsalted
        Vanilla Extract 5.1%
        Nuts 88.24%
        peppermint 588.24%
        patties
        instant coffee or espresso 8.72%

        -----

        Alice Medrich Best Cocoa Brownies

        Flour 100%
        Cocoa 120.65%
        Baking Powder 0%
        Salt 2.43%
        Sugar 400.01%
        Eggs 160.11%
        Butter 227.04% - unsalted
        Vanilla Extract 3.47%
        Nuts 116.25%

        -----

        Hersheys Best Brownies

        Flour 100%
        Cocoa 45.5%
        Baking Powder 1.42%
        Salt 2.44%
        Sugar 320.1%
        Eggs 160.11%
        Butter 181.63% - or margarine
        Vanilla Extract 6.94%
        Nuts 88.07%

        -----

        Nick Malgieri Supernatural Brownies

        Flour 100%
        bittersweet chocolate 182.2%
        Baking Powder 0%
        Salt 2.43% - fine
        Sugar 320.07% - 50/50 white & brown
        Eggs 160.1%
        Butter 181.63% - unsalted
        Vanilla Extract 6.94%
        Nuts 176.16%

        -----

        Joy of Cooking Brownies Cockaigne

        Flour 100%
        chocolate 90.76%
        Baking Powder 0%
        Salt 1.22%
        Sugar 320.07%
        Eggs 160.1%
        Butter 90.81%
        Vanilla Extract 3.47%
        Nuts 88.07%

        -----

        Mark Bittman Brownies

        Flour 100%
        unsweetened chocolate 136.15%
        Baking Powder 0%
        Salt 0.61%
        Sugar 320.08%
        Eggs 160.11%
        Butter 181.63%
        Vanilla Extract 3.47%
        Nuts 0%

        -----

        Ina Garten Outrageous Brownies

        Flour 100%
        semisweet chocolate chips, unsweetened chocolate 638.82% - 82/18
        Baking Powder 6.83%
        Salt 3.9%
        Sugar 288.07%
        Eggs 192.13%
        Butter 290.44% - unsalted
        Vanilla Extract 16.65%
        Nuts 211.36%
        chocolate chips 508.27%
        coffee granules 1.21%

        -----

        Ghirardelli Cocoa Can Label Brownies

        Flour 100%
        Cocoa 78.35%
        Baking Powder 1.08%
        Salt 1.85%
        Sugar 181.86%
        Eggs 121.29%
        Butter 137.6% - melted
        Vanilla Extract 5.26%
        Nuts 66.72%

        -----

        CHOW's Intense Brownies

        Flour 100%
        bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened) 140.45%
        Baking Powder 0%
        Salt 1.83% - fine
        Sugar 160.04%
        Eggs 80.05%
        Butter 90.81% - unsalted
        Vanilla Extract 3.47%
        Nuts 0%
        brewed espresso 3.95%

        -----

        1. m
          maxie Apr 3, 2013 10:35 AM

          This is an interesting comparison. I do have a question. It seems you have equated cocoa powder to chocolate. (I'm guessing based on possible hazy memory of some of these recipes). Is that correct? I don't believe them to be equivalent, even in the case of cocoa to unsweetened chocolate. Have you tried all these recipes? It would be interesting to know what quality the different ratios seem to provide.

          1. Antilope Apr 2, 2013 01:07 PM

            Here's the breakdown for Alton Browns Cocoa Brownies.
            I did this for all the recipes.

            100% - 62.5g - 1/2 cup flour, sifted
            172.35% - 107.648 g - 1 1/4 cups cocoa, sifted
            0% - 0 Baking Powder
            2.24% - 1.4g - 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
            640.16% - (199.9g - 1 cup sugar, 199.9g - 1 cup brown sugar)
            320.21% - 200g - 4 large eggs
            363.11% - 226.796 g - 8 ounces melted butter
            13.87% - 8.665 g - 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

            I used this website to convert volume to weight:
            http://www.onlineconversion.com/weigh...

            Some items are not listed on the website, I found their volumes vs weight with further Google searches.

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