Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tartine Brownies

So, I'm back with another "I'm trying to learn how to bake" post. It's humbling to think that millions of Girls Scouts can chef up a batch of acceptable brownies and I'm pulling out my hair trying to figure out where I went wrong. Damn you, Girl Scouts of America!!! I will infiltrate your ranks and steal your chocolicious secrets!!!!! To be fair, half of the brownies are great. It's just that the center of the batch seems significantly undercooked but I'm getting ahead of myself.

This recipe also admits to yielding a slightly fudgy brownie. I don't like fudgy brownies. In fact, I find brownies pretty tricky. They can be neither too cake-y nor overly fudge-like. It's a fine line.

This recipe is from Tartine.

Obligatory picture of ingredients.

Preheat oven to 350.
Buttered pan, am using an 8x8 so I had to cut the recipe down:
Butter, in grams:
Bittersweet chocolate, in grams. Am sticking with Ocumare:
Melt butter:
Add chocolate, set aside to cool:
Measure out 80 grams of flour:
Sift and set aside:

Sugar, 217 grams:
Add three eggs:
Also add a teaspoon of vanilla extract. I surrounded the bowl with a wet towel...makes whisking easier because there's less slippage.Whisk until "mixture falls in a wide ribbon." I have no idea what this means so I made a video:

Does that seem about right? Clueless here.

Add the melted chocolate/butter:
Fold with a spatula. Cool marbling action:
Add in the flour and fold. At this point, I guess it's brownie batter. Here's a video of what it looked like...George says that I sound like a complete psycho in this video...I can see where he's coming from:

Looks about right, I guess.Scatter with nuts. I used walnuts.Bake until the "top looks slightly cracked and feels soft to the touch, about 25 minutes." I baked mine for 25 minutes and I guess it looked cracked and felt soft.

At first, I thought the brownies were a success because I had a bit from the edge:
They look good, right?
However, I got deeper in and the center was problematic. I've taken a picture and annotated it (click the picture to view a large version):
So where did I go wrong? Not enough time in the oven? I assume that might be it but the edges were cooked so do I leave the brownies in the oven for a longer time and run the risk of overcooking/burning the edges to insure that the middle is cooked? ARGHHAHASETHLSGHL:WETHIL:W#TQ:GHIL:!!!!! Stupid baking.

Time- About 1 hour
Food cost:
Chocolate- $7.00
Butter- $0.50
Eggs- $0.50
Incidentals/Nuts- $1.00
Total- $9.00...servings, unknown.


Lydia said...

I like my brownies from a box. But then again i was never a girl scout.

Mike Czyzewski said...

I love eating out of a box!

Anonymous said...

i'm planning to make these brownies. baking is very tricky -- much more an exact science than cooking. i think halving the recipe may have had an effect, or maybe it's just your oven temp, or maybe because a metal pan was used instead of the recommended glass. too many things to question. i'll let you know what i experience. they looked like they turned out to be edible.

Mike Czyzewski said...

they were definitely edible, just not idea. lemme know how yours turn out!

LaMatra said...

might i make a suggestion?
i think u may be using the wrong recipe for the type o brownies that u want... i mean... according to the proportion of ingredients u used (butter and chocolate and eggs) to dry ingredients (particularly) flour... your brownies came out the way they were supposed to.
i think if you want a "drier" or less fudgy center you might want to try one of these options: adding a bit more flour, reducing the amt of chocolate, replacing a part of the chocolate bar for cocoa powder, or getting a new recipe with the above. The problem with the middle is that it always cooks at a slower rate than the edges, so if you want the inside like the outside, you've either got to change the composition or risk burning your edges. What I mean by changing the composition is...this recipe has a much higher fat to starch ratio and thus is more likely to be more ooey gooey than otherwise...

Unfortunately I don't know where to send u for a specific recipe... < you might try or>...because I usually recipes similar to this one... I love my brownies fudgy. My brownies are always crispy/chewy on the edges...and the middle, the best part to me, is always fudgier.

I really suck at using words to express myself...but I hope I helped you...even a little bit.

btw...I truly admire your endeavors in the kitchen. Keep up the good work, or experimenting rather...(^-^)

Mike Czyzewski said...

Thank you for taking the time to write all of that! And don't worry, it WAS helpful!

LaMatra said...

sure thing(^-^)

Anonymous said...

I just signed online to see how others faired with this recipe. This is my fourth recipe from the Tartine cookbook in a week. My coworkers get the pleasure of eating all of these marvelously delicious and highly fattening treats. I think the above poster is right, you definitely need to add more flour if you desire a "drier" brownie. This recipe is definitely fudgey. You could try lowering the temperature slightly towards the end and extending the bake time. Also, definitely try a different recipe. I'm not sure this one can produce what you're looking for. But one other thing to note, you may be having a problem b/c your batter does not display the wide ribbon necessary for this recipe. When it happens you'll know, from the video you have on youtube I'd say you have another 4 to five minutes to go to achieve the "ribbon"

Mike Czyzewski said...

I think I'm going to have to try this recipe again. Try it with an open mind fully knowing that the brownies will be fudgy.

Anonymous said...

I just tried this recipe -- it calls for a 9" x 13" pan, which would make them thinner. Still pretty delicate though.