Brownie with Shiny Crust
If you are here because every other recipe for a Brownie with a Shiny Crust has failed you, you are in the right place. Although there are many recipes out there promising a shiny crust, they seem to ignore the one thing that matters most: that not all white sugars are the same.
Regular white sugars may differ in the only thing that matters when aiming for a shiny crust; and this is the size of the sugar granules. This size may vary among sugar brands; sometimes even among batches within the same brand. The difference in the size may be unnoticeable and unmeasurable, but it is enough to fully interrupt the sugar’s ability to dissolve during baking, especially in a batter very low in humidity and very high in fat; just like a brownie’s batter is.
So, unless if you are using superfine or caster sugar, you need another foolproof way to ensure that any given white sugar will dissolve.
This can be done easily with one simple, extra step which results to a shiny crust (assuming of course that the recipe you use is reliable). You only have to gently warm the eggs with the sugar over simmering water, until the sugar granules melt. Afterwards, you add it to the batter and proceed with the recipe. And that’s it. You have now mastered making brownies with a shiny crust at home.
Additionally, I provide you here with my go-to brownie recipe, which yields to a fudge brownie. But really, you can use the method in any recipe you trust.
Take extra care that:
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
1 cup=235 ml | 1 Tbs-=15ml | 1 tsp.=5ml
Chocolate: use chocolate or couverture with 50%-70% cocoa solids.
Sugar: regular white sugar can be your first option. Good quality raw cane sugar, such as demerara which adds taste, did successfully melt during egg warming.
Superfine or caster sugar: if using, you do not need to go through the egg-sugar warming process. Just add the whisk the eggs and sugar together and proceed with the recipe.
DO NOT use sugar substitutes, such as table sweetners or stevia. Also, do not use confectioner’s sugar.
Butter: use real butter, if possible, for maximum taste.
Salt: natural sea salt and fleur de sel would be perfect, if available.
Preheat the oven to 175ºC (350ºF). Lightly grease a 23 cm (9 inch.) square pan and line with baking paper, leaving the sides overhanging.
Finely chop the chocolate.
Whisk the eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan with simmering water, taking care that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
Warm, whisking constantly, until the sugar fully melts. This is when you cannot feel any sugar crystals when you scrub the mixture between your thumb and index. This is at 60ºC (140ºF), if you have an instant-read thermometer.
Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool.
Cut the butter in slices and put in a medium saucepan. Melt it over medium heat, then remove from the heat and add the chocolate.
Stir until the chocolate fully melts. If needed, briefly return to low heat.
Check the temperature of the batter, it should be tepid. Then, gradually add the eggs and sugar mixture and stir until smooth.
Add the flour and stir till no traces of flour are visible in the batter.
Next, add the nuts, if using, and stir the batter vigorously for one whole minute. Do not shortcut, stir, stir, stir for one whole minute. During this time, the batter should become glossy and start pulling from the sizes of the bowl.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Do not overbake.
Put the pan on a wire rack and leave to cool completely before removing from the pan and cutting in squares.