How do you bake the best brownies? And what type of fat is best to use?
I tested it out and share my experiences in this blog!
I recently wrote a blog about when you use which type of fat or oil. The focus was mainly on cooking, wok, and frying. Now I have also done a test with baking brownies, because I usually (still) use butter for that. But I wonder what the effect is if you replace it with a vegetable form such as margarine or sunflower oil. As a result, you naturally want the brownies to be a bit more crispy on the outside, nice and chewy and soft on the inside and have a full chocolate flavor.
Also to eat more vegetables, I think it is good to look at other options more often. That is why I regularly replace milk and other milk products such as yogurt and cream with a vegetable variant of soy or almond. And I use 100%vegetable Becel margarine for on my bread or for (stir) baking.
But with cakes, I found it a bit more difficult because I am so used to using butter. But I think this is a matter of getting used to and maybe the other options give a better result? We will see. For this baking test I used my standard brownie recipe (see below) and only replaced the fat part. I also baked them in the oven at the same time and at the same time so that there can be no differences.
Oil is of course a lot more liquid than butter and the liquid Becel margarine is a bit in between.
This is liquid but a bit thicker in texture. On the packaging of the Becel Original liquid it says that you have to replace 100 gr solid butter with 110 ml of this product to bake cakes and muffins, for example. So that I adjusted in the
recipe. And the ratio with oil is also different because it contains more fat than butter, so you should take a little less.
After the whole calculation I went to work. After melting the chocolate au bain-marie I added the butter, liquid margarine, and oil to the different bowls. Then I beat the eggs with the sugar until fluffy in a
bowl and I mixed this with the chocolate mixes. I noticed that the batter with the liquid margarine was a bit darker and thicker and the batter with oil had a little more trouble to mix well and was a bit more oily
(logical too). Then the flour and cocoa were added and then put in the oven. I did not notice that much difference to the brownie batter, they also went straight during baking. All 3 had a nice crust that started to tear slightly at the end.
After I took them out of the oven after about 25 minutes and let them cool down, we were able to inspect further. There was not one that failed or was not good. All 3 were successful but there was not 1 clear winner.
And yet there were a few minor differences. I have put it in a row:
This brownie was slightly firmer than the rest, which makes sense because the butter hardens again when it cools. It was nice and sticky inside and the taste was good, as I am used to from a brownie.
Sunflower Oil: These brownies were the softest, but that was a bit expected. They also slumped a bit more after cooling down than the other two and the top was just a little lighter in color. The taste was also very nice, I think I tasted the chocolate the best.
Liquid Margarine: These were a little darker than the others, no idea why. This inside was also nice and creamy and the outside a bit crispy. I liked the taste and I also think a bit fresher than the others, which I liked because brownies are often very heavy.
So the conclusion is that with all 3 products you can bake fine brownies. If you want slightly firmer brownies, it is best to go for butter, for soft and very creamy brownies for the sunflower oil and in between for the liquid margarine. In terms of taste, I tasted little difference because the brownies have a strong chocolate taste, but I found the ones with margarine just a bit fresher and lighter. Perhaps because the fat percentage is slightly lower than the other two. Butter contains 82% fat, sunflower oil 92% fat, and Becel Original liquid 74% fat.
- You can also make a combination of 2 fats, so you get some properties of both in your pastry. Or use a packet of Blue Band, this margarine is also 100% vegetable and, like butter, it also hardens after cooling.
- Liquid margarine and (sunflower) oil is not suitable for making biscuits or hard dough, for example, because they remain liquid after cooling.
- For vegan brownies, check out my tips in this blog for replacing the eggs and use dark vegan chocolate.
- Also tasty with some walnuts in the batter.
- Normally, a skewer needs to come out of a cake clean to see if it is cooked, but brownies do not, because you want them to be nice and sticky on the inside.