History of brownies

So what are brownies? They are chocolate treats crossed between a cake and cookie texture, basically flattened cakes. They can be chewy, fudgy, or cakey depending on their density. Some fudgy brownies even have the melt-in-the-mouth feeling when you pop them into your mouth. Also, even though they resemble flattened cakes, brownies have a crispy crust at the top where cake do not have.

But the question is, who invented these delightful treats? Nobody knows. According to Wikipedia and a few sources I read online, It was created by a chef of a wealthy socialite in the 19th century. She requested her chef to create a cake-like dessert that was easy to eat by hand and tucked into the lunch box, so that ladies could enjoy those treats while attending the Columbian Exposition. There were also a few legends and myths lurking around the internet, and the famous one was where a housewife did not have baking powder for her chocolate cake, but managed to improvise and served her guests with these flatten cakes, which the guests were impressed by. However, what we do know is that it was originated in America, and by the end of 19th century, it was popularised.

So what is my point of this story? I made brownies today, with a bit of a twist. I did not follow the recipe I always used, but instead, I altered the amount of flour and cocoa powder added. This is the recipe that I’ve been using http://www.joyofbaking.com/brownies.html. I used cake flour instead of all purpose ones cause I ran out of AP flour, and reduced the amount of flour added by 1/4 cup, replacing the 1/4 cup with cocoa powder. It was more chocolatey and fudgier from the original recipe, but if you bake it for 30 minutes exactly, it would be cake-like, similar to the original recipe. So if you want something fudgier, I recommend the baking time to be around 25 minutes or abit more. Also, if it is more fudgy, after the brownies have been cooled, I recommend chilling them in the fridge before cutting them, if not they will be too gluey. Oh also, normally I would reduce the amount of sugar used in each recipe, but for this, if you are using my altered recipe, there’s no need to change the amount because more cocoa powder has been added.

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After doing research on the history of brownies, I realised how popular it was. During the 19th-20th century, many companies used th opportunity to sell brownie mix, from oven ones to microwave ones. However, even up till now, some brownie mix didn’t taste as good as home made ones. For example, Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies. They tasted so weird! Maybe there are some other brands out there that have mix tasting like home made brownies. Is there?

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