I have a big suspicion that I might be the easiest person to click bait. I am easily ‘Moved to tears when a school girl gives her lunch to a homeless man’ and I am biting my nails to find out if I fit into ‘Rare high IQ person that can solve an ancient riddle’. So when Tasty created a video claiming that their brownies are the ‘Best Ever’ I was pretty much the tenth person to click on it.
Let’s just take a moment to talk about this video. If you’re not drooling, sighing, fainting or dying, I can’t really classify you as human. Not only is it filmed beautifully, but Maria Telling’s candid narration makes you feel like this is the easiest thing you’ll do this year (I tried baking whilst doing taxes. Guess which one I actually finished)
But are these really worthy of the ‘Best Ever’ tag? See, I’ve been baking brownies since before the world wide web was a thing. Before I was Globetrotting Cupcake, I was Bad Boy Brownie, which would have made a fantastic (and slightly confusing) chatroom alias. So naturally, I had to test this recipe across cities and climates to understand if this can really work for the average Indian fudge junkie. I’ve tested the recipe on a few crucial parameters and here’s the rundown:
If I were to make a blueprint of the perfect brownie it would have a crusty-shiny top with a heart of nearly done fudginess that is encased in a chewy cake like body. Btw, that’s also how I imagine lifeguards on Baywatch.
The recipe promises just that, but after making them twice I have to say that this bit will be a hit and a miss. The first time the centre was too gooey, the second time they were too well done. Same oven, same timing. Other than that, this recipe hits the texture jackpot. The extra handwork of beating eggs into submission goes a long way to get that shiny crunchy crust. Oh my eyes!
Sugar is for a brownie what a spa weekend is for your body. They both make for soft and happy insides. These brownies owe their chewiness to the whopping 2.5 cups of sugar which is a mix of white and brown. Undoubtably, the extra brown sugar adds a caramelised and fudgey texture to the brownie, but the real question is – can you feast on this guiltlessly? I’ve had to do an extra hour of cardio just to sweat these out. You know, apart from all the cardio I get by napping. I would suggest adjusting the sugar if you’re worried about your beach body, but be prepared for a denser brownie instead. Personally, I found the recipe a tad too sweet for my liking but it’s been a hit with everyone who’s tried it.
Chocolate to Satisfaction Ratio
Here’s my biggest grouse with this recipe, there’s not enough chocolate action. The cocoa definitely imparts a rich mouthfeel but 8-oz of melted chocolate just doesn’t cut it. If you’re waiting for that intense hit of chocolate, you’re going to be waiting for a long long time. I suggest mixing in some dark chocolate chunks for added pockets of gooeiness.
Kaju Katli Rating
Each time I make something to eat, I stack it on the Kaju Katli scale – a.k.a, is it as good as the best mithai in the world? It’s a lot like how you inadvertently compare your new boyfriend to your dad, there’s no shame – we’re all doing it. These brownies certainly rate high on texture, intensity and an overall umami that makes you go ‘mmmmm’. But in Indian summers they don’t store too well (6 eggs = quick spoiling) and by the third day, you’re craving kaju katli all over again.
So here’s my suggestion, make them for when you’re catering a crowd that will leave no crumb behind or for a friend’s cheat day or a grieving soul. For everything else, stick to Kaju Katli.
Do you have a favourite brownie recipe you want me to try? Write in and let me know.
All Images by Ishita Thakur