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How to bake the perfect brownie

Fudgy, chocolatey and with a shiny crisp top; no one can resist a tray of brownies fresh from the oven. Follow our guide to help you bake your best-ever brownies.

Ten tips for unbeatable brownies:

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  • Use an oven thermometer to calibrate your oven. Baking at the correct temperature is essential so that you know you’re not over-cooking your brownies in the centre. Bake them in the centre of the oven for even heat.
  • Melting the chocolate with the butter over a bain marie does double-duty. The hot water prevents the chocolate from seizing up and going grainy and melting the butter before combining into the mixture ensures you don’t incorporate air through beating, so your brownie stays fudgy rather than turning cakey. If you prefer them cakey, add more air by beating.
  • Use the best quality chocolate and ingredients you can afford for the best flavour. Brownie recipes don’t typically require many ingredients, so all the ingredients need to be at their best as you’ll be able to taste them in the finished bake. Good quality chocolate makes for a good quality brownie.
  • We always bake with our eggs at room temperature. This helps the mixture come together smoothly by keeping the egg whites runnier.
  • Always line your tray. Brownies are notoriously gooey confections, so make sure you don’t skip the baking paper. We use scissors to cut into the corners of the baking paper sheet so that they overlap when the paper is pushed to the bottom of the square or rectangular tin, rather than bunching up. It makes for a neater brownie.

 

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  • Choose a recipe without raising agents. Adding a raising agent makes a brownie turn cakey and we prefer to keep them dense and rich by limiting the amount of air in the mixture.
  • Don’t over-mix your brownie mixture. Beating your brownie mixture too much will incorporate lots of air bubbles and make your brownies cakey, which isn’t what you’re looking for.
  • Test your brownie with a metal skewer in the centre to see if it is done to your liking. If there is too much mixture present on the skewer it is probably too gooey, so let it bake for a few minutes longer and then test again. The skewer won’t come out cleanly, as brownies are meant to be a bit fudgy, so expect a few crumbs here and there. Take it out of the oven as soon as you think it is done as the residual heat will continue to cook your brownies in the tin.
  • Let your brownies cool completely before slicing. We let our brownies cool in their tins before turning out and slicing into squares with a sharp knife.
  • Dust and decorate. We use a stencil to dust a hummingbird in icing sugar on the tops of our brownies, but you can cover them in frosting, drizzle them in caramel or smother in any number of delicious toppings.

 

For our American brownie recipes, bake from one of our bestselling cookbooks. Happy baking! x