Sunday, November 21, 2010

Flour Fully Folded

So, I made this recipe for brownies the other day. The recipe was in the NY Times, and the accompanying article said that Julia Child raved about them, so hey, good enough for me, right? But this note is not about the brownies, believe it or not (though I threw in the recipe below in case you want to try it, the brownies come out insanely moist and light, and intensely chocolatey, but not as chewy as I like, nonetheless, if you want to make something lighter on the palate (but not on your belly, as these suckers are chock full of sugar and butter), this is the way to go (I also feel compelled to observe the massively run-on nature of this sentence, with not one but two, count 'em, two, embedded parentheticals within a parenthetical, good grammar be damned, right?).

What I'm actually wondering about, is how do you do a good job of folding your dry ingredients into your batter? Whenever I'm baking, I usually have some concoction of flour/baking soda/baking powder/salt to mix in, and I seem to have decent folding technique, slicing down the middle of the batter with the edge of the spatula and then folding it over, followed by giving the bowl a quarter turn and folding some more, but, alas, I always seem to leave a few flecks of white in the final version before baking, which I find less than easy on the eyes afterwards as I'm sampling the final product.

How do you avoid these flecks of white in your baked goods and get your flour fully folded into your batter? How do you know when to fold 'em (Yup, I'll take any excuse to combine "The Gambler" with The Muppets)?

***UPDATE*** These brownies are amazing of you refrigerate them overnight. Nice and chewy with a fudgey texture.

*** NOTE . . . Non-Pertinent to Post Bonus Recipe Appears Below . . . END NOTE ***

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs

The recipe says to go with a 350 degree oven and a 9 inch baking pan. Whisk the flour and salt, then melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler while throwing in the vanilla at the end, then take it off the heat and whisk in half the sugar. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, drop the sugar and eggs in your mixer and beat at medium high speed for around 3 minutes or so. The mixture should turn pale yellow in color and greatly expand in size. The big air bubbles you're beating in will give the brownies that light and airy feeling. After that, fold this mixture into the chocolatey goodness, fold in the dry stuff and dump it all in your baking pan. I like to use two layers of parchment paper, each with its ends draping over opposite sides of the pan, and then giving the paper a good butter rubdown (to prevent sticking). Bake for 25-28 minutes and it should be done. Let the whole pan cool on a rack and cut them in the pan when you're done, they are so delicate they'll probably fall apart if you try and lug them out. You can snag the whole recipe and accompanying article here.


  1. I have never folded in the floury mixture to the wet ingredients when making brownies. I do the reverse. I fold the wet ingredients into the floury mix. But folding is something you have to acquire with a deliberate wrist action! I use an over sized spatula which seems to do the trick. Good luck! I noticed you were up at 2:18 am when posting this recipe. Insomnia???? Luv u, Aunt E.