Food & Entertaining
Entertaining at Home
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Tips from Our Chefs
food & entertaining
kitchen pantry & products
November, 2009, Page 60
Photography by David B. Moore
IN A BLIND TASTE TEST, THE P
HOENIX HOME & GARDEN
STAFF TRIED BROWNIES BAKED FROM SIX DIFFERENT MIXES. THE RESULTS FOLLOW:
1.) TRADER JOE’S
These brownies were too dry for most tasters, who felt they had a chewy consistency and cakelike appearance.
Many liked the sheen and crusty top of this brownie but found the taste average and the consistency too dense.
A chewy, gooey middle, fudgelike taste and cracked crust left several panelists wanting more. Others considered this option a bit too sweet.
This entry received low marks for its too-subtle chocolate flavor and dense consistency. Several thought that the brownies had a mushy texture.
This all-natural mix produced brownies with a cakelike texture and mellow chocolate taste. Some felt they were too dry and objected to the lack of a traditional crusty top.
A crusty top and gooey inside put this entry high on many panelists’ lists. Bits of slightly melted chocolate chips gave it a rich flavor and appealing texture; one taster deemed it “delightfully moist.”
A WORD FROM CHEF ALLAN
An informal poll conducted on the Internet this past summer found that those who like to bake most enjoy making brownies. With a rich chocolate flavor, moist center and crisp edges, the irresistible dessert can be the cause of heated arguments in some households. The problem: who gets the chewy middle, and who gets the crunchy edges.
Baker’s Edge (
) has solved this dilemma with a new brownie pan that is shaped like a maze, giving each brownie a soft center and at least two crispy edges.
The dessert can be jazzed up easily with toppings, including frosting, pecans, walnuts, M&Ms, marshmallows and more. Also try baking them in mini-muffin tins to create quick-cooking, easy-to-serve treats for a party.
Chef Allan Schanbacher says that brownie mixes, which often are easy to prepare, are a good way to introduce children to baking.
Another tip: Substitute butter for the oil (use the same amount) to create richer flavor and to avoid hydrogenated oils.
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