More About Those Brownies

24 Aug

Obviously, I have not revisited my problems with perfectionism yet.  Right now I’m just happy I don’t have a headache, and that I do have replacements for some of the Time-Life Good Cook books lost to a move, plus a new-to-me biography of Anton Chekhov.  I’m just in no mood to get existential about all my shit at the moment.

Now, I say obviously because yeah, I’m still thinking about those brownies.  They really are a massive success, but they do soften up more than I expected overnight.  It’s not a dealbreaker, but I’m not a big fan of it, either.

I thought about how, with such a balanced proportion of fats, wet and dry ingredients, this could possibly be happening.  They really should dry out a bit like any other baked good, yes?  Well, no.  If you recall, these brownies have small jar of jam in the recipe–eight heaping tablespoons.  And guess what’s in nearly all commercial jams and jellies, and in great quantities at that?  No, not fruit.  Please.

Nah–it’s corn syrup.

If you’ve read other posts of mine, then you know that like honey and brown sugar, corn syrup is highly hygroscopic.  And A/C or not, it’s been a humid summer here in the heartland, so there’s plenty of hot hygroscopic action to go around.  I also keep my cake plate near a window of my 120-year-old house, which is dumb.

So there you have it.  Figuring this out solves another issue I was having with the lack of actual fruit flavor in these brownies.  See, in order to prevent the brownies from going soft–and again, it’s not bad by any stretch–the jam can be removed from the mix and instead heated and spread across the top in syrup form.  Well, depending on the humidity, maybe that’s a step to hold until just before serving; even just resting the jam on top will cause far less softening, but there will be a bit of softening nonetheless.  Either way, the fruit flavor will be far more evident if it’s withheld from the mix, as your tasters will be able to better discern the two different flavors.

Until tomorrow then, when I’ll fit in a post between exercising and White Collar.

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