Have you ever had a perfect brownie? It's actually quite a difficult question, because your idea of what makes a perfect brownie, might be completely different to someone elses. It all comes down to preference, which is probably shaped by your first ever brownie experience.
Gooey, Fudgy or Cakey?
We all know what a basic brownie looks like, but when it comes to what we expect from eating a brownie, it's open to interpretation.
I always wanted my brownies to be fudgy, they always ended up gooey though and it drove me mad! I just wanted to be able to cut my brownie into perfect square slices, but it always ended up a mess. My sister on the other hand loved it! She liked to eat it hot with ice-cream, the perfect dessert to eat with a spoon.
Finding the perfect ratio
Baking really is a science. Whether you end up with fudgy, chewy or cakey brownies all depends on the proportion of cocoa powder, sugar and flour. It is a little more complex than that in practice, I spent a long time messing with different ratios before I understood the right balance.
I always adapt the ratio of the mix to best showcase the flavours.When I make orange & caramom, I use a fudgy ratio, whereas for miso & black sesame I want to create a chewy texture, so each brownie mix is truly unique!
Now lets talk flavour
These days you can find brownies in all kinds of flavours. Think biscoff, salted caramel, oreo, jaffa cake... I could go on forever. The whole sweet on sweet on sweet thing never really appealed to me much, I love a brownie for its rich, sweet and intense chocolate flavour, so to me adding more sweets and chocolate just drowns out that original flavour.
At the same time, plain chocolate is just... well a bit too plain. Thats why I started using Asian flavours, because they're exciting and subtle at the same time. It's amazing the difference the hint of spice from chilli or the subtle aroma of cardamom can completely transform the flavour of orange.
In the end, I think we all have our own idea of what makes a brownie perfect. My goal is to have a perfect option for everyone. If your not convinced by Asian brownies yet, I dare you to try them!