Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Critique: Failure! However..

I'd say the critique of the stevia brownie recipe was unanimous for failure, but that wouldn't quite highlight the strength of the reaction from Paul. He found it bitter and sour, suggesting salt be added to decrease bitterness. Since I'd found it both bitter and salty, that didn't seem to be the cure. Steve thought putting some in a bowl and pouring milk over the top might be a fix, but decided that just wasn't a go either. I gamely finished them, being the sort who hates to waste any chocolate, no matter how bad. The sole exception was that long-ago batch which, as a non-smoker, I'd tried adding marijuana to in order to see if I could get any effect from them. What an awful thing to do to brownies! I'd class this as second worst, but marginally edible to the very determined.

I do note that the packaging claims that it's much sweeter than sugar. That certainly didn't seem to be the case. Nobody's palate detected sweetness, though it wasn't as bitter an unsweetened chocolate would have been, so there must have been some sweetening.

They were also quite dry and didn't cover the pan when the mix got spread in it for baking, nor did it spread out in the heat of the oven.

So: changes. Try again. I am nothing if not determined when it comes to chocolate.

I worked to cure the dryness by changing the butter amount to a full stick: easier to measure anyway, and not so-o-o-o much more fat. The big change was going half-and-half on real sugar and stevia. The batter tasted better and spread into the pan better. This changes the carb count of course, but by just over double, making the recipe total 166 grams of carbs. Cutting it into 16 pieces gives you approximately 10 grams of carbs per brownie, or conversely, 12 pieces gives you 14 grams of carbs per piece, or one carb unit.

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Critique: While it's still dry (cut baking time, I think, to 20 min), it's an acceptable brownie. No, wait. It's an acceptable chocolate something. It's still not a brownie. There's a slight weird taste for a moment, but the after that the taste is all good. I think it's salt, so I'm going to cut that again for next time. Still a bit dry, and if the baking time doesn't fix that, look into adding moisture some way other than more fat, though using a whole butter stick is simpler than 1/3 cup plus 2T for the first go-round. There will be at least one more adjustment. But hey, I'm a willing guinea pig. It is, after all, chocolate.

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