Recipe Review

This Recipe Promises the “Chewy Brownie of Your Dreams” — But Does It Really Work?

published Nov 2, 2022
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Overhead photo of a brownie made with Bigger Bolder Baking's recipe.
Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne
Bigger Bolder Baking

As I was scrolling through Google in search of chewy brownie showdown contenders, Bigger Bolder Baking’s photo stopped me in my tracks. These brownies had a pale crackly top covered in gooey puddles of chocolate. Although I’ve pressed extra chocolate into the tops of cookie dough balls before, I’d never seen this trick used for brownies. 

I was intrigued enough to make them based on their looks alone, but when I read about their unusual mixing method, I was all in. To give them their chewy texture, Gemma, the creator of the blog, instructs you to beat the wet ingredients for five minutes on high speed — until thick, pale, and bubbly — before folding in the dry ingredients. The trick is so foolproof, she says, that it can turn any brownie recipe into a chewy one. Was this extra step really the secret to “the chewiest brownies known to man?” 

Between their scroll-stopping appearance and fascinating technique, I couldn’t wait to get started. Here’s what happened when I gave them a try. 

Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne
Bigger Bolder Baking Chewy Brownies of Your Dreams

How to Make Bigger Bolder Baking’s Chewy Brownies

Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter and line an 8×8-inch pan with a parchment paper sling

Combine melted butter, canola oil, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat at high speed until the mixture is very thick, which will take about 5 minutes. Sift in the flour and unsweetened cocoa powder, then gently fold them into the batter. Roughly chop the bittersweet chocolate and fold half of it into the batter.

Pour the batter into the pan, smooth the top, then sprinkle with the remaining chocolate. Bake until the center is just set and no longer jiggles, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool to room temperature before slicing. 

Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne

My Honest Review of Bigger Bolder Baking’s Chewy Brownies

I was pleased that my brownies looked just like Gemma’s: each slice was super thick and topped with gooey chunks of chopped chocolate. Despite the extra-long mix time, the batter still came together quickly, and I appreciated that it only dirtied one bowl. 

But let’s talk about the texture. In her video, Gemma explains that introducing all the extra air into the wet ingredients creates a meringue-like effect, resulting in a cakier, chewier brownie. Unfortunately, I found mine to be cakey, but not chewy. They were also very sweet, with a frosting-like flavor — sort of like a Little Debbie Cosmic Brownie. Between the two types of sugar, a hefty dose of vanilla, a whopping 1 cup of cocoa powder (the most I’ve ever seen in a brownie recipe), and all of the chopped chocolate, it was all a little too much, proving that more is not always more. 

I also had trouble determining when these brownies were done. Was that raw batter on my toothpick or did I just hit a puddle of melted chocolate? Gemma said to pull the brownies out when “the center no longer jiggles and is just set to the touch,” but it was impossible to even touch the tops of the brownies without getting my fingers covered in melty chocolate. Ultimately, my brownies weren’t jiggly at 40 minutes, so I pulled them out and crossed my fingers. This guessing resulted in an underbaked center. 

Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne

If You’re Making Bigger Bolder Baking’s Chewy Brownies, a Few Tips 

  1. Melt the butter in the large bowl. Melting the butter directly in the mixing bowl will save you from dirtying an extra dish. 
  2. Use canola oil or refined coconut oil. Gemma gives the option of using coconut or canola oil, but doesn’t specify the type of coconut. If you plan on using coconut oil, be sure it’s refined. Virgin coconut oils will give your brownies a coconutty flavor. 
  3. Skip the chocolate on top (or use half as much). These brownies are rich enough as is, and the chocolate on top ended up getting in the way. Next time, I’d skip it altogether, or reserve half as much for sprinkling on top. 

Overall rating: 8/10