I made 5-minute, 30-minute, and 100-hour brownies, and I won’t waste 4 days on a dessert again
© Provided by INSIDER The brownie recipes had very different instructions. Paige Bennett for InsiderI tried recipes for 5-minute, 30-minute, and 100-hour brownies to see which one is really worth it.The 5-minute recipe tasted like the TV-dinner version of the classic dessert.The 100-hour recipe was initially intriguing, but I’ll stick to making the classic 30-minute one.Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
I always used to take the easy way out by making brownies from a boxed mix and upgrading them with fun mix-ins like caramel or Oreos.
But after testing some delicious recipes by celebrities and famous chefs, I’m much more interested in whipping up this dessert from scratch. So I followed the popular trend and tried a five-minute, 30-minute, and 100-hour brownie recipe to compare them all.
Read on to find out which recipe turned out the best.I tested the 5-minute brownie first to see if it would satisfy a sudden craving
© Paige Bennett for Insider The ingredients were super simple. Paige Bennett for Insider
I started with a quick recipe from Kitchn for a microwaved brownie in a mug. I’ve tried mug-brownie mixes from the store before, but they can be pretty pricey, so I usually skip them.
This recipe was appealing because it included super simple ingredients that I always keep in my pantry and fridge: butter, brown sugar, milk, vanilla extract, flour, cocoa powder, salt, and chocolate chips.The process was as easy as I expected
© Paige Bennett for Insider The ingredients came together quickly. Paige Bennett for Insider
I started by melting some butter in a mug and swirling it around to coat the sides since I’d be microwaving the brownie in it.
I poured this melted butter into a bowl and mixed in the other wet ingredients. Then in a separate bowl, I whisked together the dry ingredients and added them to the wet mix, too.
© Paige Bennett for Insider Baking it in the mug didn’t make it very appealing. Paige Bennett for Insider
Finally, I folded in the chocolate chips and poured the batter back into the mug.
I microwaved the brownie for one minute and 15 seconds, but it didn’t look done yet, so I popped it back in for an extra 20 seconds.This brownie tasted like it came from a frozen TV dinner
© Paige Bennett for Insider I wasn’t really a fan of this quick brownie. Paige Bennett for Insider
This brownie smelled just like a microwave meal and tasted like one, too.
This recipe would be nearly irredeemable without the optional chocolate chips. And the texture was very dry, so I understood why it recommended serving it with ice cream.
Overall, I’d prefer to take the extra time to have a proper brownie. But if I had a really strong hankering for chocolate and had ice cream to cover it in, I’d consider making the recipe again.The 30-minute brownie looked like a slightly quicker version of my go-to
© Paige Bennett for Insider These brownies looked more similar to my usual recipe. Paige Bennett for Insider
The first thing I noticed about this recipe from Flour Child was that it didn’t require melting chocolate via a double broiler. It’s a fairly easy task but one I always dread, so I was happy not to see it.
This recipe only required basic brownie ingredients that are combined in one pot on the stove before baking.The recipe seemed easy at first, but things got a little messy
© Paige Bennett for Insider It was still pretty easy to throw this together. Paige Bennett for Insider
I started by melting butter in the pot on low heat before mixing in the cocoa powder. Then I removed the pot from heat and added the sugar and vanilla – which made the mixture suspiciously gritty.
Next, I added in the four eggs, mixing them one at a time until they were fully incorporated into the batter. I moved as quickly as possible with this step so that the eggs wouldn’t start cooking in the warm pan.
© Paige Bennett for Insider The batter was silky smooth. Paige Bennett for Insider
After adding the eggs, the batter was very glossy and ready for the dry ingredients: flour, salt, and baking powder.
Although the pot I was using was pretty large, I still made a mess when I tried stirring in the flour. It poofed out of the top of the pot, over the side of the oven, and onto the floor.
© Paige Bennett for Insider I had to compromise on the pan size. Paige Bennett for Insider
This recipe called for a 9-by-13-inch pan, but mine was occupied by my 100-hour brownie batter (which I needed to start first). Instead, I divided the batter, putting some into an 8-by-8-inch pan and the rest in a small cast-iron skillet just to see what would happen.These brownies turned out exactly how I like them
© Paige Bennett for Insider These brownies were pretty much perfect. Paige Bennett for Insider
These were exactly what I think of when I conjure up the image of a classic brownie.
They had a flaky, lightly crisp top and a fudgy and dense (but not too dense) inside. There was also a rich chocolate flavor, but it wasn’t overwhelming.
I did the incredibly hard work of taste-testing both an edge piece and a center one. I don’t usually go for edge pieces because sometimes they’re too tough to bite into, but these were actually great. The edges had a slight crunch but were still pretty soft.
© Paige Bennett for Insider The inside was nice and dense. Paige Bennett for Insider
They fell apart when I cut and pulled them from the pan even though I let them sit and cool for a couple of hours as directed. But the superior taste and texture made up for that.
The skillet experiment was also delicious. I baked it for less time because it was in a smaller container, but it had the same excellent taste and texture and came out of the skillet cleanly.
I definitely plan on making this recipe again, but I might mix everything in a stand mixer next time instead of in a pot on the stove.The 100-hour brownies required a lot – and I mean a lot – of chocolate
© Paige Bennett for Insider I had to find three different kinds of chocolate Paige Bennett for Insider
I expected this time-consuming brownie recipe from Alvin Zhou to be incredibly rich because it called for espresso powder and coffee ice cubes to enhance the flavor of the chocolate.
And there was a whole lot of chocolate in this recipe. I had to scrounge up 17 and 1/2 ounces of chocolate bars plus a hefty amount of cocoa powder.
The ingredients, plus the enormous amount of chilling time, led me to believe these would be really dense and fudgy.Most of the time was spent waiting around until I could eat the brownies
© Paige Bennett for Insider Every section of this recipe had several steps. Paige Bennett for Insider
The first step was to brown a lot of butter on the stove before adding in espresso powder and a coffee ice cube. But the espresso powder I used didn’t mix well into the hot butter – some of it turned into a tough, tar-like substance that stuck to the whisk.
I then mixed eggs, sugar, and vanilla in the stand mixer and added the cocoa powder, more espresso, salt, and the browned-butter mixture.
While that combined in the stand mixer, I melted 8 ounces of dark chocolate and stirred that in as well.
Finally, I poured in the flour and let the stand mixer do its thing while I chopped up more dark and milk chocolate pieces to fold into the batter.
© Paige Bennett for Insider There was a lot of waiting involved with these. Paige Bennett for Insider
I poured my batter into a 9-by-13-inch glass dish, topped it with even more chunks of dark chocolate, and left it to rest.
© Paige Bennett for Insider I added the extra chocolate on top. Paige Bennett for Insider
These required a few extra steps than classic brownies, but it wasn’t too difficult. The real challenge was letting the batter rest in the fridge for three full days.
When I want brownies, I want them as soon as possible, so this was frustrating.I was so excited to finally bake the brownies – until I figured out I had to let them rest again after
© Paige Bennett for Insider Once they cooled, I still had to wait to eat them. Paige Bennett for Insider
It’s pretty criminal to make someone rest their brownies for three days before baking, but it’s even worse knowing I have to put them in the fridge for another 24 hours after.
But for the sake of the experiment, I moved forward with the baking step.
I pulled the batter from the fridge and it was as hard as a rock and looked pretty dry.
Because I used a glass dish, I let the brownies sit on the counter for a couple of hours while they came close to room temperature before baking.
When going from cool to hot so quickly, glass has a higher risk of shattering, and I’d honestly be so annoyed if I lost these brownies to a shattered glass pan.
© Paige Bennett for Insider 100 hours is a long time to wait for brownies, especially when they’re lackluster. Paige Bennett for Insider
Because of the temperamental glass issue, I also skipped the freezing step (Zhou said to freeze the brownies for 30 minutes immediately after baking to lock in the moisture).
Instead, I let my brownies cool on the counter before moving them to the fridge to sit for another day.After 100 hours of waiting for these brownies, I was disappointed with the results
© Paige Bennett for Insider The 100-hour brownies before reheating. Paige Bennett for Insider
These brownies were nearly impossible to cut out of the pan, even when I used a sharp, high-quality knife.
Once I finally got a brownie onto a plate, I noticed little balls of what looked like fat inside.
© Paige Bennett for Insider The 100-hour brownies after reheating. Paige Bennett for Insider
When I heated the brownie in the microwave, these little fatty bits pooled around the bottom, making it a little greasy.
As far as flavor goes, this was way too rich. I love chocolate. I love brownies. I even love the bitterness of dark chocolate and coffee. But this was too rich and bitter for me.
The texture, in addition to the greasiness, was also too dense.
I’m not opposed to trying this again, but I’d probably just let the batter sit for one day and then eat the brownies warm straight from the oven, which would make the recipe a long cry from 100 hours.I think I’ll stick to the 30-minute recipe to satisfy my brownie cravings from now on
© Paige Bennett for Insider The middle recipe hit the sweet spot. Paige Bennett for Insider
Overall, the 30-minute brownies were by far the best. They had that classic brownie flavor and texture and really didn’t take long to make.
I’ll be returning to this recipe again and again, but I plan to make it in my stand mixer instead of going through the mess of mixing the ingredients on the stove.
If I was really desperate for a brownie and had some ice cream on hand to help mask the dry texture, I guess the five-minute version would suffice.
The final flavor and texture of the 100-hour brownie just weren’t worth all of the time I invested into making them.
If I ever tried the 100-hour recipe again, I’d change several parts of the process. In addition to cutting down the resting time, I’d swap the browned butter for regular melted butter and maybe reduce the amount of chocolate because multiple full-sized bars seemed excessive to me.
Brownie secret: Black beans replace fat while adding health benefits
© Darlene Zimmerman Black beans replace some of the fat in brownie recipe.
OK, I know what you’re thinking: Putting black beans in brownies sounds awful. Honestly, I thought the same thing but had to give it a try. Trust me on this: These brownies are really good, and you won’t taste black beans. In fact, my in-house taste testers (husband and son) had no idea the brownies contained this unusual ingredient.
© Darlene Zimmerman Black beans replaces some of the fat in brownie recipe.
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Black beans — along with kidney, navy, soy, garbanzo (chickpeas) and pinto beans; black-eyed, split green and yellow peas and lentils — are often referred to as legumes. A Mediterranean diet staple, legumes are edible seeds that come from plants with pods.
They’re are a great source of dietary fiber, providing four to eight grams in every half-cup serving. A fiber-rich diet offers many health benefits and possibly reduces the risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Nutritionally, legumes look similar to foods in the meat group, providing an excellent source of protein as well as iron and zinc. They’re popular with vegetarians and are by far the best plant source of protein.
Today’s recipe calls for creating a black bean puree by combining the beans with coffee and processing in a blender or food processor until smooth. This puree actually serves as a fat replacer, adding a little nutritional boost to a sweet treat. By reducing the amount of fat in these brownies, we also lower the calories.
You can use water in place of coffee to create the black bean puree. The reason for using coffee is that it intensifies the chocolate flavor of the brownie, without providing a distinct coffee flavor.
When using canned beans, always drain and rinse them thoroughly prior to use. According to the Canned Food Alliance, draining and rinsing canned food reduces sodium content by up to 41%. Interestingly, draining alone results in a 36% reduction in sodium.
Darlene Zimmerman is a registered dietitian in Henry Ford Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Institute. For questions about today’s recipe, call 313-972-1920.
Serves: 12 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Total time: 35 minutes
Gallery: 10 Delicious Ideas to Make Overnight Oats More Flavorful Than Ever (Reader’s Digest)
Vegetable oil cooking spray
¾ cup reduced-sodium canned black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup coffee, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons low-fat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
In a blender or food processor, combine black beans and coffee and process until smooth. Place puréed beans in a large bowl and whisk in sugar, egg, yogurt, oil and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to bean mixture along with ¼ cup chocolate chips. Stir until just combined. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top of batter with remaining chocolate chips.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool before cutting into squares.
Created and tested by Darlene Zimmerman, MS, RD for Heart Smart®, Henry Ford Health System.
145 calories (31% from fat), 5 grams fat (2 grams sat. fat, 0 grams trans fat), 24 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 91 mg sodium, 18 mg cholesterol, 19 mg calcium, 2 grams fiber. Food exchanges: 1 ½ starch, 1 fat.
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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Brownie secret: Black beans replace fat while adding health benefits.
Is Your Diet Keeping You Away From Desserts? Try This Healthy, Vegan Brownie Recipe
Are you on a mission to lose some extra pounds? Well, then chances are that you have been keeping yourself away from all your favourite desserts. But now thanks to celebrity nutritionist Pooja Makhija, you can indulge in a yummy brownie or two that is not only healthy but also easy to make. In addition to being flour-free, the recipe is also vegan. Pooja has used flax seeds as the primary ingredient. Flax seeds are rich in key nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids, lignans and mucilage. The seeds play an important role in boosting immunity and reducing inflammation.
Besides healthy flax seeds, the recipe is also loaded with several nutritious ingredients such as coconut, yogurt, peanut powder and dates. Let’s check out the recipe.
Also Read: Watch: Make Brownie With Quinoa For A Healthy Spin In Your Diet (Recipe Video)How To Make Pooja Makhija’s Healthy Vegan Brownie: Ingredients:
Flax meal 2 tbsp
Water 6 tbsp
Maple syrup 1 tbsp
Unsweetened cocoa powder 3 tbsp
Unsweetened peanut butter powder 3 tbsp
Dates (soaked) 6 medium
Unsweetened coconut yoghurt 3 tbsp
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Sea salt 1/4 tspMethod:
1. Grind some flax seeds to make a flax meal. The flax meal acts as a replacement for eggs.
2. To this powder, add water and maple syrup. Further, add powdered peanut butter to this paste. Pooja explained that powdered peanut butter has 85% fewer calories from fat and twice as much protein.
3. Now, add unsweetened cocoa powder and dates. Ensure that the dates are soaked well before you add them to the blender so they break down into a paste easily.
4. Mix it all up with some sea salt and baking powder.
5. Pooja added a special touch by adding some coconut yogurt and topped the mixture off with some dark chocolate bites for flavour.
6. Now, lay parchment paper over a baking tray and empty the mixture over it. Bake it at 200c for 45 minutes.
There you go! Your delicious vegan brownies are ready.Watch The Complete Recipe Video Here:
Also Read: Eating Fruits As Dessert? Healthy Or Unhealthy? Celeb Nutritionist Pooja Makhija Reveals
Previously, Pooja had also shared the recipe for a vegan, sugar-free ice cream that you can binge on without guilt.
Sharing her recipe on Instagram, Pooja said, “Something to brighten up the #lockdown gloomy covid drain around us. Not to forget – WITH improving our health not worsening it. Healthy, #vegan zero added sugar more importantly easy and most importantly delicious homemade magnum ice cream!!!!! My bonus? My girls loved it.”
For the ice cream too, she kept the ingredients simple and included coconut milk, cashew, dates, vanilla extract, powdered peanut butter, coconut oil and dark chocolate. Click here to know more.
Try the recipes and tell us what you think of Pooja Makhija’s healthy dessert recipes.