Reynold Poernomo’s epic brownie tips
Brownies are a classic sweet treat. At their best, they’re gooey and sticky in the middle, but baked with a pasty coating around the edges. When they are good they are so fine … but when they’re not, they can get dry, crumbly, and a bit dull.
We thought it was time to ask a candy expert what we do wrong with brownies at home, how to make them better, and the secrets to getting it right. Enter: Reynold Poernomo.
You will know his face for competing for various TV cooking titles and he is the genius behind Koi Dessert Bars – at Chippendale and Ryde in Sydney – for tastings of desserts and treats so pretty you want to frame them.
READ MORE: Reynold Poernomo – in the mind of a dessert genius who hates sweets and baking
He also released a new cookbook, The dessert game, and it’s got one hell of a chocolate brownie recipe.
“Brownies have a nostalgic feeling to them, and they’re one of those recipes that can be easily made at home with kids,” says the dessert master, noting that it’s a great starting point for the family. .0
But the real kicker and why do we really like brownies? “Chocolate,” says Poernomo – the universal love of chocolate. “A lot of people love the rich taste of chocolate and that melt-in-the-mouth texture when you sink your teeth into it.”
Surprisingly, the sweet treat maestro isn’t into things that are just sugar overload himself. He doesn’t really have a sweet tooth, so there has to be more to it than sweetness.
READ MORE: Recipe from the Kitkat secret garden by Reynold Poernomo
“I remember in a cafe where I was doing a work experience and where my brothers were baristas / bartenders, they had a pretty delicious brownie that wasn’t too sweet with chunks of white chocolate inside,” says- he.
Although he couldn’t finish an entire slice, he said “the texture was softer and that’s what I have left with regards to the brownies, the fudge.” Yes that’s what we are looking for too, fudge … so how do we get it?
“Don’t expect to bake them like any other cake where you do a skewer test, it’s a complete disaster,” the chef says, noting that if the center is still gooey (that’s what you want), a skewer will never come out clean.
“Always cook them until the surface flakes or begins to crust, the center should still be quite gooey, but not runny.”
His trick is to simply place the brownie in the fridge once it’s at the right “gooey” stage, to set the rest of the chocolate for maximum fondness. This is a trick that we will definitely try.
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When we ask if we can use any old chocolate we have on hand, the master reveals another simple truth.
“It’s better to use chocolate for couverture, which is a bit of an investment, but it’s totally up to you. If you want a quality brownie slice you must get quality chocolate. Bomb of truth right there.
And where is Poernomo on the nuts in a brownie? Do you need it and which is the best? Well he has another tip for that; nuts are a great addition, but you should try roasting them.
“A mixture of roasted nuts sautéed inside the dough mixed throughout is always best, walnuts, hazelnuts and pistachios are mostly preferred, and during the last three to five minutes of cooking, top it off with a little more nuts to give it a nice finish it’ll stick to the cake, ”he says.
Then it comes down to the portion size and the size of each piece. If it were up to us, we would eat the whole slab. But Poernomo has other ideas.
“Always serve just enough to keep you coming back for more. Too much may sound epic, but after a few bites it will be overwhelming. “
So moderation is the key … maybe where we go wrong. Anything else we should know about the ultimate brownie at home?
“Change the sugars, add unrefined sugar substitutes to them, it will change the flavor and texture. It’s so much better than using white sugar. “
But if you really want to level up, Poernomo has a suggestion: “Try browning the butter, that’s a higher level thing.”
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