The Melted Chocolate Mistake That's Destroying Your Brownies

Brownies may be among the easiest things to make, but in the quest to create the chocolate treat of our dreams, we may be making mistakes that leave us with batter that isn't fit to be cooked. These boo-boos include using ingredients with the wrong temperatures, like adding super hot melted chocolate to your brownie batter, which contains raw eggs.

This is because it doesn't take much for eggs to cook and they are quite sensitive to heat. So they might start to firm up or curdle as soon as they come in contact with melted chocolate at a high temperature (or hot butter for that matter). Whites can start to set if they are exposed to temperatures of about 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while yolks begin cooking at 150-155 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though chocolate melts at lower temperatures, if you're in a hurry and you aren't careful, it could be easy to melt the chocolate until it scorches, which is another brownie-making boo-boo.

Melt chocolate properly to save your brownies

There are several ways to melt chocolate properly so you don't end up throwing it out: one would be to use a double boiler or a bain-marie. Melt the chocolate by putting it in a glass or metal bowl over very hot water, stirring constantly until it is smooth, ensuring that the chocolate doesn't come in contact with any water because it could leave you with seized chocolate.

Another method is to put the chocolate to be melted in a pot over direct heat, and expose that pot to very low heat, stirring constantly until you're left with soft, melty lumps of chocolate. Again you need to watch for scorching, which is what happens when its temperature shoots past 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The third method involves microwaving your chocolate at 30-second intervals, and giving it a stir at the end of each interval until you see soft lumps.

It's always advisable to ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature or about 70 degrees Fahrenheit before you start baking. And if you've forgotten, you might take the chill out of your cold ingredients by placing them in a waterproof bag and then laying the bag in warm water for about 15 minutes.