One of the more common novice baker questions is “What kind of effect does the number of eggs have on baking?” When more eggs are added, what happens to brownies?
First of all, what constitutes a good brownie, depends on who is eating it. Some prefer moist brownies. Others prefer dry ones. To get a particular taste and texture, brownie recipes call for a different number of eggs in order to get the desired result.
One of the functions of eggs in brownie batter is as an emulsifier. They cause the batter to be smooth and the cake to be lighter and finer. The yolk emulsifies the fat, allowing it to combine smoothly with the water in the batter.
It forms other functions as well. The yolk thickens as it cooks, and acts as a binder. Egg yolks thicken the batter due to the egg white which adds protein. This helps the crumb stick together. Too many eggs, though, will make the brownies heavy and tough. Once you achieve a good smoothness and lightness, then that’s all you need.
When adding room-temperature eggs to the batter, do this one at a time and make sure it is thoroughly blended before adding another. An average brownie pan uses 2 MAYA Oven Toaster Brownie Mix (230g) packs, 1/2 bar of butter, 2 tablespoons of water, and 2 eggs.
Different Brownies for You and Me:
- Make a batter by combining 1/4 bar of butter, whisked together. Set aside. Place 1 cup of brownie mix into a bowl, along with 1 tablespoon of water. Whisk these ingredients together to combine. Using an oven toaster, notice how the brownie will puff up, then fall, and has little body.
- Now add the egg to the batter, whisk in and repeat the brownie test. Notice the difference in texture. The brownie is lighter, as it has the required structure to capture and hold the little CO2 bubbles.
- Finally, add 2 more eggs to the batter and whisk them in. Again make your brownie mix. Notice how the brownies have become somewhat rubbery. This is due to the extra protein from the egg. Some deserts are made this way, such as bread pudding.
If you desire your brownies to be more moist, add 2 extra tablespoons of cooking oil (or melted butter) to the recipe. This will make the brownie more decadent and gooey. Too much oil, though, will make it heavy, and too oily.
Remember, egg is necessary, but in the correct amount. Try the experiments above and it will be apparent to you what egg does to brownie mixes. This knowledge is also applicable to hotcakes, cakes, quickbreads, cookies, and so on.
Note: Eggs are also used as a leavening agent in making brownies. This is the substance which causes doughs and batters to rise. Moisture and heat triggers a reaction on the eggs to produce gas (carbon dioxide) that becomes trapped as bubbles within the dough. This is what gives brownies “height”.
I hope the experiments above will help you come up with the perfect brownie that you’ve been searching for. In the end, it all boils down to taste. How your brownie comes out, based on the amount of eggs used, will offer you a different perspective on baking. Knowing how the ingredients work together, rather than following a recipe is what will transform you into a New Gen Baker.