Tips and Tricks For the Perfect Brownie

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You know those perfect brownies with a gooey inside and a crispy top? I made it my quest to make a recipe where it was so, while still being healthy enough for me to stuff myself with – slightly less – guilt. (Note: these brownies are cake-like rather than fudgey.) These brownies are not for the faint-hearted. Rich, dark, chocolately, with a deep undertone of molasses running through them and a perfect, crackly top.


Ok, now that the advertising to these brownies is done…;) Let’s talk about the tips and tricks. I researched into the (sort of) science behind having a crispy top on the brownies. It’s not actually down to luck – which I thought before.

The crispy top is created by a meringue rising to the top, which is created by creaming the butter and molasses for a long time, and mixing the eggs for a long time with the creamed molasses. Some websites say that molasses or brown sugar are too moist to create that crispy top – I disagree. If you beat it for long enough, then the crispy top will form and you also get more depth of flavour as well as slightly more healthiness. Mixing sugar is also a good idea – try demerara sugar and molasses. The molasses give a rich flavour, and the demerara sugar gives a caramel flavour.

The cake-likeness of the brownies is due to using less flour (only 60 grams). There’s also a lot of butter – because using cacao powder instead of melted chocolate means the brownie is less moist – so needs more butter. Also: TIP – bring the butter and eggs to room temperature because that makes them easier to incorporate into the mixture.


  • 115 grams of butter
  • 248 grams of molasses (i personally don’t like brownies really sweet, so if I were to sub normal sugar (which is sweeter) then I would decrease the amount)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs (normal)
  • 60 grams of spelt flour
  • 6 tablespoons of cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 60 grams chopped walnuts
  1.  In a deep mixing bowl, cream butter and molasses for 6-10 minutes until the mixture is fluffy.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla extract and mix for 5 minutes.
  3. If using spelt, sift twice.
  4. Whisk flour, cacao powder, salt, baking powder and walnuts in another bowl.
  5. Add the dry mixture and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
  6. Put in a 23cm square baking tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the brownie pulls away from the tin edges.
  7. Either let cool and then cut (by which point the top will have hardened) or eat warm. Or both!

Note: Yes they are healthier (not much but still healthier) but I’ve tested them on many people with normal taste buds – and they adored them!