Hello everyone! Welcome to BirthMay 2020! Today I’m sharing my experience baking brownies while in quarantine!
For this bake, I used the Bon Appetit Camouflage Chocolate Fudge Brownies recipe. I was just craving brownies so I found a recipe for these on Instagram from Anna of The Anna Edit (also on YouTube as The Anna Edit). They looked so good! I didn’t see a video on Bon Appetit’s channel of this recipe but I did find a recipe review on YouTube after and Anna did do an IGTV video making these. (I didn’t watch either of these before baking, so I’m not sure how helpful they actually might be during the bake. I did watch both after so I’ll share those thoughts in a bit!)
In case you’re new, BirthMay is my annual birthday celebration where I blog every day for the month of May. This is the fourth annual BirthMay and no matter how many BirthMays you’ve been here for, thank you for your support!
My BA’s Camo Brownies Quarantine Baking Experience
So I didn’t read the recipe before deciding to bake this, and it was a bit more complicated than I expected since it was basically making three different mixtures! However, the instructions were fairly clear and the short videos and photos on the webpage were really, really helpful. I don’t recommend printing this one out, I really think it’s more helpful to see those videos as you go.
This recipe is really important to read carefully for a few reasons, one being the eggs. You basically add all three eggs completely separately, and since I’ve started pre-measuring everything that could have ended badly if I didn’t notice that before cracking open the eggs. Also with the eggs, for one mixture you need two eggs but when you add the first one it looks like it’s all gone horribly wrong. The recipe warns you and tells you it won’t look right until after the second one is added so if you don’t read you might have a melt down. I only say that because if I hadn’t read it, I totally would have had a melt down. So be sure to read all those helpful tips!
Even though the instructions were pretty clear, the ingredients list was so annoying! Because it’s various mixtures, it says the total amount of an ingredient and then says “divided”. For example, for sugar it said “1 1/3 cups of sugar, divided”. Because it said divided but didn’t give specifics, I divided it in half and put it in two containers, assuming it meant divide equally. Upon reading further, that wasn’t the case at all! It was supposed to be 1 cup and then 1/3 cup. I think it should have said something like “sugar total 1 1/3 cups, divided into 1 cup and 1/3 cup” or something more helpful like that. I had to go back and divide the sugar all over again once I realize (luckily nothing was messed up as I noticed before mixing anything together) but that was annoying because it’d already been correctly divided!
Also, the time on the recipe is 22-25 minutes in the oven at 325 degrees. Well, I had it in for closer to 35 minutes and it probably could have been 40-45. Reading through comments and watching those videos I mentioned, the 22-25 minutes is more for a 350 degree bake I think. However, some people did say it was perfect so I think it really does vary for this one. The tip of checking if the brownie mix at the top is glossy then it needs more time, and if it’s matte then it’s done, is the most reliable method.
Here’s the end result! I think they came out looking fab! They’re really, really good too! I do wish they were a tad crunchier (again, I probably should have left them longer), but it was still really good. I’m super happy with how they turned out honestly.
After watching the videos I found of this recipe, I think it’s helpful but not totally necessary to watch beforehand. For instance, I will admit I wasn’t quite sure what a “simmer” was for the water, and I had to recruit my mom to help me (she did make fun of me, THANKS MOTHER) (she also helped me find the right 9×9 pan, which I didn’t know we had so I was about to use a cookie sheet which most likely would have been a disaster). If I’d watched the videos first, I wouldn’t have been confused. There was also an optional ingredient and no one I watched ever added it. I didn’t either and no one seemed to miss it so no worries there!
I do think this recipe, because it’s more complicated than ones I’ve done before, is a bit more stressful. Again, it’s easy to follow along but I would have preferred to read it multiple times beforehand to really grasp it. Also to measure out everything right the first time!
While I was working with the butter, I did worry because I thought I should have let the butter melt a bit before adding everything else, but it turns out I didn’t need to. The little video for that step clearly showed I didn’t have to but for some reason I doubted I’d done that step wrong. But I hadn’t and it worked out in the end! I also had a problem when I added the cacao powder into the cream cheese portion, where I didn’t separate out enough cream cheese. I just added a bit more of the cream cheese to it and it was perfect! I probably could have done with a a tiny bit more actually, but it worked out well.
As for the comments, I already mentioned the large variety of baking times. I saw multiple people also say they would have used less flour/sugar/salt/all of the above, and I do agree that I would use less salt next time. It’s not a bad salty flavor, but it is more noticeable than I would like. I might try these again with half the salt and a bit less of all the dry ingredients because I would prefer them to be a bit more moist but I wouldn’t cut anything out completely. They were good and I’m not just saying that because I made them! (Well, maybe a little bit because of that LOL!)
Let me know if you’ve made these brownies or something similar before. If you’re a baker, do you think it would make sense to lower the amount of the dry ingredients like I said or is that just insane? Please help.
Thanks for reading!
Follow me on social media!