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I have been trying out brownie recipes baked in a muffin tin. I am using the muffin tin so that I can get all edges. (And I have been decorating the tops!)

My brownies tend to rise, in my opinion, too much. This rising is also not quite uniform for all the brownies. Some are flatter than others. The result tastes fine, but is not dense like other brownies.

Other than maybe air that I beat in, there are no rising agents. How do I stop the brownies rising to get denser brownies?

Edit, recipe ingredients: Butter Cooking chocolate Sugar Eggs Regular flour Vanilla essence Cocoa powder Salt

Edit, some of the process: melt butter and choc together, let cool, mix in the eggs, then the sugar, then everything else.

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Can you list your recipe? – rfusca Oct 16 '11 at 7:59
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If you think it's the air, let your brownie mixture sit in the fridge for an hour or two to let the bubbles collapse or rise out. – Nathan Oct 16 '11 at 9:15
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Have you tried baking them at a lower temperature (for longer)? – Jefromi Oct 16 '11 at 14:23
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You're not creaming the butter and sugar together for some reason are you? – rfusca Oct 16 '11 at 16:39
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Can you give the full recipe / process ? I assume that you're whipping egg whites, as I see no other leavening in there. Egg white foams will puff a lot, but we need to know ratios/proportions to see if it's something that should be cut back. – Joe Oct 17 '11 at 13:06
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Well, if air is the only raising agent, simply add less of it by not beating the mixture as much. Failing that, beat as normal, then give the mixing bowl a couple of (careful) bangs on the counter top to knock the air out it again.

A bit of experimentation will be necessary to get the right results, I think: perhaps pour some of the mixture into the tin as is, then knock the air out of the remaining mixture and compare the results.

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a good sharp tap in the oven in the very first few minutes helps too – rfusca Oct 16 '11 at 16:37
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For cakes, I always learned to slam the pan against the counter a few times to help remove any large bubbles that might've formed as you poured in the batter. The smaller bubbles are in there well enough that they don't tend to come out, so it still rises fine. – Joe Oct 17 '11 at 13:06
    
I am starting to think I should just give it a good knock. – Megasaur Oct 18 '11 at 10:10
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Only one way to find out - fortunas iuvat audentes! – ElendilTheTall Oct 18 '11 at 10:25
    
After reading his updates - +1, I think overmixing and thus too much air. – rfusca Oct 18 '11 at 20:41

What about halfway through the baking process, take a spoon and lightly press the center so it collapses.

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This could have something to do with the muffin tin itself: aren't the slanted sides meant to promote a nice domed top? (It seems to make sense: cake pans, used for baking items that should be reasonably flat, have straight sides, while pie pans, used for baking items that are often piled high with fillings, have slanted sides.)

If you want brownies that are all edge pieces (though why on earth you'd want to do that to poor innocent brownies, I cannot fathom), you might have better luck using one of those brownie pans with a separator-grid in them:

brownie pan picture

Edit: just thought of another possibility: how much batter are you putting in the muffin cups? Try using less, no more than half full (if that). Naturally, watch the baking time like a hawk, because the only thing worse than an all-edges brownie* is an overbaked one.

* :·þ

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I'm confused how the edged pan relates to the question at all? – rfusca Oct 18 '11 at 21:52
    
@rfusca: the OP said "I am using the muffin tin so that I can get all edges." – Marti Oct 18 '11 at 22:47
    
Ah, gosh, I reread that over and over and didn't catch that, good deal! – rfusca Oct 18 '11 at 23:19
    
Edges are the best part! Contrast of textures! You are potentially right about the filling too much. – Megasaur Oct 22 '11 at 0:59

I think you need a larger shallow pan. Thinner brownie= less air trapped. The deeper the pan traps more air and it will bake more like a cake or a muffin.

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This fundamentally clashes with various laws of nature. The air is either in the batter or not, regardless of how wide or narrow the pan is. The amount of bubbles that actually burst at the top may be neglected. – Stephie Dec 4 '15 at 14:44
    
@Stephie: I guess real life clashes with your laws of nature. In an 8x8 pan with 1 inch of batter, the ratio between surface area and volume is 1:1. The same amount of batter in a 9x12 pan comes to not quite .6", giving a surface area-to-volume ratio of 1.667:1. The more surface area, the easier it is for air to escape, so the larger pan will, indeed, leave you with brownies with less trapped air. – Marti Dec 4 '15 at 16:35

Well, nobody seems to have touched on the reason I see as most likely - overcooking them. Cakey brownies are cooked too long, regardless of the size of pan. The difference between a good fudgy brownie and a horrible caky brownie is typically ~5 minutes too much cooking time.

With a muffin tin, you probably need to reduce time from what works in a normal baking pan.

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Definitely. I always make my brownies in mini-muffin tins (lined) and I generally have to nearly halve the baking time... if not less. They bake a tiny bit slower than cake in a mini-muffin tin, so about 12-14 minutes. Regular sized cupcakes would be 16-18 probably... but I never make that size... also, looks like it was mentioned in the question's comments, but only briefly. – Catija Dec 4 '15 at 15:51

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