7

I started with the original recipe on the back of the All Bran box:

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Kellogg's® All-Bran® Buds cereal
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted, cooled.

"Stir together flour, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs until light. Add sugar gradually, beating until fluffy. Fold in cereal, vanilla and margarine. Fold in flour mixture and walnuts. Spread evenly in 8 x 8-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F about 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan."

I've made this recipe twice and added walnuts both times. The first time I left the 'buds' whole, which resulted in a very dry brownie with an off-putting texture. It seems the 'buds' absorbed any moisture like a sponge and turned them into little sawdust meatballs floating in chocolate sand. On my second try, I put the cereal in a food processor to make 'bran bud flour' and added it into the dry ingredients. Brownies came out with a slightly better texture but were about twice as dry - think substituting gypsum for flour - terrible.

The reason I want to use this recipe is to add all the fiber I can - 17g per serving - so I don't want to substitute anything else for the cereal. Can I add anything to this recipe to make the brownies more moist and chewy? I like the taste of these brownies, but need about a gallon of milk to wash them down.

4
  • 3
    Eat a bowl of bran cereal and have a brownie without bran cereal in it? Problem solved? Dec 6, 2023 at 3:33
  • 1
    Newer made brownies so I am not going to answer, but isnt the purpose of the "dry toothpick check" to make sure the thing is completely dry to the core? Seems counterproductive for things which are suposed to stay moist in the middle.
    – BagiM
    Dec 6, 2023 at 7:50
  • I'm not putting it as an answer because I've not tested it, but what about "pre-soaking" the bran powder? Add a bit of milk to it, sufficient that it turns into a sort of thick porridge like mess, and add that to the brownie batter?
    – lupe
    Dec 6, 2023 at 10:16
  • You do realize, that unless you eat the whole pan of brownies, you're only going to get about 2g of fiber per brownie (assuming 9 brownies)? Seriously, just eat a normal brownie and have a tablespoon of cereal on the side. Dec 6, 2023 at 15:38

5 Answers 5

14

350 for 30 minutes seems like a likely source of at least part of the problem to me. If you like a chewy brownie, those happen by not baking them to death (where you get cakey, dry things they call brownies, but I don't agree.)

You could also experiment with adding another egg or two, since the only liquid here is eggs and butter.

e.g. Alton Brown's recipe for an 8x8 pan uses 4 eggs and cooks at 300°F for 15 minutes, then cool for 15, then back in until an instant read gives 195°F internal temperature.

2
  • 1
    I'd probably go the other direction, increase the butter and reduce to one egg. More eggs will add moisture, but will also produce a more cakey texture.
    – barbecue
    Dec 4, 2023 at 20:33
  • More eggs will make it drier and less dense, with more air bubbles inside.
    – minseong
    Dec 6, 2023 at 7:52
11

Two excellent answers already, but a couple of other things you can try rather than using the bran buds to add fibre to your diet

  1. You can buy bran flour, AKA wheat bran. This will behave a bit better than the bran buds in baking. I'd look for recipes aiming at using this rather than following the Kellog one.

  2. Bake using wholemeal flour. This will up your fibre quite a bit just in itself. It absorbs a bit more water than plain flour, so pays to use recipes designed for it rather than substituting for plain flour directly.

  3. Make recipes that incorporate fruit or vegetables into the mix. Zucchini is excellent in chocolate cakes/brownies, as are beetroot/beets, and apples (separately). Carrot cake is also a delicious alternative to chocolate. You can use these with wholemeal flour too.

7

Over baking the brownies will lead the dryness issue, although you might be able to counteract this with either oil or some sort of vegetable or fruit purée. (But those can also make it a bit more cake-y). I typically cook until the toothpick test results in moist crumbs and no longer a wet batter. A fully dry toothpick is too far.

For the chewiness, I would stir the flour into the liquid portion so that you develop some gluten. Folding in the flour is specifically to avoid this.

6

I'd approach the problem from a different direction. I'd start with a good brownie recipe and modify that by adding your All Bran. This looks more like a fairly rich chocolate cake made as a traybake than a proper brownie.

It's hard to tell with the use of cups rather than weight, but an almond-based brownie recipe might have more fibre anyway, as the nut flour is a much greater proportion of the mixture. Generally adding nuts, seeds, and dried fruit will up the fibre content while still being nice even in large quantities and not absorbing moisture from the rest. If that didn't get you all the way, you'd still need a lot less All Bran.

3

Two more suggestions from me.

First, there's a fairly straightforward substitute here. It's not only the bran that sucks up your water, but also the cocoa powder. You can substitute dark chocolate instead - melt it without overheating, mix it with the butter and start your wet mixture that way. There are many brownie recipes which are made with chocolate, and they are quite good.

Second, if the bran is extracting your moisture, just give it that moisture before baking. You can pre-soak your bran in water, and then bake with it. People sometimes soak in more flavorful liquids, but as the chocolate is quite overpowering in a brownie, I think you want notice the difference flavor-wise, so water should be sufficient.

Beside that, the typical culprit in too-dry recipes is not lack of moisture, but lack of sugar and fat. In this case, it's obviously also a problem with the bran, since it's an unusually "thirsty" ingredient, but if soaking the bran turns out not to be enough, start using more sugar, and if that's not enough, also additional fat.

Also see our question on how to make good brownies in general: What makes a chewy brownie?.

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