Eggs are a special kind of ingredient that lends themselves to a lot of tips, even when you are making something as simple as brownies. Eggs are a truly unique food that can help stabilize mixtures, add richness to soups and desserts alike, and help cakes and breads rise by holding on to whipped air. They really are something magical. But all those amazing properties also mean they can be hard to handle, as anyone who has taken time to master soft scrambled eggs or a souffle can tell you. Eggs are temperamental and prone to becoming quickly overcooked. So you need to make sure you are getting your temperatures just right. And, when you are making brownies, that means gently warming them to the right level.
Eggs are just one of a few ingredients, along with chocolate, flour, sugar, and butter in brownies, so they make up a big part of the mixture and are highly susceptible to being cooked by the other additions. Hot melted chocolate is the biggest threat, and mixing it straight into brownie batter can curdle your silky mix with strands of unappealing scrambled eggs. That's why you should let your eggs and butter come to room temperature before mixing. Eggs that are already warmer will be less susceptible to cooking from the shock of other hot ingredients, and you'll be on your way to a perfect, fudgy brownie.
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Slowly Bring Eggs Up To Room Temperature To Avoid Lumpy Brownie Batter
The technique of bringing eggs up to temperature to prevent curdling is known as tempering, and it works because of how the proteins in them are connected. As eggs are cooked, their protein network goes from independent strands to a linked-up chain that forms a mesh network, which is how beaten eggs can hold air. The quicker the heat is applied, the tighter this network gets, and eggs that are cooked too quickly will squeeze out water and curdle. If you go slow, however, those networks will still form, but they will be a lot more flexible and stay soft.
If you don't want to wait for your eggs to naturally come to room temperature, you can temper them by beating in a small amount of your warm chocolate and butter liquid to gradually raise their temperature and avoid curdling. You'll have to whisk vigorously and be judicious with the chocolate by only adding a few drizzles at a time, but it can be a way to speed up the process and get the same finished result.
As a little bonus, brownie batter generally does best when all the ingredients are mixed at close to the same temperature, which allows them to combine well and avoid getting lumpy. Brownies may seem like they are all about chocolate, but treating your eggs right is what is going to make them really shine.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.