The Old-School Technique That Makes Brownies So Much Fudgier

published Oct 8, 2021
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Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani

When it comes to brownies, there are only two camps: cakey and fudgy. I fall into the latter camp; I want my brownies to be dense, soft, and studded with pieces of molten chocolate. If I wanted to eat something lighter, I’d make chocolate cake!

Over the years I’ve learned several tricks for making perfectly fudgy brownies — changing the ratio of fat to flour, swapping cocoa powder for melted chocolate, tweaking the amount of leavener — but one technique that was seriously game-changing didn’t have anything to do with the ingredients or ratios, and it made the biggest difference of all.

Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani

The Secret to Denser, Fudgier Brownies? Rapping.

Don’t worry: I’m not asking you to put your musical abilities to the test. Rapping is an old-school baking technique that refers to physically forcing air out of a baked good by lifting up the pan and dropping it during baking, which causes the batter to deflate. For things like cakes and muffins, this would be a disaster! The cakes would lose structure, collapse, and turn out stodgy. But for brownies, rapping works wonders: It removes tiny air pockets, giving you a more dense batter, which translates to fudgy, impossibly rich brownies. After you drop the pan, you can actually see the brownies become more compact.

If you’re familiar with Sarah Kieffer’s famous pan-banging cookies (which I think we all are at this point!), this technique might sound familiar. But Kieffer’s method is a bit different and her goal is to create wavy, textured cookies — not necessarily to compact the dough. But her technique shows that the old-school method can be tweaked into endless creative riffs to produce different results.

But back to the brownie rapping. How exactly do you do it? Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownie recipe (one of the most popular modern examples of rapping) instructs you to rap the brownies after 20 minutes of baking. The trick is to lift up the pan about two inches, then let it drop against the oven rack. You don’t need to do any dramatic banging or smacking — just a light tap. For the best results, try to do this while the brownies are about half-cooked. I typically do this when I rotate my pan halfway during baking. And that’s it! Instantly fudgier brownies.

Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani

Our Favorite Brownie Recipes You Can Try This Technique On

Feeling inspired to start rapping your brownies? Check out these recipes.

Have you ever tried rapping your brownies or other baked goods? Let us know in the comments!

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: The Old-School Technique That Makes Brownies Infinitely Better