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TASTE TEST: Brownies

April 5, 2017

 

Saying you don’t like brownies is equal to telling someone you hate puppies.

 

EVERYONE.loves.brownies. 

 

Whether you prefer them sticky & gooey or crunchie & cakey there’s a brownie out there with your name on it. 

Despite the fact that they’re super easy to bake, a few clever South African brands have made it even easier with their instant mixes.  But how do you know which mix will be your brownie fix? We have taken the terrible task upon ourselves to test 4 of the top instant mixes to give you the low down and to determine who’s the fairest of them all.

 

 

NOMU CHOCOLATE BROWNIE KIT

 

 LOOK :  The batter baked evenly with a perfectly chewy centre and crisp crust. 

TASTE : The mix include REAL organic chocolate chips, which was definitely a win.  Might do with 5 mins less baking time for a fudgier centre.  The chocolate flavour develops beautifully once cooled down and is even better the next day.  Worth its weight in rands!

COST :

Kit : R69.99

Hidden cost : 140g butter = R14, 4 large eggs : R6.8 = +/- R20.80 = R90.79 TOTAL

Yield : 12-16 brownies

CONCLUSION : Yes, it’s pricey, but it definitely had the best flavour.  They also have some super clever alternatives to try at the back of the box – when you’ve had your fill of its awesomeness as is. Options include Rocky Road Brownies and Peanutbutter Swirl Brownies.  Try this I must. Eat it I shall.

CLASSIFICATION : Fudgy and chewy

 

 

GLUTAGON WHEAT & GLUTEN FREE BROWNIE MIX

 

 

 

LOOK :  It didn’t raise as much, with a “flatter” appearance and had a much more cakey texture.  The batter was super thick and sticky and we had high hopes for it…alas…

TASTE :  Look, I feel for people that are genuinely gluten intolerant and this might be a workable alternative, but if you’re just a hipster with daddy issues – don’t eat this.  It had an interesting flavour, a mix between golden syrup and coconut, which you might argue is not the worst thing in the world. Not that it’s bad, it’s just not a brownie. 

COST :

Kit : R44.99

Hidden cost : 140g butter = R14, 4 large eggs : R6.8  = +/- R20.8 = R64.79

Yield : 12-16 brownies

CONCLUSION : If you need to use that much artificial stabilizers, sweeteners and thickeners to keep something together, it’s bound to have an artificial taste.  I love the other products in their range, but the brownies need some work.

CLASSIFICATION : Cakey but stodgy.

 

 

SNOWFLAKE CHOCOLATE BROWNIE KIT

 

 

 

LOOK :  Baked like a champion, beautifully even.  Also has a chocolate fondant glaze, which makes it look super fancy.

TASTE : If you have some relatives that you never, ever want to come around again – serve them this. The price should’ve given it all away.

COST :

Kit : R25.99

Hidden cost : 2 XL eggs : R3.4 , 125ml oil : R2.31, 60ml water : R0.01 = R +/- R5.72 = R31.71

Yield : 16 brownies

CONCLUSION : Ok, maybe I’m too harsh.  If you realise at 19:50 you have a bake sale the next day and have 10mins to grab something at the supermarket, this will be it.  It looks great and kids will love the simple sweetness.

CLASSIFICATION : What a brownie should look like – perfect combination between cakey and fudgy

 

 

INA PAARMAN’S CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

 

 

 

LOOK :  Lush, plump brownies, stunning crispy crust with uber gooey centre.

TASTE : Tannie Ina, you know your stuff, but this was slightly disappointing. At this price you can you use a much better quality chocolate chip as this tasted like cheap baking chocolate and didn’t deliver in the final product.  

COST :

Kit : R59.99

Hidden cost : 2XL eggs = R3.4, 60g butter = R6, 125ml oil = R2.31, 125ml milk = R1.45 = +/- R13.16 = R73.16

Yield : 12-16 brownies

CONCLUSION : Tannie Ina has the Midas touch, but rather dish out the extra 20 bucks for a box of Nomu OR add a better quality chocolate chip.

 

 

And the winner is…………..

 

In my humble opion – NOMU. But….at that price, I am convinced that you can bake a much better brownie from scratch, for less.....

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By Chef Christa Smit

christa@smitn.co.za

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