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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Lowney's Brownie Recipe

This was one of the first published brownie recipes (below) - see 'History of the Chocolate Brownie'.  I decided to test this recipe out as it used ingredients which were readily available in today's supermarkets! I did however leave out the 'nut meats' due to me personally not liking nuts in brownies. I think that a brownie should be pure chocolate with no nuts or other tastes conflicting the chocolate flavour. It is interesting though how the very first recipes included nuts and it is a modern thing to exclude nuts.

Before I made this recipe I compared it against other Brownie recipes. I found that Delia Smith's 'American Brownies' recipe was basically the same but included baking powder as well. The only other difference was that the butter and chocolate was melted together and than the other ingredients folded in, compared to creaming the butter and than the other ingredients.

The first test I did was to make this recipe in two different ways; one using the creaming method (as the Lowney recipe says) and two melting the chocolate and butter together and than folding in the other ingredients, as Delia Smith does.  For each test I would use the same ingredients, same cooking pan (20cm x 20cm), same oven temperature (Lowney's recipe did not specify any temperature so I went with C180) and the time amount of time in the oven (30mins).
Lowney Brownies (Lowney’s Cook Book 1907)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 squares Chocolate
2 eggs
1/2 cup nut meats (nuts with the shell removed)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
 Cream the butter, add remaining ingredients, spread on buttered sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut in squares as soon as taken from the oven.

Brownies made by Lowney's Method

Brownies made by Delia's Method

The batter for the creaming method was much paler than the melting method. This was due to there being more air in the creaming method mixture. The air pockets also made the mixture rise quiet a lot even though there was no rising adgent in the mixture.

Once both brownie mixtures were cooked and cooled. I did a taste test. Personally I found that the brownie mixture which had the melted butter and chocolate was better tasting which a richer chocolate flavour. The batter which was creamed was much chewery which I liked but the flavour was not to my liking.

This little experiment showed that the order in which the ingredients are combined alters the end product. Which is why all recipes have a method!  


  1. Wow! mouthwatering, delicious dish. I love it very much. i can have it in breakfast, lunch and in dinner.My mum used to prepare it for me. But alas! now i am away from her.But your easy steps of browni to prepare it will help me to make it.

  2. So glad you enjoyed them! I agree with being able to eat brownies for lunch, dinner and breakfast!