Yes, you can use olive oil in brownies! It makes them richer, adds a fudge-like texture, and enhances the flavor of the chocolate. In addition, it's an incredible preservative, so the brownies stay moist for longer!
Olive oil has been gaining popularity in recent years as a substitute for butter and other vegetable oils in baked goods. Not only is it delicious but a healthy alternative cooking fat that can be used in most traditional baking recipes. However, it's important to choose the right type.
In this article, we explore the benefits of using olive oil in brownies, how to substitute it for other cooking fats, and tips on how to make perfect sweets every time.
Why Do We Love Brownies So Much?
Like chocolate chip cookies, brownies are a classic American recipe that people enjoy from childhood through adulthood. They offer a delightful combination of rich, chocolatey flavor and a moist, dense texture that simply melts in your mouth.
The blend of cocoa powder, melted chunks of chocolate, fat, and sugar satisfies our sweet tooths leaving us satisfied. The distinct chocolatey taste appeals to the people's palates, both young and old, which has developed a strong affinity for chocolate-based desserts.
Brownies are deeply ingrained in American culture and culinary traditions. They're often associated with comfort, indulgence, and homemade goodness.
They evoke warm memories of family gatherings, celebrations, and cozy evenings spent with loved ones. Name a family barbeque, potluck, or school party without these delicious sweets.
Whether enjoyed fresh out of the oven or in packaged mixes, they are easily accessible and can be whipped up quickly, making them a popular choice for home bakers and dessert enthusiasts. It's also the versatility of this sweet that contributes to their popularity.
They can also be customized with various toppings, such as frosting, powdered sugar, or ice cream, allowing individuals to personalize their brownie experience to their liking. Ultimately, the love for this sweet stems from their irresistible taste, cultural significance, and the joy they bring to people's lives.
What Type of Olive Oil to Use
Extra virgin products offer much better health benefits than ordinary oils. This is due to the high levels of antioxidants, including polyphenols, in extra virgin products. Researches have also found that the product can help protect against Alzheimer's Disease, cancer, and improve brain and memory function. It's truly a superfood.
Use the highest quality fat you can afford but void using pure or light oil as these products are stripped of their natural health benefits and often deodorized through the use of heat.
If you have baking plans in the near future we highly recommend getting and using a bottle of the Turi! It pairs very well with sweets such as brownies and ice cream.
Can You Taste the Olive Oil?
Yes, slightly, but it's not overpowering, and it tastes delicious.
As we discussed in this post, extra virgin oils come in all scents and flavors! Some have notes of floral and fresh fruit, therefore, pair best with sweet foods such as ice cream, chocolate, and fruit.
While others might have more herbaceous or savory notes such as tomato leaf and walnut and are more suited for beans or bitter greens.
Regular olive oil has a much more neutral and homogeneous scent and flavor profile. It tastes flat, without a lot of character. This type of cooking fat can also work well for baking if you aren't looking for something special or need to make a ton of products in bulk.
For pops of flavor and depth, it's best to go with an EVOO.
A Healthier Way to Bake
Traditionally, brownies are made with sugar, flour, eggs, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and vegetable oil. However, most recipes call for butter or a neutral product like canola oil.
Chocolate chips already have a decent amount of fat, which is what helps to make this whole thing work. The fat content can vary depending on the brand and type of chocolate used. Typically, chocolate chips are made from semisweet or dark chocolate, which generally contains around 50-60% cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
Cocoa butter is the main source of fat in chocolate, and it contributes to the smooth texture and rich flavor. On average, chocolate chips contain around 10-15 grams of fat per serving, which is usually equivalent to 1/4 cup or 40-45 grams of chocolate chips.
It's important to note that different brands and varieties of chocolate chips may have slightly different fat contents, this will impact the final texture of the brownies.
Can I Replace Canola Oil or Butter with Olive Oil?
Yes, it's a great substitute for both because it not only lends more flavor, it has a better texture, and is healthier.
To substitute for vegetable oil in brownies, use a 1:1 ratio. There is no need to change or adjust the measurements.
To substitute for butter in brownies use 3/4 cup of olive oil for every 1 cup of butter.
It's important to note that butter is only about 82% fat, and the rest is water. This will change the texture of the batter and thus the brownies. To learn more about why this matters take a look at this post.
For a delicious brownie recipe check out our book: The OO Enthusiast
What if I'm Using a Boxed Brownie Mix?
Replace the vegetable oil the recipe calls for with your favorite olive oil. Don't change the measurements, just make the swap and make the recipe as usual!
Tips for Baking Brownies
Here are a few of the tips and tricks we use when making olive oil brownies at home.
Use High-Quality Ingredients
Using high-quality ingredients will ensure that your brownies have the best flavor and texture. Use fresh, high-quality cocoa powder, and high-quality oil for the best results.
Use the Right Pan
Using the right pan is important for baking brownies. A metal pan is the best option as it conducts heat evenly and produces a crispy crust.
However, I've also really enjoyed baking brownies in a cast iron skillet. It also conducts heat really well and gets the edges nice and crispy while the center stays slightly gooey.
Some might call this uneven, but we call it balance. Folks that like the edges get what they want and those that prefer more fudge-like brownies get what they want!
This is the most important step. Do not overmix the batter, it can result in tough, chewy brownies. Mix the batter until all the ingredients are just combined and then pour it into the pan and bake.
Check for Doneness
Insert a toothpick into the center of the brownies, if it comes out with just a few crumbs then the brownies will have a slightly fudge-like texture and you can take them out.
If the toothpick comes out completely clean they might be overbaked. However, if you're into a more cakey texture then bake them until the toothpick comes out clean.
There are so many options in the cooking fat section, which can be pretty overwhelming. Hopefully, this post will provide some clarity for you.
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