Greetings from Bangladesh! I recently started a small fast food shop where I sell fudge brownies along with other stuff. Some of my customers have been complaining that my brownies feel a bit sandy. They said the texture and flavor was spot on, but the sandy mouth-feel was really bothering them. After a little bit of investigation I figured that the sugar in my brownies is either not dissolving completely or recrystallizing during the baking process. Here is the recipe that I use:
60g Cocoa (Hershey's)
350g Granulated Sugar
2/3 cups Oil
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cups Water
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
The original recipe called for 400g of sugar and no water but it made the brownies too sweet for our Bangladeshi palate so I cut the sugar down to 350g and added a quarter cup of water.
At first I used to follow the original recipe. I combined oil, eggs, vanilla and sugar together with a whisk so that I do not incorporate too much air into the batter. Then folded this mixture into the cocoa, flour and baking powder mixture and baked in a 8x8 pan at 350F for 30-35 minutes. But in this method the sugar doesn't dissolve completely in the batter, not even after baking. Then I thought may be it was the texture of sugar here which has coarser granules. So I ground up the sugar then mixed it into the batter. But no improvement. Then I omitted the baking powder and tried creaming the eggs and sugar first then adding the oil, still no improvement. I tried creaming the egg and sugar over simmering water until the sugar is completely dissolved and followed the rest of the recipe leaving out the baking powder but the brownies still turned out sandy after baking.
I am completely at a loss here. I don't know what is going wrong every time - the technique or the ingredients? Do I need to change the method of mixing or substitute the sugar with something else? But I don't know whether suitable substitutes are available in my country :S
All the great pastry pros out there, please help!!