Lee Stabert and I were discussing brownies some weeks back. Some people like a cake-y brownie, and others prefer a gooey brownie. She is the latter. Those people usually favor "fillet" of brownie -- the chewier, softer, fudgier-textured brownie"harvested" from the center of the baking pan. I maintain that if a brownie is made right, all the central pieces come out gooey, or at least chewy.
The best recipe I've found for chewy, gooey, fillet-type brownies is the Brownies Cockaigne recipe that has been in the Joy of Cooking since 1931. I told Fluffermuffin and her cousin that we'd be making Cockaigne Brownies. Since cockaigne is pronounced like "cocaine" by non-native and fairly ignorant speakers of French such as myself, they did a double take. It occurred to me that surely the editors renamed this brownie for the latest edition of the Joy. I looked it up in the 2006 edition and nope, still called Brownies Cockaigne. Those editors get an "A" for resistance to exterior influence. Can you think of other unfortunately named recipes that really need a re-branding? Like Spotted Dick?
Measuring with a new probe thermometer I'm testing, I baked our brownies to 225 degrees, so they're mostly "fillet" brownies with some inexplicably hard edges. Maybe next time we cut 5 minutes from the cooking time, which brings me to this question: since every recipe was re-tested for the 1997 Joy, did they test for shorter baking times? Our brownies had hit 220 degrees by 20 minutes -- does that mean they were done long before the recommended baking time was reached? Once a baked good hits the right temperature, the texture should be achieved, right?. Kitchen scientists, I appeal to you -- why didn't I get my fillets when I actually used a thermometer this time?
And finally, in the search for the proper internal temperature of a brownie, I found a Pillsbury patented emulsifier that prevents uneven baking of microwave brownies. Never have I read such extensive chemico-culinary geekery, but it's pretty fascinating.
And yet, since the "imperfection" of uneven baking is what creates a fillet, what would be the point of evenly baked brownies?