Brownies are a guilty pleasure for many. Some prefer it with cream, some with ice cream, and some are purists who dig in without any accompaniments.
If you’re a brownie fan too, it’s a good idea to learn how to make these at home and be able to enjoy it anytime.
And you don’t really need anything fancy to bake brownies. A simple frying pan and oven would do.
Can You Bake Brownies in a Frying Pan
Yes, you can bake brownies in a frying pan. Some people find that easier than using a regular baking pan.
It gives them more control, and some even skip the oven for the stovetop. But you can pop it in the oven to ensure your brownies turn out soft.
However, before you consider making a batch, make sure of the following:
Make sure the Pan is Oven Safe
To determine if your frying pan is oven safe, figure out if all of the components it has can withstand high temperatures or not.
We are, of course, referring to the material, coating, and handles of the pan.
If the pan has a lid, make sure it is heat-resistant if you want to cover it while baking.
Here are some more things you should consider:
Oven-safe frying pans can withstand high temperatures because they are made of special materials.
Some of them include cast iron, ceramic, stainless steel, and even aluminum. Even if your pan is made of a combination of any of these materials, it is oven-safe.
Also read: How to Tell if a Pan is Oven-Safe?
Nonstick frying pans make life a lot easier, but they also are heat resistant to a degree.
For example, if yours has a Teflon coating, it may have some temperature restrictions. Generally, the material can get damaged if it’s exposed to temperatures that exceed 500 degrees F.
At that temperature, the coating comes apart and can ruin your non-stick pan.
In contrast, pans that are made of ceramic and enamel can be used in the oven safely.
Irrespective of the material you choose, make sure you go through its manual before using it.
You can also find instructions on the manufacturer’s website. It will give you a clear idea of what it can withstand and the duration.
There is a reason why avid bakers prefer baking pans. They don’t come with handles.
Plus, the handles are usually made of plastic or wood, which cannot withstand oven temperatures.
Make sure you get a frying pan that is small enough and has a handle made of insulating material.
Silicone is a good alternative. The material is also over safe at about 475F.
You can also go with rubber pans that have rubber handles. Don’t worry if these get discolored after the first use. It will not compromise its functionality.
Other materials such as metal, cast iron, and stainless steel handles are also oven safe at about 500F. Just make sure that you wear mitts before grabbing them out of the oven.
Some modern frying pans also come with detachable handles so you can pop them in the oven without worry.
You can remove them with the push of a button to make your pan oven safe when you need it.
Recipe for Frying Pan Brownies
After you get the perfect frying pan to bake brownies in, follow this recipe to bake your first batch:
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
- 3 large eggs/
- 1 ¼ cups of sugar.
- ¼ cup of cocoa powder of your choice.
- ½ tsp of salt.
- ¼ cup of heavy cream.
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
- 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate.
(Make sure that the flour and cocoa powder are leveled).
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Add the sugar and eggs to a large bowl and whisk it.
- In another bowl, whisk the salt, cocoa, and flour together.
- Take your frying pan (or a cast-iron skillet if you don’t have a frying pan) and heat it before adding butter and cream.
- Allow the mixture to simmer over medium heat.
- Add the chocolate and reduce the flame to medium heat.
- Stir the chocolate till it melts. It shouldn’t take more than a minute.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the melted chocolate mixture to the sugar mixture and whisk till it blends well.
- Fold in the flour mixture.
- Pour the batter into the pan and cover it with the lid before popping it in the heated oven.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, it’s done.
- Serve at room temperature with ice cream. Just make sure that the brownies aren’t too hot or the ice cream will soak in.
These tips will help you make the best frying pan brownies in your family:
- Vanilla ice cream is the best accompaniment to brownies.
- Add mix-ins such as chocolate chips, pecans, walnuts, etc. to add more flavor. If you use walnuts, toast them beforehand. It will add a crisp texture to the brownies.
- Use brown sugar to add moisture and make the brownies fudgy.
- Make sure to use quality unsweetened cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate to get the perfect balance of flavor.
- Don’t beat the batter. It will only toughen it and ruin your brownies. Stir in the dry ingredients gently.
- Remove the frying pan from the oven when the brownies are just about done. The pan will remain hot when it is out of the oven for a while, and cook the remaining. If you wait till they are done and then take them out, you will have overcooked brownies.
How to Clean a Frying Pan after Baking Brownies in it
Even if your frying pan is nonstick, that doesn’t mean burnt brownies won’t stick to it at all.
The cleaning process differs depending on the material of the frying pan.
Here is what you should know:
Cleaning Stainless Steel and Enamel Pans
To clean an enamel or stainless steel pan, you can use one of the following tips:
Use Hot Water or Vinegar
Loosen up burnt brownies with this method. Just preheat the frying pan on the stovetop till it is hot enough.
Add a cup of water or vinegar to it before turning down the heat to medium-low. Allow the liquid to simmer for 15 minutes.
Then, use a wooden spoon to scrape the burnt areas off. The hot mixture will soften the burnt bits, which can come off quickly.
Use Hot Water and Baking Soda
If you cannot stand the smell of vinegar, use this method instead. Fill the pan with water and add half a cup of baking soda to it.
Bring the mixture to a boil on the stove. Allow it to boil for 10 minutes before using a wooden spoon to scrape.
Use Baking Soda Only
If the frying pan is only lightly scorched, use baking soda only.
Just moisten it enough to make a paste and scrub it over the burnt areas. Rinse and repeat till you get the results you are looking for.
Cleaning Nonstick Pans
If you bake brownies in a nonstick frying pan, you don’t need to heat it to clean it afterward.
Here are some tips you can use:
A Basic Soak
Put a few drops of dish soap in the frying pan, pour some hot water in it and let it sit.
After a few hours, use a nylon scrubber to chip away at the softened burnt bits. Rinse and repeat till it is pristine.
Use a Dryer Sheet
Dryer sheets are typically used in cleaning because of their coating. It can loosen burnt food on pots and pans easily.
If you have a few lying around, use them. Fill the frying pan with warm water and place one inside.
Make sure the sheet is fully submerged and completely saturated.
Allow it to soak for a few hours, and then use the soaked sheet to scrub the loosened bits off. Wash and rinse with dish soap to remove the residue.
Cleaning Cast Iron Pans
Standard cleaning tips don’t work on cast iron pans. Since the material cooks differently, it needs special cleaning and care.
The pans can take a lot of abuse compared to other cookware. However, water can make it rust even if it is dried off.
Prevent your expensive pan from ruin by using kosher or coarse sea salt to clean the burnt bits off.
Use a damp cloth and not your hands to scrub. You will ruin your skin otherwise. Whatever you do, never use steel wool on cast iron pans.
These will remove the seasoning from the pans and make them unusable eventually.
Baking brownies in a frying pan is not difficult if you use the method mentioned above. Just make sure that you also use the cleaning tips to maintain your cookware.
Brownies bake best in pans that offer them a smooth surface to bake evenly. Even the smallest scratches and dings can compromise the flavor and texture.
You can even use the frying pan to cook the brownies right on top of the stove. The skills will come in handy if you don’t have an oven or the one you have malfunctions.
No one likes waiting to dig into brownies after all.
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