Brownies cheap vs expensive

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Can you taste the difference?
It might be a common thought that buying more expensive ingredients will give you a better result; I want to see if this is truly the case and whether buying cheaper ingredients really makes a difference?
I have made two different batches of brownies. For the first batch I used the most expensive ingredients that I could find, making the total cost for a batch £8.85, and for the second batch I used the cheapest with the total cost at £4.56. Now the question is whether my guinea pigs will be able to tell the difference?

Ingredients used:
175g unsalted butter
300g dark chocolate
4 eggs beaten
200g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
Out of the twelve taste testers eight preferred the second batch; these were the cheaper ones! With one of the tasters saying; ‘The expensive ones tasted richer and more chocolaty but I much preferred the cheap ones because of the texture, they tasted a lot more like brownies I’ve had before’ (Jodie, Student, and brownie taster).

So it really goes to show that you needn’t spend the earth to make impressive treats. Some value products are just as good if not better than some more expensive products. There are of course some exceptions to this; I would say that it is worth spending a little bit more on eggs as the cheapest are not usually free range. Nevertheless the cheapest free range eggs are not that expensive. The eggs that I used for the expensive brownies were from Clarence Court they are a very pretty pastel blue colour but other than sitting pretty I am not sure they offer any other benefits to the brownies and certainly are not worth £1.96 for half a dozen. Clarence court’s sales pitch boasts of ‘superior taste’ and ‘Our birds enjoy a generous helping of sun drenched maize corn in their non-GM vegetarian diet.’ I’m sure this sort of idealised marketing nonsense must work sometimes however another of the tasters agreed that it is marketing nonsense ‘that’s just middle class crap!’ (Carrie Dunn, University lecturer and brownie taster).
Another main ingredient was flour this is something that I think there really is no difference between the two apart from the packaging. The two flours I used were Sainsbury’s basics and Allison’s Plain white. There was quite a difference in price Sainsbury’s cost £0.07p per batch and Allison’s cost £0.23p per batch. Allison’s flour cost more because it uses ‘conservation grade wheat’ this just means that the farms that produce it are helping the environment by protecting hedge rows. So there is no real difference between the two in terms of taste, so if you are saving the pennies go for basics.
What makes the most difference in the taste and the price, is the chocolate. The chocolate for the first batch cost £5.22 and for the second cost £1.86. The more expensive chocolate has a higher cocoa content which is why it costs more it also makes it more bitter which is perhaps why people preferred the cheaper ones. They were just sweeter, so it may come down to how much of a sweet tooth you have to which brownies you prefer.

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December 10, 2012. Uncategorized.

4 Comments

  1. kerrycooks replied:

    What was the conclusion?

    • EveBakerbaking replied:

      Hi, most people preferred the cheap ones! Me too they were sweeter and a bit softer.

      • kerrycooks replied:

        Awesome! I always use the cheapest ingredients so I feel vindicated! 🙂

  2. makedospend replied:

    That’s really interesting! I have always wondered what difference ingredients like the flour really makes… especially if you’re sieving it anyway!

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