Bake Brownies With This Secret Ingredient For Extra Fudgy Goodness

One of the best sweet treats for chocolate lovers is a classic choice from the dessert hall of fame: the brownie. These rich, baked concoctions are simple to make, often requiring less than 10 basic ingredients, and they're just as effortlessly delicious, too.

It's hard to imagine a time when these popular indulgences didn't exist, but they have actually been around since 1893, the first recipe coming courtesy of a Chicago hotel called Palmer House. Since that debut, chefs around the world have experimented with the original recipe, making brownies their own with plenty of unique swaps and additions. 

While you might have a favorite recipe of your own from a diverse lineup, it's always good to switch things up every once in a while to try something new. So, if you're in the market for some extra fudgy goodness, there's one secret ingredient you should bake brownies with, and that is sour cream. Whether you want to elevate a boxed mix or alter a family recipe, sour cream brings extra moisture to brownies thanks to its thick, creamy texture, making for much silkier bites than those without it. 

How to incorporate this tangy addition into your recipe

While sour cream is usually an ingredient in savory dishes, it does wonders in brownies, too. Aside from providing elevated textures, sour cream also brings a more balanced taste to brownies, counteracting that intense sweetness with its innate tang. To reap the full benefits of this unexpected addition, make sure to use full-fat sour cream, as the fat holds in more flavor than the lower-fat varieties and is also what makes brownies fudgier. 

When adding this ingredient to your batter, it's important to remember that baking is a delicate process. How much sour cream brownies need varies per recipe, but adding anywhere from ¼ cup to ½ cup into the batter is a good place to start. From there, you can always experiment and add more in the next batch. 

If you feel like your brownies have enough moisture, sour cream also makes a great elevating swap for a few other common brownie ingredients. For example, if you're out of whole milk, just use sour cream instead. Even though milk has fat, it has a much thinner texture than sour cream and won't produce quite the same level of fudginess. To really elevate your batch, you can swap out milk for sour cream at a one-to-one ratio. If you're now eager to try this swap, check out these easy mint chocolate brownies, which get much of their flavor from Hood sour cream.

Other unexpected additions that make brownies sing

While sour cream is one versatile ingredient that's surprisingly perfect in brownies, it's not the only unique addition that can really fudgify your batch. For example, much like sour cream, similar dairy products like marscapone or cream cheese can also bring extra creaminess to brownies with their thick, fatty textures. The signature tang in these ingredients can also balance out the sweetness of brownies too, and a subtle, cheesecake-like edge to the overall flavor. For even softer, thicker brownies, you can also try adding a bag of marshmallows into your batter. Once your brownies bake, those marshmallows will seamlessly melt in with the other ingredients and give you an extra gooey and delicious end product. 

To finish your batch of brownies off, you could even top them with a layer of sour cream frosting (combined with butter, powdered sugar, and chocolate) for a decadent finish. This ingredient's rich, creamy texture and satisfying tang make it an unlikely star in many dessert recipes, from delicious airy mousses to moist vanilla sponge cakes. So don't knock it until you try it.