Interestingly, if we look at any Western baking or cook books, Brownies is not under cakes. They are under slices, biscuits or cookies. A lot of Asians take brownies as cakes and the problem is they make it so cakey. I have seen people calling square chocolate cake as brownies. What an insult to brownies!
It is true that there are some cakey brownies recipes in the baking world. But a good batch of brownies are signified with a very moist centre and a crusty top. It is usually not very high nor fluffy.
Also, it's usually made in square or rectangular tins and served as square slices with minimal decorations. It's almost like a grab-and-go piece of food item. We personally prefer rich brownies which is crusty on the top and slightly gooey in the centre. And brownies are supposed to be moist enough to lean towards gooey.
A good batch of brownies is not easy to make. This is the one item in the Chocolate range that took me quite a while to understand. Problems usually lies in the baking especially the baking time. I always have a tendency to worry about underbaking. Because of that, it pushes me to overbake!
Don't follow baking instructions blindly like a robot. Always watch with your own eyes. Check after 20 minutes. You must stop baking once the skewer comes out with moist, wet pieces clinging on it and this is usually taking about 20 to 35 minutes.
If your skewer comes out clean, your brownies is gone. If it comes out wet completely, it is not done. But do understand that once you take it off oven, it is still cooking internally. So it cannot be underbake.
Brownies should not be decorated with extra chocolate ganache topping because it is the crusty top that makes it special. But I do get a lot of requests for that. It's fine if you do because it will just add to the richness.
NEE's Lavish Choc Brownies
For Christmas, you can do a Brownies and decorate it up with loads of nuts like hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans and fruits like strawberry and raspberry for a Christmasy feel. The look & taste of it will certainly wow your guests. (Whisper) No one will know it took only less that an hour from preparation to baking and another 15 -20 minutes to decorate it up.