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It feels like something I could have seen on Bill Nye the Science Guy: making brownies with a can of Coke. I can see the beakers of smoking dry ice and the kids in their protective goggles watching carefully as Bill dramatically stirs the fizzing cola into the bowl of dry ingredients. 30 minutes later or one commercial break later, poof: brownies. Brownies made with Coca Cola.
I had heard whisperings of magic brownies—no, not that kind—and finally decided to give it a go. Most recipes call for starting with a boxed brownie mix, the idea being that you substitute the normal wet ingredients like eggs, butter, or vegetable oil, with a can of Coke. I decided to go one step further, starting with a from-scratch brownie recipe.
Well, my first attempt was a disaster. When you pour in the Coke it fizzes, a lot (yeah, I know, shoulda-realized-duh), making it hard to get the batter smooth. I also had too much liquid and my brownies baked up barely cohesive, with chunks of cocoa powder to boot. On the positive side? They did rise, and they did taste like brownie batter, if not quite chocolatey enough.
In the next attempt I seriously upped my dry ingredients and increased the proportion of cocoa powder, and it worked. The resulting brownies were still fudgey and damp, but that's how I like them. The biggest difference between these brownies and r-egg-ular brownies is that the crumb has a bit of spring—from the soda bubbles evaporating?—making them slightly reminiscent of fat free chocolate cake from the 1990s. Again, a quality I don't mind.
So, there you go. A little bit of baking magic. Have fun trying this at home, kids.