Chocolate for brownies

Photo: Mchebby/iStock/Getty Images

2 of 5
Mistake #2: Winging It with the Chocolate
We know: A bar of chocolate, even in the supermarket, can go for as much as a whole chicken. But it's the one brownie ingredient that's worth shelling out for. You don't even have to use the most expensive stuff in the store, says Patricia Helding, whose new book is called Fat Witch Bake Sale: 67 Recipes From the Beloved Fat Witch Bakery for Your Next Bake Sale or Party; the important thing is to adhere to the recipe, so if it says bittersweet, don't use semisweet or milk chocolate. With varying percentages of cacao and sugar, making substitutions will result in a brownie with an off texture and/or taste.

Fritz Knipschildt, author of Chocopologie: Confections & Baked Treats from the Acclaimed Chocolatier, is understandably picky about his chocolate. But even though his palate may not be yours, he stresses the importance of sampling a few different chocolate bars before choosing one to bake with. If something just tastes okay, it's definitely not worth building a brownie around.