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Metallic Taste in Brownies

Kaylene asks: We made brownies tonight. The recipe calls for margarine, cocoa, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and flour. The only thing I did different was I used “I can’t believe it’s not butter”. It had a very strong metallic taste. We thought maybe the whisk we used was rusted so we dumped the whole thing and started over using only plastic and metal. We had the same results. This is a family recipe I have had many times, It is delicious. Please help. What am I doing wrong? We are baking to see if the taste bakes out.

Baking S.O.S. says: I am curious how the second batch turned out when you made it again without using the wire whisk. Did the metallic taste disappear?

You mentioned that you used “plastic and metal” in the second batch, so I am wondering if you baked the brownies in a metal pan? Could that potentially be the source of the metallic taste? I can’t imagine why it would, but you could try baking in a glass pan to see if that makes any difference.

My first instinct is to say that too much baking powder causes a metallic taste in baked goods, but you did not list baking powder in the list of ingredients. Does your recipe call for any baking powder or baking soda at all?  If not, then that could not be the source of the problem.

And I do not have any experience baking with “I can’t believe it’s not butter!”, so I cannot say whether this would be the culprit of the metallic taste or not. I assume that margarines and butter substitutes that used to be made from hydrogenated vegetable oils have recently changed their formulas to somehow make their products without trans fats–since hydrogenated fats became undesirable as soon as manufacturers had to start labeling trans fats on their packages. So it is possible that “I can’t believe it’s not butter!” now behaves differently in baked goods than it used to because it is now made differently than it used to be.

You could try making your brownies with butter and see if that has any effect on the finished flavor and texture, too.

Let me know what you come up with–this is a perplexing problem!